Have you ever been called to order while doodling in school?

It happened to me all the time back in school, because allegedly I was not listening to what the teacher said. Doodling was and is considered to be anti-intellectual and counter to serious learning. According to Sunni Brown, however, doodling is an incredibly powerful tool when you are exposed to verbal information (or for argument’s sake any kind of information): you retain more of that information than your non-doodling counterparts. Additionally, it has a profound effect on creative problem-solving and deep information processing.

Some people may argue that once you start doodling, you already stopped listening. That is a wrong assumption, because you can’t turn off your listening. Unless you’re actively listening to something else (perhaps your internal chatter?), then all the information is going in, you just need to get unconcious recall of that information (Paddy Hare).

We intake information by engaging in at least two of the four learning modalities or one of them coupled with an emotional experience: visual, auditory, reading and writing and kinesthetic. The incredible contribution of the doodle is that it engages all four learning modalities simultaneously with the likely possibility of an emotional experience.

Doodles that we collect and retain – on a Papernomad laptop sleeve for instance – become mnemonic devices through which we can create a pathway into our own past. We only know where we are going if we know where we come from.

Watch Sunni Brown’s talk: Doodlers, unite!
For more inspiration read her book “Gamestorming” here she illustrates how using art and games can empower serious problem-solving.

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