Whether it’s in a dreaded monthly staff meeting or during one of those long phone calls with a chatty client, many of us find it irresistible to start sketching a little something on a piece of paper nearby. You may feel safe with the idea that you are drawing at random, but most people, it turns out, create from a small array of different forms.  And while these shapes and designs seem meaningless, there might be subconscious intent to be gleaned from your personal brand of scribble.

This idea has been the topic of numerous psychological studies and the concept of free writing has been pegged for study of everything from glimpses into the human psyche, the spiritual world, or even the possibility of spying on enemy secrets (such as in the remote viewing STARGATE experiments that the CIA conducted — this is true).

While the science of interpreting meaning from doodles is somewhat inexact, the infographic below from GetCRM outlines findings from numerous studies that delve more into the psychological than the psychic.

Is doodling good for you?

The study says that any writing while also assessing information is good for retention, in particular when you are sketching graphic representations of what you are hearing.

How do you doodle?

Anything may have personal meaning. Write your name very large, the study says, and that shows signs of an inflated ego. Put a circle around your name and you may feel isolated.

Different shapes and pictures hold particular meanings too. Spirals show a lack of direction. Drawing dogs may signal a need for companionship.

Ultimately, the study shows, that practicing visual artistic endeavor or any kind is simply good for the brain, so keep it up. But however you doodle, get a good look at what it might mean about you.

what do your doodles say about you?