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Paper helps you to concentrate. Studies have shown how much better students at college remember their lectures when they take paper notes – so how can we utilize the power of paper in our working lives?

When the Kindle was launched many commentators predicted the demise of the paper book. Why would people continue to buy such weighty, unwieldy tomes when they could have the convenience of accessing a whole library of literature through their e-Readers?

Yet, over the last few years, paper books sales have started to rise again. At a time when the sales of e-readers are falling.

The tactile delight of paper

The tactile delight of paper is something quite inimitable and irreplaceable – and perhaps that’s why so many of us are returning to the printed word.

Touch is an important sense,” says Erin Wildermuth, “and when we engage with multiple sensations we are better able to tie things together, recall them later and, in short, learn.”

Perhaps that’s why entrepreneurs and business leaders like to take paper notes.

Michael Hyatt argues that, as a leader, taking notes in a meeting also sends a strong signal: “Your people think: if the boss is writing it down, he probably intends to follow up. I’d better pay attention.

They would do better to take notes themselves. Research shows that taking notes on paper helps to keep you engaged. What’s more, it helps with later retention of the information written down.

So how should you use paper to help you concentrate?

There are no rules. You don’t need to be a great writer. You don’t need to have wonderful handwriting either. You don’t even need to take good notes, necessarily. Research shows that even the simple act of doodling can help you to concentrate.

All you need is a piece of paper and a pen.