Resources to Get Started in Graphic Recording and Facilitation

I think of graphic recording and facilitation as sketchnoting’s older twin sisters; bigger and more established.  I’ve been using graphics in my workshops and courses for more than twenty years because they really accelerate learning. A few years ago, I decided to get serious about graphics and completed training in graphic recording (live-sketching of what is happening in a meeting or workshop), graphic facilitation (interweaving visual elements into facilitation) and graphic coaching (using visuals within the coaching process). 

Because graphic facilitation (my preferred approach) is still a relatively new practice, people often have a lot of questions for me after a workshop.  Over the years, I’ve been asked everything from what markers I use to where training is offered.  Since I am posting information about sketchnoting, it seemed only fair to also post about resources for its sisters.

Graphic Facilitation Training

I did training in the Fundamentals of Interactive Visuals (which included instruction in graphic recording, facilitation and coaching) with Christina Merkley.  People come from all over the world to attend her workshops in Victoria, Canada and, for those who can’t travel, she offers an on-line version of the course.  Her website is:

Avril Orloff is a Vancouver, Canada-based graphic recorder and visual facilitator (  She teaches a course called The Artful Visual Facilitator as part of the Masterful Facilitation Institute (  I admire Avril’s style and I’ve heard wonderful things about her course.

The Grove Consultants International offers some of the best-known graphic facilitation training in North America. Their founder, David Sibbet, (see below under books), is a pioneer in the field.  They offer a number of different training courses, mainly in San Francisco. I have seen the work of people who have trained with them and it is excellent. Their website is

Associations, Groups, and Websites

The International Forum of Visual Practitioners (IFVP) is an association of people who practice all types of visual facilitation – from graphic recording to illustration.  In addition to maintaining a website and a members directory, they hold an annual conference.  The cost of membership is around $US 150/yr.

The Centre for Graphic Facilitation writes a blog with updates on upcoming conferences, workshops, and interesting items in the media.  It is my go-site for new information in the field.

I really like the work of Imagethink ( and they often post examples of their work on their blog.  I check it regularly.


For graphic facilitation and recording, I strongly recommend David Sibbet’s Visual Teams: Graphic Tools for Commitment, Innovation and High Performance and his Visual Meetings: How Graphics, Sticky Notes and Idea Mapping Can Transform Group Productivity.  Together they offer a solid walk-through of the challenge of building meetings and workshops around a visual foundation.  There is a lot of detail in them that draws on his years of experience.  The Grove’s website is also filled with information and

Sunni Brown’s 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’.  Although her focus is largely on sketchnotes rather than graphic facilitation, there is a lot of cross-pollination here.

The same is true of Mike Rohde’s Sketchnote Handbook – while it was written for sketchnoting, many of the ideas translate easily onto larger paper.

Dan Roam’s work – he’s the Back of the Napkin guy – is useful for process issues although I like resources that go further with the graphics. 

Drawing Ideas: A Hand-Drawn Approach for Better Design by Mark Baskinger and William Bardel is a brilliant introduction to sketching in general.  They include a ‘Drawing Boot Camp’ that is a useful primer for those of us who didn’t attend art school.

Austin Kleon’s Show your Work has been very inspirational for me.  It isn’t specifically about graphic facilitation but he does address one of my biggest challenges - learning to be comfortable creating and sharing work before it is ‘perfect’.  Since this has been one of my biggest hurdles in doing this work, I’m very grateful for Austin’s grounded approach.


What resources have you found useful?

Julie Stitt2 Comments