I like doodling. It helps me work with clients to find different ways to solve a problem


The word ‘sketching’ is a bit too fancy for what I do. I prefer ‘doodling’. I doodle as I think. It gets ideas out of my head and on to the paper.

It’s probably a throwback to my three years at architecture school. You had to think on your feet and have design conversations with fellow inmates. Doodling came in handy then and it still helps now.

I often doodle with team members or clients. They say a picture is worth a thousand words and I’ve found it to be true. When we’re all looking at the same thing, it’s clear what works and doesn’t. People decide what they like and don’t. It’s a good way to cut to the chase.

The tools of my trade

I’ve read a fair few blog posts about sketching. It feels like there’s a bit of an arms race going on – who’s got the nicest pens, the fanciest paper and wotnot. That’s fine, but I prefer to doodle on whatever’s to hand.

Right now I’ve got an A5 plain paper journal and a no frills felt tip pen. If I happen to have a highlighter pen in my bag I’ll use that too. They’re not flash, but they do the job.

From time to time I’ll get big A2 or A1 sheets of paper and chunky markers. If there’s a whiteboard, even better. It depends on what’s around and the company I’m in.

If you’ve not doodled in a while (or at all) then now’s a good time to start. Pick up a pen and draw what you’re thinking. It’ll make conversations and decisions easier. Plus you’ll get really good at Pictionary.