Sketchnoting involves using images and diagrams in addition to standard note taking. It can be used as deemed appropriate by the note taker to reinforce a message, capture more thoroughly a thought or mental image, and assist in memory recall.
As the old adage goes: ‘A picture tells a thousand words’, and this seems to me to be one of the greatest strengths of this note taking method. Rather than simply recording words or short phrases that seem to be important, using simple glyphs, emoticons and action images can potentially capture a lot more information than words could in the same time frame.
The method is interesting in that it is open ended and adaptive to the individual note taker. With ongoing use you can practice ‘lessons learned’ and refine your style and learn from the techniques of other sketchnoters. Ultimately it would be possible to build for yourself an arsenal of glyphs that each have specific personal significance.
Sketchnoting may be a great tool for communicating something to a third party in that the images may offer a more comprehensive flow of thoughts and break up the monotony of a page full of words. It appears more visually engaging.
In saying that however, the images would need to be more detailed in execution and universal or mainstream in significance to accurately communicate your thoughts then if you were simply sketchnoting for yourself. This could hinder the efficiency of the sketchnoting and require much more thought regarding the most appropriate layout.
These two points were probably also my main two challenges on my first sketchnoting experience. That I haven’t practiced drawing for a long time made it difficult to create clear images with the time we were allocated and being unsure of the amount of content that would be relevant to capture made it difficult to structure the layout on the run.
Ultimately I think it’s a valuable tool and these latter two challenges can be improved with practice.