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Surprising Science

Writing Is Better Than Typing

The act of writing helps you clarify your thoughts, remember things better, and reach your goals more surely than typing on a computer. Is the pen truly mightier than the keyboard?

A couple of studies, though, substantiate why the physical act of writing really does boost learning and goal achievement. Hoping to provide actual scientific proof on the efficacy of writing down and sharing goals (to make up for an often-quoted mythical Harvard/Yale study of goals), a psych professor at Dominican University of California found that people who wrote down their goals, shared them with others, and maintained accountability for their goals were 33% more likely to achieve them, versus those who just formulated goals. Another study found positive effects of writing on learning foreign words, and a survey of note-taking studies found several examples where taking notes helped students with recall and academic performance.


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