Does writing the words down help?
So every new word I learn, I write down in its category, and I'd like to know if anyone else does this, or if it helps at all?
Yes, writing makes one memorize the words better. I write w/ a fountain pen to improve my handwriting (both in English and Russian) as well. I write all the Duo exercises in notebooks. Takes more time, but I feel it is worth it. You can also review the lessons if they are written down. Reviewing helps to memorize as well.
It does help. I believe physically writing with a pen or pencil is best, but typing also helps. Doing both is even better.
With lectures, for example, I found that typing up my hastily scrawled notes into an ordered form later in the day (before I forgot what they meant) served very well.
Physically writing the words help. When something won't stick with just flashcards, I write the word out several times while sounding it out. I also (sometimes) make up sentences with vocab words.
In addition to vocab, it also helps to summarize the grammar in your own words (but make sure it is still accurate!).