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Doodling: A Legit Way to Focus, Learn, and Retain Information

Have you ever wondered if doodling helps us in our learning process or if it's just a mindless diversion to help us get through moments of boredom? You may be surprised at the answer.

Research shows that doodling has some good traits. Bryan Gibson, PhD, a professor of social psychology at Central Michigan University says, "In certain situations, what is typically a detrimental trait can turn out to be a good one."

Scientific research supports the idea that doodling aids in concentration. In a published case study What Does Doodling Do?, Jackie Andrade from the University of Plymouth, UK, conducted an experiment with 40 participants to answer the question, "Does doodling improve or hinder attention to the primary task?" and concluded, "doodling may facilitate deeper processing by reducing daydreaming."

Explore more about the fascinating subject of doodling and its benefits. Below are some resources that will take you deeper into this topic and engage you in some hands-on doodling and drawing fun.

Explore Doodling Resources

The Importance of Doodling and Creativity

A doodling lesson from Fantasy Art School.

What Does Doodling Do? Case Study

An applied cognitive psychology paper abstract by Jackie Andrade from the School of Psychology, University of Plymouth, UK answering the question "Does doodling improve or hinder attention to the primary task?" based on a study with 40 participants.

The Power of the Doodle: Improve Your Focus and Memory

Wall Street Journal article by Sue Shellenbarger discussing how "Research shows that doodling helps people stay focused, grasp new concepts and retain information."

Doodling at Wikipedia

"A doodle is a type of sketch, an unfocused drawing made while a person's attention is otherwise occupied. Doodles are simple drawings that can have concrete representational meaning or may just be abstract shapes." Contents include: Etymology, Effects on memory, and Famous doodlers.

How to Doodle at wikiHow

A step-by-step demonstration on using doodling for improving drawing skills.

Doodle Art Alley — Explore the Magic of the Doodle!

A fun resource featuring sections on doodling basics (What to Doodle, How to Doodle), free coloring pages, doodle galleries, history, and interpretation.

Sybil MacBeth's Praying in Color

"'Praying in Color: Drawing a New Path to God' by Sybil MacBeth introduces the active, visual prayer practice the author calls 'praying in color.'" The site supports the ideas in the book and how to use doodling as a meditative prayer practice by illustrated examples of "praying in color" prayers and its accompanying blog.

Draw a Stickman

A fun, 5-minute creative doodle diversion. Draw a stickman and then watch it come to life!

10 Apps For Creating Epic Doodles

Tori Lewis rates smartphone drawing apps Paper,, Bamboo Paper, Sketchbook Express, ASKetch, Draw, and others that can be used for virtual doodle making.

Tangle Patterns

A collaborative community of tangler's who share methods and patterns for doodling based on the Zentangle® way. Features downloadable lessons and techniques, instructions, and inspirational doodles to lead you off into your own direction and make this intriguing form of art your own.