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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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Download a FREE chapter →

Mike Rohde (Color - Square)

ROHDESIGN is the website of designer Mike Rohde, who writes on design, sketching, drawing, sketchnotes, technology, travel, cycling, books & coffee.
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Monday
Feb162015

Das Sketchnote Arbeitsbuch!

I'M EXCITED to announce Das Sketchnote Arbeitsbuch, the German translation of The Sketchnote Workbook, is out. I just received my author copies and this translation of The Sketchnote Workbook looks fantastic.

Das Sketchnote Arbeitsbuch Cover

Das Sketchnote Handbuch has been so popular in Germany, that mitp Verlag wanted to complete the set.

Das Sketchnote Arbeitsbuch: Dokumentation

Purchase: Das Sketchnote Arbeitsbuch at mitp Verlag or Amazon.de

Frauhoelle's review: Hip, hip, hurra, das Sketchnote Arbeitsbuch ist da!

More book photos: Das Sketchnote Arbeitsbuch (Flickr)

Saturday
Jan172015

A Year of Daily Logging

Logbook 2014

THIS YEAR I decided to keep a logbook, thanks to Austin Kleon.

At the end of 2013, I ordered a one page per day Large Moleskine diary in yellow, starting the process of logging on January 1st, 2014. Now that the year is over, my weathered logbook as a treasured item, full of memories.

I've already started a new logbook with a Hobonichi Techo from Japan, with a slightly smaller size and thinner paper than the Moleskine. I'm loving it.

Techo vs moleskine

Hobonichi Techo vs. Moleskine.

A Logbook is Not Necessarily a Diary

Trying to sustain a year-long logbook was a bit of a risk. I’ve never been great at consistently keeping a traditional "dear diary" book. I’d start hot for a few weeks or months before flaming out.

The shift away from a "dear diary" to fill at the end of the day, to a book where items are logged as the day unfolds is a key difference. My logbook is a living document. I fill it as the day progresses, rather than working to create a narrative of the day from memory.

Of course that doesn't limit me from adding thoughts after the fact. I’ve made use of empty pages to sketch out concepts and ideas. On one occasion, I sketchnoted a TV documentary as an experiment as I worked on The Sketchnote Workbook — it worked great!

Logbook ss titanic show

Sketchnote of a TV show: Titanic's Final Mystery.

A Space for Tasks and Ideas

Along with logging daily activities, I use my logbook to set key tasks for the day, using hand-drawn checklists. Sometimes I'll add icons with notes and comments to log entries. I manage my detailed tasks in Things, but it's helpful to keep 2-3 key tasks in my logbook as a reminder.

Logbook sa trip

Sketchnote Travelogue of San Antonio, TX.

I'll often sketchnote experiences, like visits to restaurants or cities. It's great to freely use pages to capture whatever strikes me.

Capturing ideas is another great use for my logbook. I use space to draw something I'm thinking about to work out the details, like this image of a pinewood derby car my son wanted to create.

Logbook baconator

The Baconator Pinewood Car concept sketch.

That's the beauty of a logbook — it's your space to capture whatever you'd like. There is no correct way — whatever you want to log is fine.

Logbook nathan 2014

My son Nathan's favorite things from 2014 page.

Try a Logbook!

Experimenting with logbooks has been an enjoyable and valuable experience. I challenge you to start a logbook, even if you're starting late. Think of all the free pages in January you'll have for sketching ideas!

Thursday
Jan012015

Favorite Sounds for 2014

AT YEAR END, I'm sharing my favorite sounds — music and podcasts.

MUSIC

I listened to a lot of music this year, while creating The Sketchnote Workbook, here are some of the favorites I came back to again and again:

Ásgeir - In The Silence

In the silenceÁsgeir's In The Silence was suggested by my friend Brian Artka. I pre-ordered the album and once it arrived, I've had it playing at work, in the car, and traveling. It's a blend of folk, rock and ethereal vocals from Icelander Ásgeir. Favorite tracks include King and Cross, Torrent and In Harmony.

RAC - Strangers

414dWmYAtJL SS280RAC's Strangers came through the Song Exploder podcast. I love the 80s vibe. It provides me with an upbeat, energetic working soundtrack. Favorite tracks include Tegan & Sara's Hard to Hold, Matthew Koma's Cheap Sunglasses, and Katie Herzog's We Belong.

Reporter - Guggenheim

41kW7CvMNML SS280This album from Reporter turned out to be just what I needed to get deep focus while writing the manuscript for The Sketchnote Workbook. Repeated use created a habit: when this album started, I was instantly in a writing mindset. Favorite tracks include Bilbao and Berlin.

PODCASTS

I've been a commuter since starting a contract design project in June, so I have more time for podcasts. Here are a few that stood out this year:

Song Exploder

Song ExploderMy pal Kris Hunt recommended Song Exploder with Hrishikesh Hirway. This is a podcast that deconstructs songs slice by slice using audio and interviews with the artists that create the track. Favorites include the Jeff Beal's House of Cards Theme and RAC's Let Go.

Unmistakable Creative

Unmistakable CreativeA recent addition to my listening list is Unmistakable Creative with Srinivas Rao. He has a great interview style that brings out the best discussions in his guests and make for good long-form listening. Favorites include Sarah Peck, Cal Newport, Jeff Spencer, and Joe Loya.

Dan Carlin's Hardcore History

Hardcore HistoryI hesitate to call Dan Carlin's Hardcore History a podcast, as his shortest episodes start at about 2 hours. This is effectively an audiobook feed on history, disguised as a mild-mannered podcast. It will get you thinking. Favorites: Wrath of the Khans, Blueprint for Armageddon, and Thor's Angels.

