How is this sketchnoting technique different to the traditional note taking?

In traditional note taking, I tend to rely heavily on linearity as an anchor for effectively structuring my notes. I have an order of points written down the page, purely based on the timing of when I heard or saw the stimulus. However, when sketchnoting, I tend to have a more chaotic, disordered structure, probably due to my lack of experience and skill in the technique.

Sketchnoting also feels as though I’m utilising completely different parts of my brain when compared to note taking. When sketchnoting I have to simultaneously learn, use and synchronise both new physical skills, constructing shapes as opposed to letters and words, as well as new mental skills, attempting to paint a mental picture in my mind that represents my response to the various stimuli.

When note taking, the equivalent parallel of those aforementioned new skills has already merged into one seamless process, due to my long experience and proficiency in both speaking and writing; what I want to literally say out loud (speaking) in response to the stimuli is my initial thought process, and instead of speaking what I want to say, I write it. Speaking and writing already work as a well-oiled machine! The learning, using and synchronising process of these skills has long been mastered; consequently, engaging in sketchnoting produces entirely different sensations – mainly intense concentration, attentiveness and overall engrossment – that are no longer required when I engage in note taking.

How does this visual approach facilitate communication of your ideas? Conversely, how does it prevent it?

Due to my rawness and subsequent lack of sophistication in sketchnoting, especially when compared to the skill of written communication, there is an undeniable honesty and even transparency in my sketches; written words can tend to be less direct, especially as I tend to waffle on and on, not unlike this blog reflection. But when sketching, particularly since I’m brand new to it, I just get to the damn point! I don’t have the skill to waffle on, I just hit the truth of what I mean to communicate right on the head! That honesty and transparency is definitely a facilitation of communication.

However, there is a very real restriction due to the current lack of precision in my drawing skills, leading to a longer development process of my sketches and a somewhat simple (albeit honest) form of communication. I can communicate simple things very honestly, but complex ideas? Forget about it! The more complex the communication, the more chaotic and unclear my sketches get. As can be seen in my all-over-the-shop sketch of the fascinating Umvelt lecture. But with further development in the skill, I think the ability to orderly and neatly frame complex ideas through sketchnoting will be a very powerful tool for communicating to people, as you’ll have an awesome sense of visual efficiency!

Personal challenges as a sketchnoter.

As a brand new skill to be further developed, my drawing ability is definitely a significant challenge for me as a sketchnoter; I can see straight away I tend to lean upon my previous literary experience when trying to communicate more complex emotions and thoughts through visual representation, hence the high level of words in my current sketches.

Due to my rudimentary drawing ability, complex communication and efficient communication are my two primary personal challenges as a sketchnoter. But I’ll get better, it’s so much fun!

P.S. David use a damn black marker next time! Jesus sorry for the uploads ladies and gents.

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