Yesterday I took part in a quick sketch noting workshop at Re:Publica.
Part of my approach for both the ThingsCon and Re:Publica conferences is to go to sessions I feel not immediately comfortable with. The ones that are a bit more challenging or outside my normal familiar topics. So starting RP14 with a sketchnoting workshop seemed the obvious thing to do, as it was the least obvious.

Sketchnoting is taking more visual notes of the presentations and sessions you are participating in. But it requires you to draw, and that can be a challenge.
The workshop taught some basics on how to draw, and to be pleased with the simple things. As long as they express meaning to you.

Figures, faces and boxes.

The workshop had quick instructions on how to draw figurines, faces and emotions, using symbols, text, boxes to emphasize, lines to connect or divide, depict movement, shadow and effects, as well as structuring or pre-structuring how you are going to take notes. Everyone got to apply the instructions themselves while they were explained. Some 200 people drawing like when they were 5 years old again.

Structure, lines and effects

There is a Sketchnote Handbook by Mike Rhode, if you want to explore further. I’m even in it, as one my talks got sketchnoted during SHiFT 2010 in Lisbon by Bauke Schildt. His inner 5 yr old is way more skilled than mine, quite obviously.

My 2010 talk sketchnoted, and how they’re used as example in Sketchnote Handbook

[UPDATE: It turns out that one of the hosts of the workshop Anna Lena, sketchnoted my Cognitive Cities conference talk in 2012.]

[UPDATE 2: The video of the session is now on-line]

3 reactions on “Sketchnoting – Finding your inner 5 yr old

  1. Ton, thanks for the mention and kind words on The Sketchnote Handbook!

    I saw the presentation by Anna Lena, Britta and Ralf on video – they were helpful in making the German edition of the Handbuch come to life, and are great ambassadors to Germany for sketchnotes.

    Sounds like the presentation/workshop was pretty fun from what I hear – thanks for participating and sharing your experience.

    Also, how meta is it that you are writing about the book in which you were sketchnoted? 🙂

    • Hi Mike,
      Thanks for commenting. Very meta indeed. I have the book at home since it first appeared: how could I not order one, when I’m in it! Sketchnoting vanity 🙂

      • Hee hee! I love it.

        Wanted to mention that I am sharing some very basic ideas around using sketchnotes in agile in The Sketchnote Workbook for planning projects. If you would like to see a preview, drop me an email.

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