It was Psychology of Learning (or maybe Psyc of Memory, can't remember) circa 1989 and for the first time a professional (my prof) told our class that doodling is a good thing. Whew! After all of those years of chicken scratch art, I finally felt free to do what came natural during boring classes, lectures, sermons etc. ... DOODLE!
But now it is official. I heard on NPR last week that in a recent study in England, they have shown that doodling actually keeps the brain from daydreaming which is much more distracting than doodling. And the doodlers recalled 30% more information that was given than non-doodlers.
And I believe it. When I was living in Cleveland we eliminated lines on the back of the bulletin and actually put "notes and doodles" on the back. It encouraged "doodle listening" and a little creative expression as well.
So next time you find your mind wondering as you are listening to someone drone on and on... grab a pencil and paper and doodle away.