Categories:> Creativity, Workplace

Why creatives should start working with a pen and paper. (Part 1)

Have you thought about the effect technology has on your creative work? Maybe you should. Over the years, as agencies connected our desktops to the internet, wired our offices with wifi, doled out laptops and finally, smartphones, few paused to consider their impact on our work.

So here’s my modest proposal to creatives: the next time you get a new brief, start the work by hand, on paper. (Sorry, a stylus and tablet don’t count.) Once you’re into rounds and executions, by all means, fire up that MacBook Pro. But try — just try — starting the old fashioned way.

Here are 5 reasons why you should.

1. Digital is distracting.

Creative thinking happens when the mind has time to wander—when you’re a bit bored. And if you’re constantly fidgeting with emails, Facebook updates, and text messages—you’re selling the work short by handicapping yourself.

2. Writing by hand stimulates your brain.

According to Forbes, an Indiana University study found that freehand writing stimulates the brain in three distinct areas that typing doesn’t—and has a similar effect on the brain as meditation.

3. Writing and drawing by hand slows you down—in a good way.

The efficiency of technology has tricked us into believing we can produce great ideas quickly, like magic. We can’t—excellence still takes time and focus. “Perhaps the greatest thing about handwriting is that the very act of doing it forces you to focus on what’s important. It is, in essence, a moment of mindfulness,” neuroscientist Dr. Claudia Aguire writes at Headspace.

4. Writing by hand enhances learning.

Researches at Princeton and UCLA found that students learn better when taking notes by hand, partially because of what scientists refer to as “concept mapping.” Enhanced learning comes in handy in advertising as we frequently have to produce work for new clients and unfamiliar categories.

5. When you write by hand you actually produce more ideas.

A University of Washington study showed that “when children composed text by hand, they not only consistently produced more words more quickly than they did on a keyboard, but expressed more ideas.”

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About Ejik Ebuta See all posts by author

An art director, creative writer, and brand specialist.

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