The benefits of writing things down

Luciano Ratamero


I tried to find a good reference for this one, but most are coach stuff, so I thought it would be better for me to just write it down.

For me, writing things helps in three ways:

  • remembering what I could forget;
  • materializing abstract ideas;
  • keeping track of people, feelings, and to-dos.

Remembering what I could forget

This one is simple. You write things down, they're there. You won't forget them, unless you don't have the habit of looking at them. Writing things down helps with that too, since you need to write things, and the other notes are just there, staring deep into your soul.

Materializing abstract ideas

My brain has two settings: out of focus, and too much focus. Both have the same root: the fact that most of my thoughts are abstract, and that they lean on my creative side. Writing down what I think about a topic makes me realize what exactly excites me about it, or how that first thought fits with the bigger picture I'm still thinking about.

Doing notes about the big picture makes me more aware of what the little pieces inside of it are, and how they interconnect. With that, planning things is way easier.

Keeping track of people, feelings and to-dos

I am a bit of a socially awkward person. I have a hard time keeping in touch with people. Because of that, I tend to forget about things that are important to them; what they like, what they're working on, what are their sensitive topics.

Nobody ever told me that, but writing things down about the people you care about is not cheating. Not everyone is very sociable, and, like most things, studying helps.

That's the same about ourselves. I can't even count the times I've put myself into a place or situation I really don't like, or kept hanging out with people that don't really care for me. Writing things down helps with that too, not only with knowing about yourself, but knowing about what you want to be.

And to-dos. Because procrastination has a limit.