I ♡ Sketchnotes - My Sketchnoting Journey

I ♡ Sketchnotes – My Sketchnoting Journey

The observant among you will have noticed that I’m not sketchnoting my blog posts any more, so I thought I’d talk a little bit about why – and how I’m using sketchnotes now.

But first and foremost:

I still love sketchnotes.

How I’m using sketchnotes is evolving, and whilst I have stopped using them for brainstorming my blog posts, I’m still a HUGE fan of sketchnoting and I’m using it every day.

The blogging process

In the early days of my blogging I found sketchnoting incredibly useful for formulating my thoughts, considering the key points I wanted to make in each article and how I wanted it to flow.

As I’ve started to gain experience in writing articles I’ve become more comfortable ‘shooting from the hip’ – taking a blog title or idea and typing until the ideas run out.

In this new process having to produce a sketchnote first was slowing me down and adding little to the process, so I binned it. I still plan to use the technique for the more complicated posts where a bit more thinking and structure is useful.]

So what else do I sketchnote?

Recording presentations/talks

This is what I consider to be the “bread and butter” of sketchnoting, and the basis of Mike Rohde’s Sketchnote Handbook. I don’t attend a lot of talks or presentations, but when I do, I’m sketchnoting all the way and for me it’s now the only way I want to note-take.

Meeting minutes

I’ve raised more than a few eyebrows by whipping out an A4 sheet and black and orange pens and ‘doodling’ in meetings, but I find it incredibly helpful for:

  • Staying engaged in longer (i.e. boring) meetings
  • Capturing key points/actions
  • Producing a visual (a mind map of sorts) that helps me recall key points of the meeting afterwards

I do tend to try and record any actions for me on a separate pad, that I can then transfer to my todo list, but all other information goes into the sketchnote.

Phone conversations / 1:1s

I know that this is essentially just another kind of meeting, but I find sketchnoting especially useful when I’m on a phone call with someone. It has effectively replaced the old “squiggle random stuff” process I used to do with something more structured, meaningful and with greater longevity.

I’d love to share some examples of my sketchnotes with you (they’re pretty crude, but Mike Rohde does like to say “ideas, not art!”) but because I do them almost exclusively in a work environment posting them up on the Internet would probably result in a long, serious conversation with my employer..

For now, it will have to suffice for me to say that sketchnoting has transformed the way I capture and collect information on a daily basis, and although I haven’t persuaded any of my colleagues to join me in the approach, I believe a number of them have come to acknowledge that it’s a valid (and powerful) technique that is more than just a “weird quirky thing BC does in meetings” – it’s actually a professional knowledge tool.

How do you use sketchnoting? Do you sketchnote in a work environment? Share your experiences and comment below.

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