As kids we all used to draw and doodle. We were raised expressing ourselves through shapes, figures, colours, and creations that were visual declarations of what was going on inside our minds. We would use visual learning tools and were often taught in classrooms with walls covered with creative, colourful and interactive (although often super cheesy) drawings and posters. So where did it stop? Did what we learn become so complex that a picture of some sort could not help explain it? Did our ability to draw vanish after elementary school? The answer is no. Here’s why doodling is the future language of literacy.

First, lets define what a doodle is. Although history has shunned the doodle and made it seem like a meaningless drawing or an excuse to not pay attention, it is actually quite the opposite. To doodle should be defined as “to make spontaneous marks to help yourself think.”

Doodles are not art. They are not for visual pleasure, but rather to serve the purpose of conveying a message to others or even to the doodler to return to later. They can include words, shapes, lines, stick figures, smiley faces, and even drawings of facial expressions. Ryan Germick, Chief Doodler at Google (yes that’s actually a position), suggests that doodling incorporates all 4 learning styles: visual, auditory, kinesthetic, reading/writing.

Doodling your notes in lectures or in a meeting will not only make taking notes much more fun but it is a proven way to retain more of the information. Compare the notes below. While one is boring, lacks emphasis and is made in uniform style and size, the other is interactive, memorable and visually appealing. Which do you think you’re more likely to remember?

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Now if you’re thinking that you can’t doodle because you can’t draw anything past a basic stick figure, be at eaze ! It doesn’t take picasso to learn the basics needed to become a infographic doodler. I learned by reading a great book by Sunni Brown called “The Doodle Revolution”. It’s a fun, interactive, and insightful book that details how doodling is a skill every professional should learn to aquire and use. It’s made my notes go from boring speed writing that gave me hand cramps to amazing infographic doodles that I return to time and time again. If you’re still not convinced, watch Sunni Brown’s TED Talk on the idea of the doodle below: