Hey, it’s Cho, and I’m here to tell you that it’s never too late to learn. If you don’t listen to the Love Collective Podcast you’re literally out of your mind, you should really give it a try. Lisa and I discuss love and relationships from an educational perspective all the while keeping you entertained with our silly banter! During each episode, we like to catch up with each other to see how we’re doing. Well recently, I revealed to Lisa that I had discovered something embarrassing about myself: I’m incapable of finishing my digital to-do lists. In the age of technology and the efficient “app”, I haven’t been reaching my highest potential of productivity for the last 4 years. Until recently when I finally decided to just write.

So hear me out. I don’t need you to go through your phone and delete all of your note-taking apps, calendars and other productivity tools. I’m still a big fan of many tech companies like Evernote, Mint and others. In fact, you can expect a full post on each of those tools at a later date. What I am saying is that you need to go back to the basics and start writing down some of your productivity goals instead of going 100% digital.

Why You Should Write More Often

So what if your brain is working harder? Well, this difference is a lot more impactful than you might think. Before I type much longer, I have to remind myself that this is a lifestyle blog. Not a scientifically peer-reviewed journal… or is it?! So I’ll keep it simple. When your brain works harder to do any activity, it causes the brain to exercise the power of memory. All the different motor skill sensations happening such as touch and visual perception is actually exercising your learning processes. Because of the way your brain processes info, you’re more likely to remember to actually complete that list or accomplish that long term goal!

There’s one massive difference between digital note taking and handwriting: the motor skills required. I’m taken back to the college days when I took KNH184 Motor Skill Learning & Performance. Shout out to my fellow Redhawks. Love & Honor! Anyway, that course was an introduction to an analysis of movements and actions by our bone structures. It discussed the biomechanical and neurophysiological factors that would help, hinder or maintain those movement skills. When you write something down, you are using more motor skills than if you were to type them. Crafting each letter, pushing the pen to paper, holding the pen upright and analyzing the right space between letters are just some of the many many fine details involved. Basically, your brain is working MUCH harder when it’s writing compared to typing.

What’s Right for Your Productivity?

Now you might be wondering which things you should be writing down versus recording digitally. It’s really up to personal preference. I believe it takes a bit of A-B testing and trying out different ratios. Thanks to my friend Supal, I am using an editorial calendar to plan my content in advance in order to remain organized and accountable. I hand write 90% of my to-do lists as well as short & long term goals. And depending on the subject, I will do most of my brainstorming on paper as well. It doesn’t hurt to utilize apps for helpful reminders in the way of alarms. Eventually, your brain will make it a habit of checking your notes that you might not even need your alarms!

The Best Stationary & Writing Tools

It wouldn’t be a typical blog post without me sharing some of my favorite products to use. One of my favorite places to shop for fine paper & stationary is JustWrite. It’s located in this cute little town east of Columbus named Granville, but you can buy most of their goods online from their website. They’re actually having some new products coming this fall in the way of Kate Spade’s “Forest Feline” Collection, Smitten on Paper and Chez Gagne among others. In fact, I was able to score all of my readers a sweet deal! Get 20% off your total online purchase when you use the code SHOPONLINE. Thank me for it later.

What I’m obsessed with lately for my productivity needs are the Standard Issue Notebook No.03 ($16.00) as well as the LePens fine-tipped pens ($14.29). I just love how the notebook is great for setting agendas in any way that you feel comfortable. You’re able to setup each page however you like by date, month and subject. For those who like bullet journaling, you may like this notebook. When it comes to the pens, I’m just really into the different colors. I color-coordinate my content subjects such as Instagram, Twitch, Youtube, and blogging. More so, THEY DON’T BLEED THROUGH THE PAGE! I don’t know about you, but if I’m going to pay money for fine paper, you better believe I’m using every single page in that book! It’s so nice to be able to use the backsides without the ink coming through from the other side.

So what are your thoughts on digital vs handwriting in terms of productivity? Do you perform a combination of both or mostly one or the other? And what types of notebooks and pens do you use? As a reminder, using my affiliate links above is a FREE way for you to support me monetarily, and I appreciate you for doing so! Let me know your thoughts!

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