When I was studying for my school exams I would doodle. Not aimless doodling but doodle learning. The brown paper covers of my textbooks would become covered in tiny drawings showing how Corrie lakes formed, or the order of the planets, or the formation of igneous rocks. This learning method was one that I devised myself and was very effective. I usually got above 80% in my exams. It was effective because in order to visualise something you really have to understand it first, you also have to linger on each point for the amount of time it takes you to complete your doodle, then it also helps it stick in the mind as a visual - something you can actually see in your head during the exam. And finally it stops your mind from getting bored while you are reading information and wandering onto last night's episode of Eastenders.
At the time I thought it was just something I did, but having moved into advertising and become immersed in the world of graphics I have found there is a whole industry that does a similar thing, and it has a name: Info-graphics. Here is a brilliant TED talk by David McCandlesson info-graphics where he shows how much clearer seeing information visually is.
And here are some of his data Visualisations: