Close up view of african left-handed businessman writing in notebook, american male hands holding pen making notes planning new appointments information in organizer personal paper planner at desk

Hernan Diaz won a Pulitzer Prize for his novel Trust. On CBS Sunday morning, he displayed his working notebooks, bursting with words. He said “There is something about the murmur of the pen on the paper. There is nothing like it for me.” We know many famous authors wrote longhand, but why not use a computer?

Humans execute complex hand skills, like grasping and manipulating, better than any other creature. But most of us today use phones and touchscreens, so that our hand movements are tapping, swiping and pushing buttons. Activities like gardening, sports, arts, even knitting, have emotional and cognitive benefits, including improvements in attention and memory, as well as reductions in anxiety and depression.

When you write a presentation or take notes in longhand, forming letters stimulates memories and brain pathways tied to what each letter represents, the sound it makes and words that include it.

Exercise your brain and activate memories through the simple act of writing. Texting and dashed-off emails function to keep pace with active lives, but writing pieces with deeper meaning will benefit you. And as you transition from a script to an outline for speaking, your better words and thoughts will remain.

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