Everybody should think on paper

This post is about why people should think on paper and use it to make decisions instead of just doing it in their head.

Humans can only keep a limited amount of information in our awareness at one time. If you doubt me just try to keep in mind the middle name of your father and the number 5478 in your head while you read this. Use it as a demonstration of how small RAM we possess.  One thing that paper does very well is it allows us to increase our effective RAM. We can compare a much larger amount of information and stay focused more easily.

Having our thoughts laid out for dissection, we can see the bigger picture, as well as stimulating new directions of thought to pursue.  Many possibilities that would otherwise have laid dormant are unleashed by the act of trying to capture that elusive inner monologue.

When you write things down, it is much easier to detect if you are leaving something out: without having to constantly remember what you are thinking, you are free to examine it and try to spot the flaws. In this way, you check yourself and are less likely to make mistakes.

When you are done with whatever you wanted to decide or plan, most of the value is extracted. Not all. When time goes by, you can come back to what you wrote and review how well you stuck to the plan. As an archival function, you can access thoughts and experiences of your past that would otherwise have been lost to your memory. Memory is an aspect of intelligence, thus tools that supplement your memory increase your intelligence.

There are many different frameworks for decision making, capturing your thoughts, planning and journaling. The most basic form is just to take pen to paper and start writing. As you write, the form will become more clear to you.


Example for documenting your life: Writing a daily journal

Example for documenting your relationships: WhatsApp chat history

Example for making a decision: Write a pros/cons, then give yourself 1 minute to decide

Example for managing: The Adizes Framework

Example for planning for a business: Business plan/Swot Analysis (Which I personally think is useless)

Most of our modern society turn around cooperation, but competition still plays a large role in many lives. When you compete you have to extract every possible advantage to come out on the top. Thinking on paper is a tool, a very powerful one. Learn to use it well.

Did you manage to keep the middle name of your father and the number 5478 in mind? No worries. When writing this post, I forgot about it and would not have mentioned it again if I had not reviewed what I had written.

To happiness, and beyond!



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