Abram Interstate Insurance Services, Inc., CMGA

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If you need to know something, write it down | Business Tips for Insurance Agents

Published on November 3, 2016

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Do you ever walk out of a really good meeting or conference and as soon as someone asks you about it, you can’t remember the details?  It happens to the best of us. Even if we were in there plodding away taking notes on our iPad or laptop the whole time.

A new study from Princeton University and the University of California shows that one way to fix this dilemma is to take notes the old-school way — with your handy pen and pad of paper. The study showed that we remember more when we take the time to take notes by hand as opposed to using a computer or similar device, or by not taking notes at all and relying solely on memory.

At The American Scholar, Jessica Love explains why this might be the case:

For the typists, researchers noted “greater verbatim overlap with the lecture” than for longhand note-takers. Why bother to think deeply about what we are learning, and how our notes should be structured, when we can just do our damnedest to type, verbatim, everything as it is being said? When we type quickly, we also spend less time with any given piece of information—important, because memories take time to encode….

The study offers an obvious takeaway: don’t let your mind go on the lam just because your fingers can keep up with a speaker.

I know that when I try to type notes, I am able to get down more information quickly, but I’m not really processing the information like I am when taking notes by hand, and thus, I can’t recall that information well later on without referring to my notes.

There’s a reason why Bart Simpson has to write the same sentence on the chalk board again and again. It’s the same reason your elementary school teachers made you hand-write your spelling words 10 times each. When you hand-write something, your brain engages with it in a distinct way to trigger memory storage. Those parts of the brain are relaxed and not as active, however, when you are typing that same information.

Whether you’re trying to be a more productive team member and take down notes in a meeting, or you want to remember the compelling ideas from the key-note speaker at a conference, do yourself a favor and write it down by hand.

If you’re interested in the research and results, head over to The American Scholar

Abram Interstate Insurance Services, Inc. is a California wholesale insurance broker (CMGA) that has licensing and expertise to place business in both admitted and non-admitted markets for personal lines insurance and commercial lines insurance in California and surrounding areas. 

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