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Business Strategy: Doodles in the Workplace Retain More Information

Business Strategy: Doodles in the Workplace Retain More InformationCrayons; chalkboards; markers; these are typically associated with a children’s daycare center rather than a place of business. What if these were staples at companies such as Facebook or Zappos?

More and more companies are applying less traditional techniques to foster productivity in the workplace. Employees are encouraged to take part in all types of unusual practices, from sketching and doodling ideas in meetings to drawing ideas on the walls.

Doodling has been integrated in multiple ways. They are used as an alternative note taking system at meetings to explain complicated concepts to colleagues. Other companies are incorporating white boards, chalkboards and writable glass on surfaces throughout the office to spark creativity. Some are even holding training sessions or hiring graphic recorders to visually record meetings.

There are several arguments behind these new practices. This “visual note-taking” can help generate ideas, improve communication and encourage collaboration among colleagues. According to the Wall Street Journal, a 2009 study published in the Journal of Applied Cognitive Psychology found that doodlers retained more that non-doodlers when remembering information that had been presented in a boring context, such as a meeting or conference call.

Software maker Citrix Systems even opened a “design collaboration” workspace in its Santa Clara, Calif., headquarters, stocked with everything from sticky notes and construction paper to pipe cleaners and foam balls for 3-D models.

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