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Ducks in a Row: Handwriting Enhances Creativity

by Miki Saxon

https://www.flickr.com/photos/pazzani/15583603389/

Yesterday’s post focused on the importance of good writing when in a professional setting.

Pure coincidence, but an article today in the International Business Times talks about the negative effect of using smiley faces in business emails. (Emphasis mine.)

According to the study, while smiling during face-to-face communication was perceived as warm and indicated more competence with regards to the first impressions created, a text-based representation of a smile in computer-mediated communication did not have the same effect.

“Our findings provide first-time evidence that, contrary to actual smiles, smileys do not increase perceptions of warmth and actually decrease perceptions of competence,” said Ella Glikson, a post-doctorate fellow at the BGU Department of Management, Guilford Glazer Faculty of Business and Management.

Definitely something to share with your team.

What else can writing do?

Free up your creativity.

But only if you put down the keyboard and pick up a pen or pencil.

Anyone can benefit from penmanship’s cognitive benefits, whether you’re taking notes at a meeting or just trying to figure out what you think.

Put another way, writing by hand engages your brain, while keyboarding does not.

Brain scans during the two activities also show that forming words by hand as opposed to on a keyboard leads to increased brain activity (pdf). Scientific studies of children and adults show that wielding a pen when taking notes, rather than typing, is associated with improved long-term information retention, better thought organization, and increased ability to generate ideas.

Writing by hand forces you to turn off distractions, whether smartphone, computer, or music.

Writing by hand forces you to focus.

Writing by hand forces you to really listen; it makes you process what is being said and be more selective in what you record as opposed to running on autopilot.

If you never learned to write by hand, or have forgotten how, there are classes.

And if you don’t believe it works, try it.

You may find yourself very much surprised.

Image credit: Mike’s Birds

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