I have been experimenting with Sketchnotes for a while. I just stumbled across @rohdesign and his work. I tried my hand at it and I was hooked. After struggling for a few days I got the hang of it. I then tried doing a Sketchnote live during a talk I gave and to illustrate most of my recent articles. I now tell the publisher, print the article and get a Sketchnote for free to go with it. People Matters magazine was not quite pleased with the deal! <see this>
If you want to build your listening skills then there can be no better way to learn it than to try taking visual notes of an event. You have to listen to the speaker with rapt attention or else you won’t be able to listen and sketch quickly.You have to use your ear, your eyes, and draw while keeping up with the speaker. No speaker would complain about a distracted audience if everyone took notes instead of fidgeting with their phones during the talk.
I use a pencil or a black gel pen (I admit I have a problem. I can never have enough black gel pens) and a note book to sketch the key ideas and build connections. I add the colors and banners when the speaker handles a question from the audience. The purists will frown upon anyone who uses a pencil and eraser to do draft Sketchnotes but then I found it useful to do pencil sketches before I inked them up. I have become more adventurous since!
That book demystifies the whole technique. It is all about looking for ideas and depicting the key ideas visually.
Sketchnotes is about ideas and not drawing ability. It is about thinking visually and drawing something that is good enough to convey the idea. It is visual shorthand at its best.
Visualizing the idea etches it in a relatively uncluttered part of the brain. That makes recall easy. It helps you to simplify and clarify ideas just the way doing a process flow chart does. But more than anything, this forces you to listen to the speaker with rapt attention. I create a sketchnote of books or articles that I read.
- The tools: A blank note book, a pencil, easer and black gel pen is all what you need.
- Build a visual library: Practice drawing quick sketches of common business terms like team, meeting, goal, achieve etc. The visual symbol and not the artistic skill is what matters.
- Watch others: The sketchnote army has many beginners work showcased http://sketchnotearmy.com/
- Start with recorded talks: Listen to the TED talk by Sunni Brown on doodling and create a Sketchnote of the talk. I started with sketching recorded talks and now venture to sketch live during talks. I need to be gutsy enough to try doodling to capture meeting notes.
- Practice and share: Try to recall the key ideas of your last meeting and create one. You can do a sketchnote when you travel.
Share your work on social media and get feedback. On Pinterest.com you can create a board called Sketchnotes and post photos of your sketchnotes.
Here’s my collection: https://www.pinterest.com/abhijitbhaduri/sketchnotes/
Post a link of your first sketchnote in the comments. Would love to see the idea you chose to Sketchnote.
Share it on Twitter and add @AbhijitBhaduri #Sketchnote101