Why doodle?

When my son was in second grade, his teachers had him keep a doodle notebook. The kids were allowed/encouraged to use their doodle notebooks whenever the teachers were reading aloud. My son’s doodle notebook is exquisite and one of my favorite possessions, but more than that it helped him focus on the delivery of new material. It may sound a little crazy but look at these findings as reported in the Washington Post:

“Researchers think doodling may help boost concentration and recall in one, or both, of two ways. It might prevent us from sliding fully into day-dreaming mode, keeping us anchored in a concrete activity. Doodling might also help us maintain just the right level of mental “arousal” that keeps our brains just interested enough to gather what we need from a conversation or phone call.” Findings from this study indicate marked improvements in recall by participants who were doodling over those who were not. Read the Washington Post article.

So go ahead keep doodling.  And if you are looking for a little inspiration, check these out:

Jackson Pollock . org

Squidoo-Doodle Art

Doodlebug

10 Comments

  1. The doodle looks like modern art! I like the link to Jackson Pollock, my kids spend hours playing with that one.
    I have also heard an explanation that occupying both sides of your brain at one time helps you to focus, so the left brain would be listening to the teacher and the right brain is freely coloring.
    Its a convincing challenge to the common thought that doodling is a sign of non-interest!

  2. I used to doodle while taking notes in classes and I still doodle while taking on the phone. I have to agree with the statement that it helps concentration, as I can stay completely focused on my conversation. More so than if I doing another task. I also think it activates retention for those of us who are more visual learners than by audio. The sketches bring up memories what was going on at the time you made them.

  3. I doodle all the time, and save some of them. why, I don’t know. probably because i think everyone here at DHM is so amazingly creative, and i would like to be. it’s nice to know that it’s ok, and i’m not adel-brained (is that a word adel?).

  4. That was such fun on a Friday…..loved the Jackson Pollack website!!

  5. Crayons, delicious pens, and paper are an absolute MUST on every conference table. There is something very soothing, yet also engaging about doodling during staff meetings!

    Great article.

  6. Maybe we should start a page within the blog to collect our doodles as a reminder that though not bound for the Museum of Modern Art they are expressions of our creative spirits and can be important in our ability to fully access our brains and focus in a more present manner.

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