Why you should doodle

Via knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu   Article

Stick Figures vs. Spreadsheets: Why You Should Doodle at Work

“… the studies are now conclusive — done across the world and over the last couple of decades — that there is no better way to help you remember things than writing them down and drawing little icons or little sketches or little doodles that help you clarify. That’s point No. 1.

The second one is the tactile act of putting a pen or a pencil in our hand and sketching on a piece of paper. Although it does not seem like it, it turns out to have measurably improved impact on what we know and what we remember. It turns out that if we spent our lives tapping on a keyboard, we’re actually bypassing one of the most powerful mechanisms that our brain has to retrieve and capture information, which is the physical act, the kinesthetic act of trying to sketch it out on a piece of paper. A keyboard is an amazing tool for inputting a very linear set of symbols, which become linear words, which become a linear explanation of an idea. That’s awesome. But what they do not do is … to capture the more spatial, kinesthetic and visual side of ideas. That’s where the pictures come in. …

I want to be really clear, I am not talking about an artistic process. I am talking about a thinking process. In these meetings or these sales sessions or these planning reviews, nobody cares about the quality of your drawing. What people care about is, “Do I understand your idea? What are the three main pieces of your idea and how does the first piece lead to the second, which logically leads to the third?” When I can see it, my visual mind lights up and says, ‘Yeah, I get it, I get it. Can I have the pen now because I saw it the other way and maybe connect an arrow?’ This handing the pen back and forth is really easy. It becomes an incredible mind meld, especially when you’re in a leadership position or a sales position where you are trying to convince someone of the power of your idea.”

 

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