I remember at school that it was a sin tantamount to blasphemy, theft or plagiarism. But often I find myself doodling in general office meetings. Doodling was a shame – a sign that “YOU’RE NOT PAYING ATTENTION!”

As an adult I find this is simply untrue.

In the same way vacuuming, walking, driving to classical music or washing up empties the mind of noise, so does doodling. Indeed, through doodling I think you focus on the matter at hand intuitively, in an uncorrupted sense.

My drawings happen naturally without a thought (perhaps that’s the definition of a doodle?), whereas the information being discussed and exchanged in the meeting is consumed and processed with a tenacious ease.
I’d argue that doodling really is quite a productive tool for listening as well as hearing.

I have a notebook for recording all pertinent information and decisions, as well as noting what I’ve been working on throughout the day so I know what to book time to on my timesheet at the end of it without having to make it up or rely on my grossly inaccurate memory.

The latter, of course, has been made redundant by the journal view in Pillar Software’s Time Manager, leaving less reason to carry a notebook. Though I still do. And I continue to doodle too. Normally its leaves and vine. A house. 3D cubes or vanishing point lettering. I wonder if our doodles say anything about who we are? Alfred Adler would probably agree but I’m not so sure what Sigmund Freud would make of my innocuous scribblings.

And now there’s a home for those among us who doodle with a distinctive flair: www.doodlersanonymous.com