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Just doodle it

Just doodle it

Facebook Inc. and other companies are encouraging employees to take notes visually to enhance creativity and productivity. Kipp can hardly stand to think of a local company doing the same...

April 26, 2012 4:14 by

Taking meeting minutes has just become a lot more for fun for employees at doodle-friendly companies. Are you wondering what exactly ‘doodle-friendly companies’ are? They’re exactly what they sound like. According to the Wall Street Journal, an increasing number of companies are encouraging their employees to resort to doodling and drawing to convey ideas and thoughts. Facebook Inc., for one, has installed chalkboards, white boards and writable glass on almost every surface so that employees can express themselves. Visual note taking, as it is known, “can help generate ideas, fuel collaboration and simplify communication”.

This Kipper is a doodler. I draw on practically every surface I can, including myself. My workspace is filled with colorful pens, pencils and my wall is covered in doodles and paintings. When I go to meetings, I always come equipped with a notepad and an intention to strictly take notes—but more often than not, my doodling tendencies get the better of me. I am more of a visual thinker and my first instinct, when faced with a piece of paper and a pen, is to doodle. I understand just how helpful and liberating it can be to be able to feel free to doodle and draw as you please.

Which is why I’d be really interested to see how well this approach would be received here in the UAE. But from my experience, I don’t have high hopes for the success of ‘visual note taking’ in UAE offices. I still remember the look of disappointment a manager gave me when she looked at the notepad I was taking notes on; after a long meeting, my notepad read notes amidst a jungle of scribbles and doodles. I thought it looked beautiful, but turns out it was a reflection of my “inability to concentrate.”

I believe part of this aversion to the doodle comes from a traditional/conventional working mind frame. It is an approach of the yesteryears, one which sees working as something you do with a straight face from nine to six. Clock in, clock out. In the mean time, push paper, keep your head down and work. A sad thought, really- but for most of us it is a reality. So here is the question: what has to change before corporate culture in the UAE catches up to our changing reality?

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