Hand-drawn sketching plays an important role in the digital arts. The larger a project is, and the more concepts a client will need to see, the more sketching will prove its worth in your design process. Consider using rough sketches for composition or layout options in your next project. Or push yourself to do a handful of thumbnail sketches before firing up your cartography software of choice. Create ten well thought out map design options (not seven to make three look good). Select three and refine each. Select one for final design.
In Role of Sketching in the Design Process, Sean Hodge discusses sketching for rapid concept development in traditional design. This same process should be considered in cartography.