A Multisensory Approach to Organization
A Multisensory Approach
As humans, our world experience involves a number of senses, including sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell. These senses work together to create a symphony of awareness for our environment. Research shows that when we use multiple senses to encode a memory, it improves our development of thought, concentration, alertness, memory, and communication (Quak et al., 2015). This is because a multisensory experience allows information to be encoded in multiple areas of the brain, which leads to greater memory retention, accuracy in recall, and memory retrieval. In other words, the better you are at combining visual, tactile (physical), and auditory information, the better you can remember what you have learned.
It has been scientifically proven, again and again, that handwritten notes are infinitely superior to the keyboard in almost every respect. The physical action of writing a handwritten note refocuses your brain, helps you to formulate your plans more clearly, and achieve your goals more quickly. Similar to other muscles in your body, if you don't use the brain, you'll eventually lose it. This means it's crucial to exercise your brain and keep it stimulated. Science says handwriting is one way to exercise your brain.
A recent publication, "The Pen is Mightier than the Keyboard" in Psychological Science, showed that laptop dependence negatively impacts your brain and impairs your ability to learn (Mueller & Oppenheimer, 2014). Students who type their notes often record lectures verbatim and forget the material sooner. Whereas handwritten notes often require students to be more selective in distilling the key components of a lecture and reframing it in their own words. When you need to learn new material, it is best to use the power of the pen to make your brain work harder to digest, summarize, and capture the heart of the information.
Increase Motivation and Goal Achievement
How much can you fit on a 3-inch sticky note? Writing a handwritten note requires more effort, forcing you to be more concise and direct to the point. This, in turn, helps you to clarify your thoughts and mindfully connect with your goals. There are many studies proving that people who physically write down their goals and share them with others are 33% more likely to achieve their goals, versus those who just formulated plans in their head (Gardner & Albee, 2015).
By the same token, vision is our most dominant sense and can override conflicting signals from any of the other four senses. Therefore, it is not surprising that visual memory is also the strongest to any other sensory memory type. It is far easier to remember information that you have seen or read, than information that you have only heard (bad news for podcasts). Goals that are both handwritten and posted as daily visual reminders stay at the forefront of our memory longer, increasing our motivation and the likelihood of success.
Greater Focus and Mindfulness
For many of us, frequent smartphone notifications and alerts pollute our day with pop-ups, dings, and buzzes to the point where we often dismiss the reminders without reading the content. Many of us have become numb and desensitized to the digital prompt, causing productivity to falter. Using a marker to visually plan out your week clears your head from the overabundance of information that we receive in our mailboxes and social media feeds, increasing mental health and productivity.
Some may argue that they're more productive when they type notes or reminders into their smartphones because they can capture more material faster. However, a recent study by Bui et al. (2013) found that while typing notes may offer the immediate benefit of better recall, the typed advantage disappears within 24 hours. At which point, those individuals who typed their notes performed worse when tested about the material than their handwritten counterparts. Do yourself a favor and put down the smartphone to handwrite your important notes, goals, and reminders—your body and mind will thank you later.
Build a Healthier Brain
Most of us relish the organizational benefits of a good paper planner. However, there are additional health benefits that handwriting also provides. Together, the act of handwriting your goals and the upkeep required for a personal wall command center increases your brain health in many ways. First, research has shown that the connection between handwriting and mindfulness, like an active meditation, helps you work through your feelings, attitudes, and goals and deal with them appropriately.
Second, in our highly digital world, having a physical wall command center with an active planner requires a physical commitment to goal planning and personal development. It requires a daily habit of seeing, touching, and updating your calendar and goals. New habits can often be challenging to form. Still, luckily science has proven that we are more likely to be dependent on physical objects, rather than digital, because they are real and we can physically touch them (Atasoy & Morewedge, 2018). In other words, you are more likely to update your calendar and check-in on your goals regularly if they are represented by a physical object that you can touch and feel.
Finally, many people prefer taking notes electronically because their handwriting has become an illegible scribble over the years. However, research has shown that handwriting activates three distinct areas of your brain, whereas typing does not engage the brain's motor pathways at all (James & Engelhardt, 2012). In other words, handwriting is three times better for your overall brain health than typing! Handwriting will help you keep your cognitive abilities strong.
A Physical and Visual Life with 1Thrive Wall Organizers
1Thrive command center is the perfect tool to help you improve your memory and motivation, increase goal success, and give you greater focus and mindfulness in your daily life. The 1Thrive organization system combines handwritten notes, visual cues, and the comfort of a physical and visual home for your calendar and goals. You can use your 1THRIVE Command Center to bring a multisensory approach to your organization and improve your personal memory and communication.
The 1Thrive Command Center Henry is a great way to bring a multisensory approach to your life. The Henry wall organizing system provides a versatile design that takes advantage of your handwritten notes and visual reminders. The weekly schedule, notes list, and corkboard covers all of your basic needs and can be rearranged as needed. When you try to recall your to-do list later, your brain will thank Henry for making its job easier!
1Thrive Wall Organizers can also help you maximize your visual advantage and give your memory a boost by converting your goals or to-do list into a physical and visual reference, such as a drawing, a graph, or a mind map. The 1Write Chalk Markers provide a vibrant and colorful way to draw your goals or important reminders. Post your reminders on your Wall Command Center and scan them each morning and evening to help you quickly absorb them into your memory and achieve your goals faster.The next time you need to recall information for more than 24 hours, put your smartphone and laptops down, consider handwriting your notes on the Medium Black 1Write Board or use the Essentials Toolkit to clip or pin your messages to your 1Thrive Command Center. Remember, your important reminders will stick with you longer if you include a handwritten visual reminder! When you're capturing and retaining complex material, put the laptop away and take out your 1Write Marker to improve your memory and motivation, increase goal success, and give you greater focus and mindfulness in your daily life.