Writing to think better

This article is called writing to think better and describes how we use a pencil and note book to help with our intelligence analysis and reporting. Using a pen or pencil and a piece of paper and writing your thoughts down helps you think better. Your mind is full of ideas, and you have it all in your head all the time.

Who is more intelligent?

Who is more intelligent? The person who can recite 20 number in order over an extended period? Or the person who writes them down on a piece of paper? Which of the two people will perform better and have more capacity to extend the number recital to 200, 2,000 or even 100,000 numbers in order?

Yes, keeping more things in your mind makes you more intelligent, but it’s holding the critical stuff in there that matters. Also, no matter how clever we are, we all need some help, especially when media is bombarding us with so much information.

Writing is good for your mind

The process of writing helps people with stress and coming to solutions than judging success on what you write about what you are thinking about a subject. It’s likely that if you don’t write down your thoughts and ideas, you have, then some of them will never exist.

Without writing, thinking quality suffers, and your thoughts and ideas may not be as smart or sharp as they could be. So, see note-taking, writing things down as an extension to your mind. Externalised cognition extends your thinking space and makes you smarter. Writing notes to remember things or list things to do is only the start. It can think more clearly about everyday problems and business issues.

Hold more ideas than you can remember

At any one time you have many ideas in your head. More than your memory can handle. Write your thoughts down onto paper. This writing will allow you to break down your thoughts into workable parts. To avoid mental tiredness when you write down an idea or a problem or solution, you will be able to see a problem or contradiction to what you wrote further up the page. If you keep it in mind, you can dismiss the original thoughts quickly, even though they may contact a positive solution.

Writing things down is incredibly powerful

Also, rather than butting in during a conversation to make your point, write down your thoughts ready for when it’s your turn. If you don’t write it down, you may have interrupted someone offering great information or if you are anything like me, forget the point you wanted to make! Writing things down out of your mind is incredibly powerful.


Write your problems down in your notebook. Just jot down what comes out of your mind, along with possible solutions and then read through them and put your notes in order. A written down problem is so much easier when taken out of your mind.


When you are about to have a meeting, why not write down what you want to discuss before going into the meeting or the call? Write it as if you were writing a letter, memo or email. There is no need to send the email, but it helps you clearly think through your ideas, suggestions, the problem and the solution. Having done this, you will be so much more prepared and clear in the meeting.


Write ideas down, to understand problems however hard they may be. Try the Feynman technique as follows:

  1. Write down the problem you want to understand.


This article was called writing to think better and describes how we use a pencil and note book to help with our intelligence analysis and reporting.

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