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Writing things down - or sketching or using mind-maps (not software but actually drawing your own manually) - seems to have an amazing effect on the brain.

We haven't been writing long (in evolutionary terms) so I wonder why that is?

I think it's because our brains are good at manipulating tangible things - it's what they've been doing since before we had a neocortex, after all. Making thoughts tangible, sensory experiences can help engage the full machinery of the brain, instead of just limiting it to higher brain functions.

I think that the stuff in our mind is mostly abstract. We absorb things from the world all the time, conscious and unconscious, and make conscious and unconscious connections between them.

Thinking aloud, whether in the mind, on paper or even vocally, helps us to identify some of these points, and thus quantify a meaning from it. There's only so many points that we can mentally hold though - we're not good multi-taskers after all! So the better we can think aloud, the better we can consciously grab thoughts and identify the real gaps - which we can fill in by searching/ creating more points in our mind, or go external.

Hmm, just thinking aloud though ;)

maybe writing things down frees up some resource allocation? e.g. save on the memory/disk to save some precious cache resources

lol just saying

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