July 1, 2009

I came across this idea for producing visual notes via the Moleskinerie blog.  It was developed by Mike Rohde who has posted a number of “sketchnotes”, mainly recording events he has attended, on his Flickr site.

He’s also posted a report from a cruise holiday in Alaska.

Alaskan Cruise '09: Sketchnotes 01-02

One of the main ways Mike uses the technique is to make notes when attending conferences, such as the following example:
SND Chicago 09: First Spread

It’s an interesting approach. Taking notes is important to ensure information is processed and retained. It ensures you listen, pay attention to what is presented and makes you process the information by actively putting something down on paper. However, in my experience, there is always a tendency to try to copy the words from slides during presentations – particularly when they are heavily overloaded with bullet points. I fall into this trap myself. Given this habit, I guess it could be difficult for some people to take notes when the slides are produced using the more visual Presentation Zen approach. Sketchnoting could perhaps be a good way of recording key points from these types of presentations.

Mike has made some slides available on Slideshare on how to use the technique: