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The Sketchnote Workbook is a fully-illustrated book and video, showing how to use sketchnotes in new ways, along with advanced tips and techniques.
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The Sketchnote Handbook is a fully-illustrated book and video, designed to teach regular people how to create sketchnotes.
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« The Sketchnote Handbook: Update 8 - Cranking | Main | UX Mad: A New User Experience Conference in the Heartland »

The Sketchnote Handbook: Update 7 - Juggling

The Sketchnote Handbook Cover: Mockup

IN MY LAST UPDATE I mentioned keeping everything moving on the Sketchnote Handbook — this is the story of the project. Keeping everything moving and juggling it and my normal life too.

The good news is, I've been able to keep things moving. There is still quite a bit to do on the book and video, so the juggling will continue.


I've been working hard to get the manuscript finalized, am I'm happy to report I've written all 7 chapters as of this week. There are a few details to finalize, but I expect adjustments to be made even as I illustrate the book.

This coming week is key. I'm working on creating pencil sketches for the entire book — all 7 chapters — to see how many pages the manuscript converts to when fully illustrated and filled samples of sketchnotes to illustrate the ideas.

I'm on a family vacation in Western PA (an hour North of Pittsburgh) which works out well for sketching. I'll have afternoons and evenings free, while the kids have activities, to turn a text-only into a fully sketched book, ready for inking.

It's going to be hard work, but I'm excited to make my written ideas visual.


The second part of the project, video, is really a separate project in itself. The video has progressed as well. Last week Brian Artka and I shot a third of the raw video so he can create 6 videos, including an intro and several on-site shots.

Here are a few images of from Brian's work:

The Sketchnote Handbook: Close-up Shot
Close-up shot at my desk, in Final Cut Pro.

Shooting the TSH intro  Guerrilla Filming
Desk set through the camera, my iPad tele-prompter

Video shoot in progress  Video shoot completed.
On-location: Rania Madanat's shot of us at work, sketchnote of the talk.

See the updated Sketchnote Handbook Flickr set for more photos.

It's been a great experience seeing my team of friends and colleagues working together to make the video happen. From Gabe's scripting and Brian's video, to Jon Mueller's presentation, Translator's beautiful space and everyone who turned out to help make the video happen: thank you all.

We've finalized the soundtrack from Steve Mork. It sounds great, and I can't wait to see it added to the video. We're talking about offering the track, remixed by Steve, for free, so you can add it to your playlists. Stay tuned.

Since I've been creating a video of my book, I have a great appreciation for the hard work put into every film and video production. There are so many takes, so much footage, and yet only a fraction of it survives to be used.

Press & Events

I've been fortunate to have press for the book the last few weeks:

The simple power of the doodle

First is an article by Ian Sanders in The Financial Times: The simple power of the doodle. In the piece, Ian shares how to a variety of business people and visual thinking experts use the power of doodling and sketchnoting in their business. (See the article without FT registration: search for the title on Google News).

FT Doodling Article
Article in the Tuesday, July 17, 2012 issue of the Financial Times.

The Designer Behind the Sketchnotes

An interview with the Chick-fil-A Leadercast blog, The Designer Behind the Sketchnotes, was published on July 8th, asking questions about me, sketchnotes and leadership. It was also a good opportunity to talk about the book.

IFVP 2012

I was invited to speak at the International Forum of Visual Practitioners (IFVP) this coming Wednesday. As it turned out, I was an hour north of Pittsburgh the very week of the event, so I jumped on the opportunity to share.

The event will include a brief keynote on sketchnotes and a 90 minute workshop afterwards to get attendees doing sketchnotes. Most IFVP members focus on larger-scale graphic recording or facilitation — so it will be fun to challenge them to work small and try sketchnoting out.

There's a temptation to decline opportunities to share the message of the book and its ideas, to only focus on writing or sketching or video work. But I've realized over the years how critical it is to take opportunities like these when they come, to help plant seeds for the future. I think they will pay off.

Thank You

I wanted to end this update with thanks to everyone who has been so encouraging as I work through this project. It feels great to have support as I'm fighting my way to completion — thanks!

Reader Comments (6)

Visual thinking brings a new perspective into ideas and words. Good for you to promote this idea, which can be scary, since people suspect art of being subversive, rather than explanatory.

July 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterQuinnCreative


Thanks for taking the time to really do this project right, creating from scratch a thorough guide to this new subject — particularly when the tendency these days is to release a high-priced "information product" that's little more than recycled web content.

As a lifelong doodler who's been thinking "Hmm" about sketchnoting, I'm really looking forward to seeing the end product.

July 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHamish MacDonald

Thanks Hamish! Can't wait to complete this for you and everyone else. :-)

July 30, 2012 | Registered CommenterMike Rohde

really loved your alaska sketchnotes. i am a language teacher from India and wondered if I could use some of it as teaching material. cheers, gayathri

August 8, 2012 | Unregistered Commentergayathri raman

Gayathri, those Alaska sketchnotes are creative commons licensed so please feel free. All you need to do is include a credit to me and a link to the originals in your presentation or printed materials. :-)

August 8, 2012 | Registered CommenterMike Rohde

Thanks so much. I will definitely do that.

August 8, 2012 | Unregistered Commentergayathri raman

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