Many of you enjoy doodling during office meetings, as the presenter goes on slide after slide. You might also be of the kind who likes taking down notes of the meeting. It’s everywhere today, be it a UX designer or an illustrator on Instagram, its gaining momentum. Have you ever wondered if these doodles and notes could be useful to you in some way? Yes, combining doodles and informational notes is a real thing. Doodles are being a part of every industry today, be it content marketing doodles or doodles explaining medical sciences. Sketch noting, this process is a useful method to enhance the logical side of your brain by using your creativity. The key here is to leisurely illustrate what you hear and observe to absorb the information effectively.
Now you might be wondering over the quality of your doodles. Do not worry. The art of sketch noting does not require any level of perfection to align your doodles to your notes. Here are a few tips on how to go about sketch noting in better ways:
Plan it out
While everyone tells you to plan beforehand when you have to work on something new, sketch noting is different. You don’t have to plan days ahead of how you are going to sketch note. The process is spontaneous and hence, requires only basic planning about the tools one needs for sketch noting. You will need a blank sheet of paper to record your observations, a pen or pencil to sketch with and an eraser to correct. Along with a thought over the required tools, you must always keep your mind occupied in conjuring new ideas. Having ideas floating in your head will prevent monotony to set in your sketch notes. This will also give you the confidence to overcome the stagnancy while sketch noting.
Be a good listener
A crucial part of taking notes for any meeting or presentation is strong listening skills. While sketch noting, do not hesitate to occupy the front row seat. By being closer to the speaker, you will not miss out on any kind of details. Another important thing for sketch noting is to include quotes which can be done through paying close attention to the speaker. Whether a solopreneur or an edupreneur, the speaker should share personal experience-based examples. You must include the quotes in your sketch notes. You can either use symbols or draw a caricature of the presenter with a bubble containing his or her words.
Processing is crucial
For sketch noting, you must process the information being delivered while sketching at the same time. Sounds too difficult? Well, if you are a multi-tasker, then it will be easy for you. Listening to the speaker and sketching simultaneously overlap with one another. Pay attention to the main points and sketch accordingly. Eyeing the clock will give you an idea of the time the speaker has left. Sketch note according to the estimated time so that you won’t run out of paper even before the speech gets over. Don’t attempt to sketch every single word spoken by the speaker because it will be futile. You might even miss out on some key points. To capture the major key points pauses taken by the speaker are perfect to pace up your sketching. If the speaker is laying emphasis on a point more often in the speech, know that it is vital. Create a distinct doodle and add a few keyword strings to remember it later.
Let out the artist in you
Certainly, you do not have to be among the most renowned artists in the world to sketch note. If you are planning to make use of the sketch note strategy, it is best to have a basic idea of doodling. You can even go through some design principles to have a better understanding. Making use of symmetry, contrast, colors, proportion, shapes, and many other elements to make your art spectacular. The idea here is to have your doodles useful for you. Remember that you are the master of your own art and you would know what your doodles mean.
Find the right tool
Every artist has a unique style. While some might prefer a pencil and eraser, others might not be comfortable with the challenge of erasing every incorrect line. Therefore, determine the tools that suit your needs. If you want to sketch note in a conventional way, go ahead. However, if you want to opt the digital way, feel free to use a tablet. The upside to sketch noting digitally is the easy availability of the wide variety of online tools.
Never stop learning
There is no end to learning. No one can deny that. This is also applicable when it comes to sketching. There are numerous online forums, workshops, webinars, to get inspired for fresh ideas. By sharing ideas, you will feel more confident about your skills. Social engagement can be highly beneficial for you as a business person. Observe the sketch notes done by the experts and learn. Over time you will have your own distinct sketch noting style.
Every organization should promote sketch noting to increase the presentation and encourage creativity. As a business organization, you are already busy with a thousand things in your mind. This is why organizations should outsource and focus on working on their expertise. This will result in genuinely interested workers and impact positively on productivity. Sketch noting can go a long way in effectively problem-solving within the organization. Now that you have a general idea on sketch noting, you don’t have to stress over boredom during presentations and meeting. Just turn onto the creative mode and have a joyful time as you blend in your art and knowledge. Liberate the artist in you and become a pro with the above-mentioned tips on sketch-noting.
Piyuesh Modi is the Director and Co-founder of PagePotato, a digital marketing company based in The Netherlands, India, and Australia. I am also a visual thinking coach for Organisations, Entrepreneurs, B-schools, and Trainers empowering them with visual thinking and collaborative techniques. My articles and sketch notes are regularly published in business e-publications like Entrepreneur.com and Yourstory.com. I live in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands and can be e-connected on social media@ Insta | Li | FB |Tw.
My workshops and tutorials on visual thinking can be found on my YouTube channel.