I’m not a skilled sketch artist, but I enjoy mixing drawings and doodles with my notetaking. Once, I even created a five-part series on SmallBusiness.com on how to use simple doodles on a whiteboard to convey ideas or manage a meeting. One of my favorite Twitter hashtags is #Sketchnotes where there is a steady stream of examples of people using doodles and drawings to capture the essence of a presentation or speech—or just artists showing off how much better they can draw than the rest of us. SmallBusiness.com even has a Pinterest board of some #sketchnotes examples.

I’ve never heard—or, if I have, I’ve forgotten—that drawing may help a person’s memory. But for a study published recently in The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, researchers asked study participants to draw or write down different items. The study found that subjects were better able to recall the items when they drew them.

In another experiment, subjects were given a few different tasks to complete. They had to either write down the list of tasks, draw them, visualize them, list attributes of the word or look at a picture of the word in context. Subjects were more likely to remember the words that were drawn.

Findings of these and other similar experiments may indicate that drawing enhances memory relative to writing. Or perhaps they just indicate that people who draw already have good memories and are smarter than the rest of us.

To put these findings into practice, a recent article on NYMag.com suggests drawing your to-do list, rather than writing it. According to the experts, this can help you remember what you have to do and stay focused on those tasks throughout the day.

It may not work for everyone, but take it from a long-time doodler and to-do list writer: It will be more fun and perhaps even more effective than most to-do apps.

Suggestion for future memory study | Why do some people forget how many drawing instruments they have at the office whenever they walk by the  pen section of an office supply store?


via: Lifehacker | The drawing effect: Evidence for reliable and robust memory benefits in free recall, The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology | NYMag.com


Illustration: ThinkStock

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