I’ve always known that note-taking is good for you. There are plenty of stories about this, and it’s always refreshing to see research and evidence for this. Here’s Why Writing Things Out By Hand Makes You Smarter: By slowing down the process, you accelerate learning.
One theory is that introducing ‘desirable difficulties’ that challenge the user help retention. The person who introduced this idea is Robert Bjork, at the Learning Lab – interestingly called Bjork Learning and Forgetting Lab.
Of course the best example of note-taking can be seen from the notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci. His notes went like this:
“Put this in the Book of useful inventions and in proving them bring forward the propositions already proved…”
Or, in what looks like a ‘note to self, Leonardo jots down this:
“And this is to be a collection without order, taken from many papers which I have copied here, hoping to arrange them later each in its place, according to the subjects of which they may treat.”
A notebook, after all is a piece of ‘technology’ designed with a simple interface. Use often. Use responsibly!