Sketchbook Saturday: How Doodling Can Improve Your Focus and Creativity

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What do your doodles say about you

There’s a certain unpleasant stigma surrounding doodles. For whatever reason, they’ve gained a bad reputation as being “lazy,” or the art of the untalented. Doodles, however, are exactly the opposite of that: They are the mark of a busy and creative mind, and can actually help to keep you on task!

Sunni Brown’s 2011 TED Talk, “Doodlers Unite!” brought into popular conversation something that studies have been proving for years – doodling is a great exercise for increasing comprehension and creative thinking. Here at the Endpaper Blog, we are proud fans of doodle culture and definitely recommend you check out Brown’s TED video.

There are fascinating evolutionary and sociological reasons to redefine our understanding of “doodle,” which according to Sunni Brown should actually mean “to make spontaneous marks to help yourself think.” Here are some of the unexpected ways that doodling can have a positive impact on your thinking process.

Increase Memory Retention

Taking written notes can help you remember the specifics of what you’ve heard – there’s no denying that. However, studies have proven that note-takers who add a doodled component are even more likely to remember what they experience than are those who simply wrote the words. By adding this extra visual component to the process, you’re opening up another part of your learning capacity and giving your brain another means of hanging on to the information.

Understand Data and Connections

Doodling and managing scientific data may seem to be at opposite ends of the intellectual spectrum but, in reality, they both come down to making connections. A hastily drawn doodle can achieve the same comprehension results as can a graph or diagram. Who says that something sketched in the margins is a “lesser” type of illustration than those commonly accepted in scientific circles? For visual learners, this type of information representation can be extremely helpful in showing how concepts or statistics connect.

Stop the Daydreams

It’s easy for your brain to wander in a long meeting or lecture, no matter how important the topic being discussed. Doodling, rather than pulling your mind away from what you should be learning, can actually be a helpful preemptive measure against the black hole of daydreaming. If you doodle to supplement written notes you’re even more likely to remember what you were meant to be learning, as you now have illustrations to back up the information you’ve written down.

About Paperblanks®: At Paperblanks®, we believe that art should have a place in all aspects of life. That’s why we follow the artist’s way in everything we do – creating, crafting and releasing designs we believe have the power to touch people. For more about Paperblanks®, go to our website at paperblanks.com.

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