Relax and reflect: the power of paper and pen!

I want to encourage you to do something a little strange on Thursday 2 December – I would like to invite you to take some time out of your busy week and spend some time drawing with me.

You will be rewarded with insight from your reflections, experience of how you can combine the older technology of paper & pen within live online sessions and an enjoyable & relaxing hour. And not a single slide!

We all know, at least in theory, how valuable it is to take time to reflect on what we are doing – to look at what is working well for us and why, or to consider what went wrong and how we could do differently – but often the pace of work and sheer relentlessness of our meetings’ schedule means that we don’t get to do as much reflecting as we would like.


Over the last year, I have been working with groups of people in virtual sessions to help them to reflect using simple drawings as a trigger. Most of the people I have worked with haven’t drawn for years, perhaps not since they were a child. Some are avid doodlers in meetings, but few would see themselves as good at drawing.

I came to drawing late myself – it was only in my 50s that I started to Sketchnote – using a combination of simple pictures with words to make memorable notes and until then I had never thought of myself as someone creative. Yet Sketchnoting has proved a valuable tool for me and others for use in planning work, thinking through ideas, summarising reading and communicating with other people. And I now work with people from all sorts of professional backgrounds – engineers, forensic scientists, HR, marketing, software designers, managers, physiotherapists and L&D to introduce them to using Sketchnoting and drawing to aid them in their work.

This session uses drawing as a tool to encourage thinking differently and reflection. The drawing involved is very simple and the technique is not about the quality of the drawings, but what thoughts, feelings and ideas it generates. You don’t need to be good at drawing to make use of it and the atmosphere will be friendly and supportive.

Using drawing and colouring in helps you to slow down, relax, explore ideas visually and reflect more deeply. Why not step out of your comfort zone and give it a go?

You may need to go for a rummage around your room or house and track down some pencils and pens for this – a raid on your children’s pencil case may be called for or you could treat yourself to a new set of felt tips. You will need some paper too.

I look forward to seeing you at 12.30 on Thursday 2 December – don’t forget to sharpen your pencils!