Don’t write it down – just remember it

Inspired by a student who didn’t take notes

I had a student (hey there! :) who almost never wrote things down. For a while I thought that she didn’t have to, because she knew everything already – turns out she didn’t. Although my student didn’t write down new German words, she remembered them almost perfectly. She said that she will remember them – and she did.

So, what can we learn from my student?

While I know that she is a very intelligent person and could therefore memorize a large amount of information, she also showed some characteristics everyone can use to improve their studying. So let’s learn it from the pros:

1. Confidence – my student was very confident that she can remember everything and she doesn’t have to write it down. By trusting her abilities she removed the negative beliefs, which are destructive for some of us and hinder our learning. So the key is to believe in yourself.

2. Memory – I noticed that my student did have a bit of a photographic memory, but she also used mnemonic techniques to recall what she had learned. Repeating something without really thinking about it won’t allow the information to be stored in your long term memory. Certain techniques can dramatically improve your memory and recall. (You can get the gist of mnemonics and more by subscribing to the newsletter)

3. Motivation – needless to say that my student was highly motivated to learn and was thirsty for more information and knowledge. Use motivation as the driving force of your studying and you will always be a winner.

And finally….

The act of writing and seeing the written content certainly has its benefits. But it also means that after you have written it down, this action will be noted as completed and your brain might not continue processing the information. Sometimes I notice that I think “I’m going to write this down and memorize it later” – how much time and nerves could we save if we remembered it right away?

Do you have your own tricks for memorizing something without writing it down? Share them with us!

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Read more:

How to memorize anything
Practice makes perfect – the application of mnemonic techniques