# Writing makes thinking possible

We need a good method to think because we have Working memory limits. If Effective tool circumvents human limits, we need to find a tool that circumvents our working memory limit. The tool, or method of thinking that has been proven by science is note-writing. Many would think that writing helps our thinking, but contemporary handbook of neuroscientists argues that writing is what makes thinking possible. Scientists with different specialisation, like psychologists, educators, or philosophers, may disagree on how our brain works, but most of them agree that real thinking will require a form of writing (Ahrens 95-96).

When there are too many variables that we're thinking about, note-writing let go of some of the variables (like remembering information), so that we can focus on the real thinking (like connecting ideas or understanding) (Ahrens 90).

# References

Ahrens, How to Take Smart Notes (p. 5).

A good structure is something you can trust. It relieves you from the burden of remembering and keeping track of everything. If you can trust the system, you can let go of the attempt to hold everything together in your head and you can start focusing on what is important: The content, the argument and the ideas.

Ahrens, How to Take Smart Notes (p. 90).

The slip-box takes care of storing facts and information. Thinking and understanding is what it can't take off your shoulders, which is why it makes sense to focus on this part of the work. That it facilitates learning as well is a nice side effect.

Ahrens, How to Take Smart Notes (pp. 95-96).

Philosophers, neuroscientists, educators and psychologists like to disagree in many different aspects on how the brain works. But they no longer disagree when it comes to the need for external scaffolding. Almost all agree nowadays that real thinking requires some kind of externalisation, especially in the form of writing. "Notes on paper, or on a computer screen [...] do not make contemporary physics or other kinds of intellectual endeavour easier, the make it possible" is one of the key takeaways in a contemporary handbook of neuroscientists (Levy 2011, 290).