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

Sketchnoting involves creating visual references to help articulate a concept, theory or message. Apart from the obvious difference that this technique is not purely sentences, bullet points and verbatim quotes like the traditional note taking technique, there are also differences in the skill required;

  • The noter needs to be able to absorb information as they sketch a topic or idea so they don’t lose focus
  • The noter needs to have a plan on how they plan on laying out their information in advance to avoid running out of space
  • The noter should have a library of icons and drawings to avoid getting caught up and losing focus

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

This approach allows content to be consumed in a visual way by the audience or reader making it easier to process and remember the content. When words are supported by graphics or icons like sketchnoting does it also gives the message more context and a powerful meaning.

Sketchnoting, although a powerful visual method of communication could prevent the communication with a reader or audience that prefer to consume knowledge in other ways, such as reading, watching or listening.

In turn, sketchnoting can also prevent the communication of ideas if the noter does not articulate the idea or concept with appropriate use of graphics or plan in advance the layout of their sketch note.

Personal challenges as a sketch noter

The personal challenges I uncovered in sketch noting include:

  • I found that I got stumped when I wanted to sketch a graphic that didn’t turn out the way I expected – as a result lost track of where I was
  • Without the preparation of what the subject was and how I wanted to layout the information, I ran out of space quickly and found myself moving around with no logical order
  • I wasn’t sure what information to capture, as it may be relevant to tell the story. I found myself paused for a period of time because if I started sketching again it wouldn’t add up based on what I had captured so far.