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THE PEN &        BLOG  

Here's your free pass to start doodling at work

Updated: Jan 20, 2023

When I was younger, Maths was never my strong point. Or Physics. Or Chemistry. Basically, anything that required a good mechanical and 'equation keen' brain. Instead, I would naively try to solve problems by drawing on the side of my textbooks. If you're wondering if it worked -kind of! It helped to improve how I remembered what was said during class and how to get better at sorting, simplifying and communicating my ideas.

January 11th is World Sketchnote Day and what better time than today to ask your boss or coworkers to skip the mechanical talk and move straight to creative exploration for better ideas!

That sounds dandy Eleanor but why should I Sketchnote?

Grabbing a piece of paper and pen and drawing out your thoughts and feelings is a great way to simplify what's going on in your mind; it also helps to communicate to others a clearer overview of your ideas or processes in a work situation. Visuals help bring to life the bigger picture for all to see, thus allowing for better collaboration and communication, and to get your colleagues thinking cohesively with less confusion.

How to start Sketchnoting?

You can start anywhere providing you have some drawing tools (pen/ pencil/ paper or digital tablet). Here's the key to starting - please have compassion and not judge yourself or your drawing standards.

I cannot emphasize this enough, it's not about how you're doing it but why; ideas over Art as Mike Rhode would say.

For a warm up exercise, start by doodling very simply items that you see around the room (observational drawing) then progress to drawing out an idea you've had in your mind or a current process you're working through. Basic shapes (squares, circles) and stickmen are good!

When and where do I start Sketchnoting?

A great place to start doodling is on a phone or Zoom call. Listen to the conversation and start drawing shapes, lines or expressive lettering in a notepad - whatever feels right in the moment (remember, no judgement). Adding words or titles to the doodles will help to further embed the information in your mind.

How can I learn more?

If you'd like to guidance on how to sketchnote on a 1-2-1 basis or with your teams, we can arrange in-house workshops or online tutorials. We've helped clients such as Welsh Government, Exeter University and others to develop their staff's visual and creative thinking capacity, communication styles and problem solving skills, with great results that are ongoing.

Contact us here to discuss your ideas.

Image courtesy of Exeter University

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