I’m a doodlebug through and through. I was the girl who doodled all over my notes and wrote important historical dates in large block font to draw more attention to them. It’s always been a part of my life. But, after I graduated finished my education, I lost a lot of my creativity. The bullet journal system reignited that creative passion and allowed me to express myself through doodles and fun lettering styles.
One of my favorite ways to draw more attention to important tasks, memories, or events in my weekly logs is to use doodle icons. They’re quick and fun to draw, and they serve a good purpose.
The Science Behind Doodling
According to a 2009 experiment conducted by Jackie Andrade, a psychology professor at the University of Plymouth, doodling is beneficial for memory and attention. In her experiment, she had two groups listen to the same phone message. One group doodled while they listened to the message and the other group did not. The results showed that the group who doodles remembered 29% more than the group that didn’t.
This study, along with others conducted in recent years concludes that doodling isn’t a waste of time. Don’t ever let anyone tell you it is! Doodling is a great way to relax and make a connection to what you are writing down.
What Materials Do I Need to Doodle?
Often times, you will see bloggers, Youtubers, and online influencers trying to get you to buy a specific set of pens or a certain notebook. Even I have a supplies list on my blog for people who are interested. But, the most important tools you are going to use are inspiration and confidence. Constantly be seeking sources of inspiration and believe that you can do what you are attempting.
Other than those two things, you just need a writing utensil and some paper. It doesn’t matter what the brand is, if it’s a fineliner, or if your journal is dotted. What matters is that you put the pen to the paper.
But, for the sake of curiosity, I do have a few favorites when it comes to doodling supplies. I love to use fineline pens. Most have archival ink that is rich in color and won’t fade over time. There are multiple nib sizes to choose from based on what line width you are going for. The doodle icons in this post were created with the Tombow Mono Drawing Pens in a 03. But, I also often use Sakura Pigma Microns and Staedtler Pigment Liners. I like to use a bigger nib for the outline of my doodles and a smaller nib for the interior details. But this is just personal preference.
For a solid notebook that has quality paper, dots, and enough room to get creative, I use the Rhodia Dot Pad and the Rhodia Dot Book. The paper is incredibly smooth, bright white, and holds up to most water-based markers and pens.
Go with whatever supplies you have on hand. Over time you can acquire new tools. But not having a specific pen or notebook is not a good reason to put off your creativity.
What if I Lack Creativity?
It’s very common and completely natural to feel like you aren’t artistic or can’t draw. Many adults abandoned crafty/creative hobbies in high school or college. It may have been years since you picked up a pen to draw something. But, let me assure you, even if you are a beginner, you can doodle. One of the topics most frequently seen on my blog, The Petite Planner, is “how to” posts about doodling, florals, or lettering. I firmly believe that everyone is creative and has the potential to create beautiful doodles and lettering styles.
Doodling is the act of scribbling absentmindedly, if we’re being technical. But, in simpler terms, a doodle is a simple drawing of your perception of something that requires no previous art skills. Ultimately, your doodles will be unique to you, and it’s a okay if they don’t look just like someone else’s.
So, if you’re feeling like you can’t doodle or draw, you aren’t alone. With all of the artsy journals plastered on Instagram and Pinterest, it’s normal to feel inadequate or like you can’t measure up. But, starting with something simple like doodle icons can help change your perspective and give you a confidence boost.
Doodle Icons for Your Bullet Journal
As I mentioned, I love to use simple doodle icons as a way to add significance to certain tasks or events throughout my day. But, you can use these doodles in any spread or setup you like. Create a monthly memories page, decorate your monthly cover page, or add some relevant doodles to trackers. Don’t limit yourself to these 17 icons, either. Take 10 minutes and try to come up with a few of your own that are relevant to your life and usual events.
Also, if you look at these and are overwhelmed, try thinking about each doodle as simple shapes. In my creative journaling course, Rock Your Journal, one of the lessons is in doodle basics. This includes breaking objects down into simple shapes. Once you can see and recognize those shapes, it’s much easier to doodle.
Want to see what else Rock Your Journal offers? You can visit this website for all the details. If you’d like to Enroll, I’m offering 20% off for Productive & Pretty readers with code: PRODUCTIVE20.
If you find inspiration in these doodle icons and create your own, I would love to see them. You can share them with me on Instagram by tagging me, @the.petite.planner. Also, tell me which one is your favorite in the comments below.