The intention is quite simple which is to try and capture an unstructured stream of conciousness by recording it on paper.  To execute it is simply to allow yourself to relax, not think directly about the problem and  see where your thoughts take you.  There is basis to this as I am sure we have all had the experience of arriving at the solution to a problem whilst doing something else – literally that Eureka! moment of awaking in the middle of the night with a solution or a great idea.

There is a solid basis for the use of imagery to stimulate, encourage memory and recall. Of course photography itself contributes to this and it is surprising how many “iconic” photographs people – even non-photographers – will actually recognise along with a whole host of then associated memories and materials – much more effectively than for example written material. This both in terms of the time it takes to consume written material and the effort required to absorb the content and recall it i.e. there is much truth in the phrase “A picture is worth a thousand words”.

There has been a great deal of analysis and writing about this subject both from a business and scientific sense.

Example of encouraging creative thinking :

Example of someone finding it a valuable technique.

Example of analysis of process and related topics.


I find trying to do this as a formal process is counter intuitive, particularly the exercise in a class room setting where there are background distractions and its very hard to completely relax and not think of the issue in hand.

This is purely speculation on my part but I suspect this suits some type’s of people much better than others. My background and formal business education was in a technical and scientific disciplines – Engineering and IT.  Accordingly I tend to think in a more structured manner and or process than this technique suggests and can absorb information much better when it is in a logical form.

I do recognise the value of capturing ideas and making notes at the time of inspiration for further development. I have been a life long doodler e.g during meetings I was only peripherally involved in or whilst on the telephone however have never found it a useful tool for idea generation compared to more structured notes – more akin to brainstorming.


  • Simple to implement, only requires pen and paper.
  • Can be used anywhere or any time.
  • Ensures all ideas are recorded


  • Lacks a focussed process and thus may not generate an outcome at all.
  • Suits some personalties better than others

Of the techniques explored I found this the least useful personally.

ht_google_doodles_jp_110323_wmainThere is a surprising amount of “Doodle Art” this has reached new heights of fame with the famous “Google Doodles” being used to replace the goggle logo on its search engine to mark special anniversaries, people or events on specific days. Personally I find it hard to describe such refined and crafted pieces of work “doodles” in comparison to the less concious activity of traditional doodling.

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