While we love the convenience of our iCal, we are definitely the sort of gals who *always* have a physical planner stashed in our purse. If you’ve been paying attention, you know that planners have made a comeback and Instagram gurus are taking creative planning to a whole new level of awesomeness. There are plenty of uber cute options to start organizing your life on paper, including our new Target collection of Brit + Co Planners, which include eight different personalizable agenda spirals and binders, plus dozens of fun accessories like stickers, magnetic bookmarks, patches, sticky notes, washi tape, and pocket folders.
The best part of this throwback trend is that there’s actually science-based evidence that proves having a physical planner is great for your health. So in case you aren’t fully convinced that adding an extra product to your already-stuffed work bag is worth it, here are three awesome reasons why your brain will thank you for it.
Writing Things Down Makes You Smarter
According to a 2014 study by Pam Mueller of Princeton University and Daniel Oppenheimer of UCLA Los Angeles, students who write out their notes by hand actually learn more than those who try to type out everything on their laptop. Over the course of three different studies, the researchers tested the difference between writing notes out by hand and typing them on a computer — especially when it comes to actually comprehending the information. While those who typed on a laptop did end up with far more notes (some were even able to copy the professor’s lecture verbatim), it was the students who took notes by hand and thus had to process the information and reframe it in their own words who fared better on the conceptual questions given right after the lecture.
Doodling Helps Recall Dull Information
Good news, doodlers! A study published in the Journal of Applied Cognitive Psychology shows that people who mindlessly doodle can better recall dull information. The study involved 40 participants who were asked to listen to a monotonous mock telephone message detailing the names of people coming to a party. The participants were split into two groups — those who were assigned to doodle while listening to the message and those who were just supposed to memorize it. Surprisingly, the group who doodled recalled 29 percent more information on a surprise memory test.
So if you’re a doodler, try adding some of our awesome inserts into your Mini Binder Planner ($6), like the Coloring Book Inserts ($3) or Dry Erase Board Insert ($2), to help you better recall everything your boss is saying during your next boring meeting. And if they call you out for not paying attention, just link them to this study ;)
Being Creative Can Help You in Your Career
According to a 2014 study by San Francisco State University organizational psychologist Kevin Eschleman and colleagues, employees who pursue creative activities outside of work (AKA decorative planning!) may find that these activities boost their performance on the job — especially when it comes to creative problem-solving and helping others while on the job.
The researchers decided to conduct two studies to see how creative extracurriculars affected workers. The first study included 341 employees who provided self-rated performance outcomes; study two, which involved 92 active duty US Air Force captains, included performance reviews by their coworkers and subordinates. Both groups found that engaging in a creative activity outside work was positively associated with recovery experiences and performance-related outcomes.
In addition to using one’s creative pursuits as a form of recovery from a stressful day at work, the study noted that most of the participants also found that participating in a creative activity actually helped improve their job performance. In other words, decorating your planner for an hour after work will not only help you destress — it just might make you a more efficient employee!