When in doubt, doodle

When in doubt, doodle

Disha Sharma's Layout avatar

Do you know the feeling when everyone around you is thinking hard and listening to the ongoing discussion, and you just can’t help doodling?

It’s almost guilt. The office stationery is NOT for doodling in meetings and brainstorming sessions, right? You suddenly realize what you’ve been doing and tell yourself to concentrate and contribute.

And it’s not right to blame yourself for thinking this. Lots of people see doodling as a sign of distraction. But it’s not.

Even while doodling, you’re paying attention. Although in a different way, you’re as present in the discussion as the others are. And if you go by what most studies around doodling suggest, you’re probably going to grasp and retain the content better than the others.

doodle3 My ScribblerToo doodle.

Doodling has lots of proven advantages. And Infodoodling is a popular doodling type that identifies problems and helps with finding solutions.

If you find yourself stuck in tricky project situations that leave you full of doubts, start practicing infodoodling. You’ll be surprised to discover simple solutions through means that you wouldn’t have otherwise thought of.

Four reasons doodling helps when you’re in doubt:

1. You get a free hand

Nobody is judging you. You don’t have to (unless you want to) show your doodle to your teammates or lead. Just knowing this lets you push further your thoughts, observations, analysis, and alternatives without worrying about approvals from others.

Doodling gives you full liberty. It gives you a workspace that’s not moderated.

2. You don’t have to process

When you decide to doodle a situation, you just doodle it. You don’t process any information. This ensures that everything that’s on your mind shows up in your doodle. You’re not bogged down or overwhelmed by the underlying information.

It’s plain and uncomplicated, without any details to consider.

Doodling lets you look at the situation as it is. It gives you clarity.

3. You can look at all the options

Since your doodle is just a reflection of the situation, you can brainstorm better. This lets you list all the possible solutions without having to worry about ideas like feasibility or technicality.

You never know how simple solutions can get if you can only think straight. Perhaps too many details and information shut our minds and make us overlook some obvious solutions.

Doodling lets you evaluate all the options. It lets you explore unclouded possibilities.

4. You can define anchor points

There are some points where things either get stuck or start resolving. Obviously, both represent important stages in a project.

Doodles help you recognize these strategic points. If at any point, you just don’t know how to branch out, you’ll know you’ve hit a roadblock. Likewise, if an element of your doodle branches out to several others, you’ll know you’ve got a good point to leverage.

If you come across an idea that doesn’t resonate with you, just doodling it can mark it in your memory. So, you’ll know what to reconsider when you’re actually working on the solution.


Get Set, Doodle

Of course, there’s your paper and pen – the best doodling toolkit that could ever be.

And there’s Microsoft’s OneNote. From my experience, OneNote’s doodling comes closest to the paper-pen experience.

Among the other online options, I really like ScribblerToo. You get a huge canvas, lots of colors, and the option to upload an image in the background.

And one more, Jackson Pollock. It’s pure fun. Ink spills as you move your cursor, and clicking changes the color.

Have you ever doodled your way to a solution? I’d love to know your experience and your favorite tools.

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