4 benefits of keeping a physical diary

4 benefits of keeping a physical diary

With digital calendars, online project management tools and notetaking apps on the rise, are physical diaries going out of style?

Both physical and digital tools have their strengths and weaknesses, so the best approach is to take advantage of what each has to offer. We spoke to Maritoni Renaghan, Office Products Category Manager about four reasons why you should keep a physical diary as one of your tools.

Better information retention

“Several studies have shown physical notetaking can accelerate learning and information retention,” informs Maritoni.

One study found that summarising, paraphrasing and concept mapping (all forms of generative notetaking), are more beneficial for the brain because of something known as the ‘encoding hypothesis’.1 “The encoding hypothesis is a cognitive process that occurs when a person writes notes in their own words, rather than verbatim. This process results in improved learning and information retention,” explains Maritoni.

Another study involving brain scans found that handwriting activated more regions of the brain as opposed to typing, particularly in the visual processing centres of the brain.2

Less distractions

Have you ever tried to focus on a task when a call, email or message diverts your attention?

Push notifications can side-track your focus and cause you to task-switch, which has been proven to reduce productivity by up to 40 per cent.3

“Keeping a physical diary or planner and having access to to-do lists, notes, deadlines and goals in physical form can help you avoid distractions that come with constant connectivity and improve productivity,” says Maritoni.

Effective goal setting

“A physical diary is an incredibly effective tool for planning, prioritisation and goal setting,” informs Maritoni.

One study found that those who vividly described or pictured their goals by writing them down were 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to succeed than people who didn’t.4

“Many people also prefer the tangible feel of pen and paper and physically ticking things off when goals are achieved,” says Maritoni.

Everything in one place

According to Maritoni, “keeping a physical diary allows you to consolidate information that would otherwise be displayed across different apps and programs, giving you the power to keep everything in one place.”

While digital tools are here to stay, the many benefits a physical diary has to offer are convincing reasons to keep one around!

We offer a wide range of diaries and planners so you can stay organised and productive, no matter where you’re working. Check out our full range online. Order now and receive 10% off all 2022 range diaries!*

Browse our Winc 2022 Diaries catalogue online or order a copy today.

*2022 Diaries Promotional Terms and Conditions:

Prices as marked, 10% off already applied. Final prices as displayed (including GST where applicable) are valid from 1 July 2021 to 30 September 2021, unless withdrawn or terminated earlier at the sole discretion of Winc Australia Pty Limited (‘Winc’). Pre-orders will ship when products become available. Products available whilst stocks last. Products styles, brands, colours and sizes may vary. Not all products available in all areas. For government departments, eligibility is subject to departmental guidelines. All purchases are subject to Winc terms and conditions of sale, for details please visit https://www.winc.com.au/services/about-us/terms-and-conditions-of-sale/.


1Doubek, J., 2016, ‘Attention, Students: Put Your Laptops Away’, <https://www.npr.org/2016/04/17/474525392/attention-students-put-your-laptops-away>

2Goodwin, B., 2018, ‘Research Matters / The Magic of Writing Stuff Down’, <http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/apr18/vol75/num07/The-Magic-of-Writing-Stuff-Down.aspx>

3Fosslien, L., W.D., M., 2020, ‘How to Combat Zoom Fatigue’, <https://hbr.org/2020/04/how-to-combat-zoom-fatigue>

4Murphy, M., 2018, ‘Neuroscience Explains Why You Need To Write Down Your Goals If You Actually Want To Achieve Them’, <https://www.forbes.com/sites/markmurphy/2018/04/15/neuroscience-explains-why-you-need-to-write-down-your-goals-if-you-actually-want-to-achieve-them/?sh=292f92597905>