I draw most days.
That’s not to say that I have draw*ings* to show you most days; I do, however, have lines and cross hatchings, swirls and numbers doodled onto system cards and post-it notes. When I'm not doodling on scraps of paper, I take visual notes in my work notebook in meetings, during presentations, or while clearing my voice messages.
I’ve been doing some form of this visual notetaking since my mid-teens but up until South By South West (SXSW) in 2010, it wasn’t something I’d thought much about. At SXSW I attended the hugely popular Visual Notetaking Panel hosted by Mike Rhode, Austin Kleon, Sunni Brown, and Dave Gray.
In the years since then a whole load of visual notetakers have surfaced online thanks to sites like Flickr and The Sketchnote Army. We call what we do Sketchnoting and you can do it too.
It doesn’t take long to get started with sketchnotes because you can’t really get it wrong. No two sketchnoters do it the same way and no two sketchnotes are the same even if both attending the same meeting or presentation.
I’ve assembled a few links here so if you want to know more about visual note taking, or would like to try doing it yourself, you’ve got a good jumping off place.
Some of the examples from Mike Rhode, and Eva Lotta Lamm are just gorgeous. Don’t be discouraged if yours aren’t like theirs - they’ve been doing this for years and worked hard to get their visual style together. That can be you, too if you stick at it and keep drawing your unique style will emerge too.
A few resources to get you sketchnoting:
- The Sketchnote Podcast (video)
- The Sketchnote Workbook (rohdesign.com)
- A Sketchnote Primer - shorter (youtube.com)
- A Sketchnote Primer - longer (youtube.com)
Sketchnotes examples to inspire:
PS: drop me a line or a comment if you have any questions.