Grab a pencil. Because our Rittenhouse Fitness Trainer Team loves this simple tool.

So, Tim Herrera writes the Smarter Living Newsletter for The NY Times. And he often has clever suggestions from a variety of disciplines.

A few weeks ago, he suggested this:

If you want to be more effective remembering something, draw it.

Here’s the article. But, that seemed too simple to us. And a little silly. Draw a turtle for steadiness? Or a chicken to remember to pick up some wings? Really? We’re not artists.

Well, we asked some or our team and friends to try too.

And we tried it. We all think that it worked.

Herrera was citing a recent follow-on study by a pair of experimental psychologists. They were investigating our retention of free recall.

In their first study, a few years back. They found that writing out what we want to remember beat just trying to recall a list of objects.

In this study, they compared writing out words versus drawing a picture in seven experiments.

Writing it down beat not. Drawing beat writing dramatically.

As the authors noted: “drawing improves memory by encouraging a seamless integration of semantic, visual, and motor aspects of a memory trace.”

And they were doing this with different age groups to compare cognitive differences. It makes sense that younger groups had a better memory.

When comparing younger groups and older ones when drawing, the older ones closed most of the gap.

As always, our Rittenhouse Fitness Trainer Team is, here to help. But we’re not sure that you’ll want to ask us for drawing lessons.