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Doodling approved

First the data

Doodling while listening can help with remembering details, rather than implying that the mind is wandering as is the common perception. According to a study published today [2009] in the journal Applied Cognitive Psychology, subjects given a doodling task while listening to a dull phone message had a 29% improved recall compared to their non-doodling counterparts.

Who doodles?

According to a recent NPR article, doodlers are in good company.

Gates is a doodler, and he’s not alone. Lyndon Johnson doodled. Ralph Waldo Emerson doodled. Ronald Reagan drew pictures of cowboys, horses and hearts crossed with arrows. Most of us doodle at one point or another. But why?”

Because our brains need to constantly process information, doodling is not necessarily a bad sign.  To learn more, read this NPR article, Bored? Try Doodling to Keep the Brain on Task, by Alix Spiegel.


This Readers Digest article is also a good one, focusing on 6 benefits of doodling:

  1. Doodling enhances attention
  2. Doodling improves memory
  3. Doodling keeps you present
  4. Doodling can lift your spirits
  5. Doodling reduces stress
  6. Doodling boosts creativity.

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