Why doodling is good for you

Do you doodle?

I may not be Leonardo Da Vinci, who is left handed and wrote backwards, but like me, the man doodled! Before and after Mona Lisa, he had thousands of pages of doodles, scribbles, visuals of his ideas and more.  These became representations of what’s to become a hydraulic pump, a helicopter, a tank, concentrated solar power, a calculator, etc.

Visual spatial learners doodle. It one of their ways to communicate, that is with images rather than words.

Do you know of other famous doodlers? I know a couple of the US Presidents doodle: Andrew Jackson, Theodore Roosevelt, John K. Kennedy, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Franklin D. Roosevelt and more. John Keats, a physician and famous poet, also doodled and drew. For my math wiz friends, remember the Ulam Spiral? He was bored one day at a conference in 1963 so he started doodling numbers in a spiral starting with 1 and in a circular pattern only to realize that prime numbers lined up nicely in a diagonal line. This is an illustration of it.With so many doodlers around the globe, there’s not just books and articles about it but even a National Doodle Day!

With all of that, do I suggest daydreaming in a meeting? No. I suggest opening your mind to accept potentially new ideas that you can’t grasp yet with words but can be captured through visuals. This is one reason why we use graphics in our presentations, right? Well, in my doodling, this is my initial more abstract construct before the expressive representation comes to the fore.

So back to my original question – Do you doodle? It is relaxing, it frees your mind, and helps in solving complex enterprise-wide challenges. At least it does for me… and maybe you can figure out how to balance that budget for your upcoming fiscal 2011 planning meeting.

3 comments to Why doodling is good for you

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  • thanks for your comment Dan. Seems like the more complex the topic the more elaborate my doodles.

  • Dan

    I’m always doodling during class! The margins of my paper are filled with drawings. I can remember doing this since elementary school lol. It’s good to see that many great minds had a thing for doodling as well, and that the activity has its benefits.

    Interesting post!