Did you know that colors can actually have an impact on the neurological pathways in your brain? Because every color has its own wavelength, each of them is going to affect your behavior and attention when learning in a different way.
Red is the color that increases attentional level the most. Using red-colored ink will help you memorize the words a lot better as we associate this color with danger and mistakes – the things that people subconsciously focus on the most.
What other colors can you use to write down the most important notes? Let’s find out!
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What Ink Helps Memorize?
How does the color of the ink help you in memorizing certain information? The right color simply increases your attentional level and arousal. And the more attention is focused on the text, the higher the chances that these words are going to be transferred to your ‘permanent’ memory storage.
Studies have shown that students are more likely to recall the information that they have written in red ink. By the way, you don’t necessarily have to write the text in such ink, in order to memorize it – simply reading red notes will help you remember the words as well.
To make things a bit easier for you, we have listed the colors in accordance with their ‘memory improving effect’. The first color will help you the most, while the last color might not increase your attentional level at all.
Does Writing in Red Help You Remember?
Compared to the other types of colors, red color is attached to stronger emotions. We are used to associating the color with danger, so when we see it, we tend to become more attentive.
Red is also the color that has the longest wavelength and the lowest frequency. This fact might also aid in memorization as such a wavelength makes red an easy, warm color on the eye. Moreover, it releases the most energy.
A lot of teachers still use red ink to highlight the mistakes that we make at school. That’s why, for the majority of us, red is also associated with errors. People naturally pay more attention to mistakes as they don’t want to make the same ones in the future.
All these feelings that you get when seeing the color red make it a great choice for those who need to memorize something as the color drastically increases the attentional level.
Tip: write out the most important information in red ink on yellow paper – such a combo will help you remember the words even better.
Blue Ink vs. Black Ink for Memorizing
It hasn’t been proven that black is the color that is better than blue for memorizing or vice versa. In a lot of ways, these colors are quite similar – you can’t call them bright and they don’t really evoke strong emotions.
Our habits are what make blue a better color for memorization when compared to black.
The truth is that black is the ‘default color’ for us. All textbooks and posts on social media are usually written in black. We are so used to this color that the notes written in black don’t really stimulate much attention.
In this sense, blue is a bit more ‘exotic’. So, when you write in blue, your brain will think that this information deserves a bit more attention. Blue is a trustworthy color, it enhances cognitive performance, and is great for brainstorming. With that being said, in detailed-oriented tasks, blue is definitely inferior to red.
Does Green Ink Help You Remember?
Green is the color that helps with long-term concertation and clarity. It is also a low wavelength color that promotes restfulness as it’s one of the easiest colors on the eyes.
Using green ink might be an amazing way to help memorize things as it’s a color that we don’t normally read. The novelty of the color will increase your attention and make your brain more excited about writing in green.
How to Take Color-Coded Notes?
Using unexpected, attention-provoking colors such as red and green to write down your notes will help you memorize the words a lot better.
But do bear in mind that the more you use one-single ink color, the more ‘muted’ the effect on your recall memory will become. Your brain will simply get used to the color and will stop paying as much attention to it as it did before.
Learning to take color-coded notes will help you avoid such an issue. Here are a few tips that you can try out:
- Color-code after taking the notes
Color-coding during the actual lecture or meeting might be counterproductive. If you want to use different colors as you write, you can try multi-colored pens. I’ve always really liked Dr. Grip’s multi-colored pen. However, going for colorful highlighters after the initial note-taking might be a better idea as you’ll get to review what you have written down one extra time.
- Always use the same colors for the same categories
Come up with a system and stick to it. For example, red can become your color of choice for the main ideas, while blue can be used for facts and figures.
By the way, try not to use more than 3-4 colors as you also need to remember what colors mean what.
- Color-code the most important information
If everything in your notes is color-coded, nothing is going to grab your attention. Too much color can be distracting, so make sure that the information that you highlight serves a specific purpose.
Colors really do have an effect on our feelings. But what ink helps memorize?
If you need to memorize a small amount of information, then you can try writing in red on yellow paper.
However, any color that you’re not used to seeing in ordinary life can stimulate your brain. Green and blue ink is a great alternative to black, as the latter is used for the majority of texts that we come across throughout the day.