I hope you enjoy these audio discoveries as 2015 unfolds!

- Mike

Friday
Nov282014

Sketchnote Books and Sketchnote Typeface Make Great Gifts!

AWAKEN THE CREATIVE in someone you love with the gift of The Sketchnote Handbook, The Sketchnote Workbook, and The Sketchnote Typeface. Enjoy these coupons and special prices to make sketchnote gift-giving easy.

The Sketchnote Workbook & The Sketchnote Handbook: 35-50% Off Coupons

Handbook & Workbook Combo

Both The Sketchnote Workbook and The Sketchnote Handbook are on sale at Peachpit for 35% off with coupon code SKETCHNOTE, and that includes my entire catalog of books, PDFs, DVDs and videos.

The Sketchnote Typeface Full Family: $69 (30% Off) at Creative Market through 12/31

The Sketchnote Typeface Full Family

I've put The Sketchnote Typeface Full Family I created to design The Sketchnote Handbook and The Sketchnote Workbook, on sale through the end of the year for $69 at Creative Market. That's 30% off the $99 price.

The Full Family includes these fonts:

Thank You Everyone!

Most of all, I want to say thank you to everyone who as supported me in my book and typeface creation journey. I could not have done all of this without your encouragement over the past few years. I hope these small tokens of appreciation help you share the gift of creativity with the ones you love.

Thank you!

- Mike

Saturday
Nov152014

Amsterdam

AMSTERDAM. Such a beautiful city.

I had the fortune to visit this past week, to speak at the first ever DSGNDAY conference and Amsterdam UX. Because of good friends, I also enjoyed several informal sketchnote meetups that were great fun.

I walked everywhere, and one day I managed to log 22,000+ steps, beating my old record in NYC. I ate delicious Dutch treats, and enjoyed tasty coffees and spent time with warm, wonderful friends. It was brilliant.

Here's a selection of photos I shot to tell the story in images:

Sunday, November 9th

Flight to chicago

Flying to Amsterdam.

Hotel door view

View from the front door of Hotel Estheréa, near the canal in Amsterdam.

Alley pannekoecken

A Pannekoecken shop in one of Amsterdam's narrow alleyways.

Bw square

Near the royal palace in Central Amsterdam.

Travelogue journal 1

Starting my Amsterdam sketchnote travelogue.

1890 bike

Lovely mural and a Dutch bike.

Hotel view

View from my hotel room, Hotel Estheréa.

Hotel view morning

Hotel room view of the canal and Singel (canal street) below.

Canal night

Canal at night.

Sketchnote greek coffee

Cappuccino, greek yogurt with honey and walnuts, while I add to my travelogue.

Sketchnotes 1

Sketchnote Travelogue; Pages 1 & 2. Vocabulary came in handy!

Sketchnotes 2

Sketchnote Travelogue; Pages 3 & 4. Trying traditional Dutch foods.

Sketchnotes 3

Sketchnote Travelogue; Pages 5 & 6. Canals and coffees.

Corner spot

View from Broodje Bert, a people-watching and breakfast eating corner spot.

Monday, November 10th

Uitsmijter

Uitsmijter & cappuccino for breakfast. Eggs and cheese over bread with a salad!

Lunch sketchnoters

Met Jasper, Laurens, Jay and Jacqueline (not pictured) for a Sketchnote Meetup at Grand Cafe l'Opera. We had a fantastic time sharing experiences, coffees and lunch.

Red shutters

Beautiful red shutters in Amsterdam.

Colorful street

Colorfully painted street.

Faces street

Grafitti Art.

Coffee sketchnoters 2

In the afternoon, I met my other friends Inge and Tamara for an afternoon coffee and another informal Sketchnote Meetup at REE7 on Reestraat.

Sketchnotes amsterdam

Sketchnote travelogue in process, with its creator!

Mike jay

My buddy Jay, who helped me get to Amsterdam UX after the Sketchnote Meetups. Awesome dude and a great sketchnoter too.

Dutch minivan

Dutch Minivan.

Making cups

We visited Pepper Mango, a coffee and chocolate shop of a friend Tamara and Inge knew, enjoyed some coffee and treats and started a new movement - decorating blank coffee cups in a #cuppatition! (Photo: Inge de Fluiter)

Me cuppas

Shop owner keeping an eye on me! #cuppatition. (Photo: Inge de Fluiter)

Cuppetition

Cup closeups from my entry in the #cuppatition.

InstagramCapture 9f837492 aa1a 401c 9cda 659125555467

Cup closeups from all entries in the #cuppatition. (Photo: Inge de Fluiter)

Canal tower

Canal and tower at night as we walked to the venue for Amsterdam UX.

AmsterdamUX

Speaking to a crowd of about 60 at Amsterdam UX Meetup. What a fantastic time sharing with this group of Dutch Users. Thanks David, Tatiana and my friends at Publitas.com HQ!

Tuesday, November 11th

Dutch afternoon

On the way to Compagnietheater for DSGNDAY. Stephen led us through the back streets of Amsterdam to get to the venue early.

Dsgnday stage

My view from the stage, speaking at DSGNDAY on sketchnoting. What fun!

Dsgnday frontrow

Close view of me speaking and drawing faces, Austin Kleon style!

Dsgnday highup

Photo of me speaking from up in the back row.

Treehouse zeger

An idea sketchnote from Zeger Van Hese, created during the exercise we did at the end of my talk. So cool!

Last night amsterdam

Last night in Amsterdam.

Thank you for a fantastic experience Amsterdam. I can't wait to visit again.

Tot ziens!

Flickr: Amsterdam Photo Set
Flickr: DSGNDAY Sketchnotes