Let's Start at the Very Beginning - Resources for your First Sketchnote

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Lately, I’ve had a number of conversations with people interested in learning more about making sketchnotes and I thought it would be useful to share some resources that have I’ve found helpful.

My own journey to sketchnoting started long before I knew there was a word to describe my little doodles and the visual way I noted ideas during meetings.  After taking formal training in graphic facilitation, I knew that I would have to practice regularly to keep up my skills.  Since it was rarely possible to hang a 4’ by 8’ sheet of paper on the wall during a meeting for me to do graphic recording, I decided to make ‘little graphic recordings’ on letter-sized paper.

I made a visual recording of every learning event, workshop and seminar I attended – sometimes working in a sketchbook with art pens but, more often, on lined foolscap with whatever pencil or pen was handy.  It wasn’t until I read Mike Rohde’s Sketchnote Handbook that I even realized that what I was doing was called ‘sketchnoting’.  

Over the past few years, I’ve read a number of books in an attempt to improve my skills.  The ones I’ve learned the most from are:

Mike Rohde’s Sketchnote Handbook: Video Edition

 This book not only gave me loads of tips, hints and ideas, it was the resource that helped me to understand that my ‘little graphic recordings’ were actually ‘sketchnotes’.  He opened my eyes to a whole world.  I recommend splurging for the video edition because Mike brings the content to life in helpful, clear segments. [Full disclosure: Mike’s new book, Sketchnote Workbook, comes out in August 2014 and I’m delighted to be one of the ‘featured sketchnoters’.]

Coordinates:  His website is http://rohdesign.com.  He is also the founder of the Sketchnote Army.  It is dedicated to showcasing sketchnotes and sketchnoters from around the world.  http://sketchnotearmy.com.

    Eva-Lotta Lamm’s Sketchnotes

    Eva-Lotta Lamm is a sketchnoter based in the UK and each of her books, simply calledSketchnotes 2010, 2011, 2012, are a compilation of her drawings from the previous year.  She also includes work by other sketchnoters she admires.  I LOVE her style and I find myself going back to her books again and again for inspiration and ideas.  From time to time she gives workshops on sketchnoting.

    Coordinates:  Her website is http://www.sketchnotesbook.com

     Sunni Brown’s Doodle Revolution

    Sunni Brown gave a very popular Ted talk on the power of doodling and her recent book, Doodle Revolution: Unlock the Power to Think Differently, offers a clear method for ‘moving doodles from the margins to the middle of the page’.

    Coordinates:  The Ted talk is at www.ted.com/talks/sunni_brown and her website ishttp://sunnibrown.com

     Doug Neill’s Verbal to Visual Website

    I had the chance to meet Doug recently and he is a charming and helpful in person as he is on his website.  His background is in education and he is passionate about helping people learn the skills of visual note taking. In his blog, he has created a great set of resources for sketchnoters and I love his informative podcast.

    Coordinates:  His website is http://www.verbaltovisual.com

    What books and resources have you found helpful?

    Julie StittComment