Caught Doodling At The Office

Caught Doodling At The Office

Doodling has been a topic of conversation at the office. Well, I say conversation, but really it’s been a group of us murmuring while absent-mindedly drawing.

The weird thing about doodling is that almost everyone likes doing it, but we’re not allowed to admit it. And if you don’t doodle, maybe that’s because technology has changed rather than you’ve changed.

Now we’re on mobile phones all the time, some of us simply don’t have a chance to #doodle. But life wasn’t always like that. For people who remember The Time Before Mobiles – cue children gasping in horror – doodling was always an option. Here’s a video that explains why.

I’m not sure I believe the stuff about the left and right brain – I think that’s on its way to being debunked – but doodling does take you to a different place a for a bit. It’s kind of like mentally casting off onto a still lake in a rowing boat, all while you’re on the phone in a busy office.

Talking about offices, maybe we should encourage doodling at work. Here’s an interesting #TED talk on why doodling has a bad rap, but how it might actually help you get to things done and to retain information.

One of the neat things about that video is that it touches on doodle analysis – that what you draw says deep things about you. That’s not something to worry about. I don’t think anyone’s going to peer over your shoulder and discern your plans. (Unless you’re very clearly drawing your line manager slipping on a banana skin.)

So get yourself a nice notepad and a fine art pen, the kind that architects use, and set out your stall. When you’re on the phone or in a meeting, you’re going to draw and you’ll be all the smarter for it. You could even set up a little doodle gallery on your desk – remember how art is good for the office?  Of course you’ll need some background music…

Should we encourage doodling at work, or are pens and paper best left to words, not pictures?  Let us know in the comments.


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