Q: How is the technique different to the traditional note taking?

The technique in sketchnotes is to force myself to interpret quickly what I am seeing and hearing into symbols, icons, charts and even small infographics, unlike traditional note-taking by writing down the words in a repeating way, extra efforts are required to immediately absorb the information and create effective and logical connections with graphics, typography, color and spacing.

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

As a communication tool, its a joyful way to present the information in amazing sketches and lavish letters, thus hopefully able to attract viewers to stay longer time in front of a sketchnote than a plain page of texts alone.  Secondly, visual contents are more memorable, for both myself and the viewer.  As a basic study technique, writing stuff down helps to remember, while the process of scribbling and planning the layout is even more beneficial in terms of building the memory.

The short come for sketchnotes is with the limitation of time and the spirit of simplicity, it can not cover everything.  Moreover, without the assist of words and background introduction people could have different understandings even confusions towards icons and illustrations.

Q: Personal challenges as a sketchnoter.

Speed is a big challenge as well as lacking of practice in the usage of icons and symbols.


Heidi Pan