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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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Entries in Sketchnote Challenge (2)


30-Day Sketchnote Challenge Book Update

I have unfortunate news. The book I announced about a month ago, The 30-Day Sketchnote Challenge, will not be published with Peachpit Press.

30 Day Sketchnote Challege Cover v3

Here’s what happened

Pearson, the parent company of Peachpit who published my books, is laying off 10% of its global workforce. 

Most of my book team at Peachpit were among the unlucky ones, including my fantastic editor Nikki McDonald.

Nikki has guided me in creating two bestselling books with Peachpit: The Sketchnote Handbook, and The Sketchnote Workbook (both still for sale).

I was shocked.

I’m very grateful to Peachpit for the books we’ve created together, but after hearing the news, I requested a release from my book contract. It didn’t make sense to create this new book without the help of my full team.

(Pearson informed me this week that they’re cancelling the book contract.)

Peachpit will not be publishing The 30-Day Sketchnote Challenge, but that’s not the end of this book idea.

What’s next?

I’m still considering my options. I might crowdfund The 30-Day Sketchnote Challenge as a printed book, an online course, or a daily email course. I still believe a 30-day guided course on sketchnoting is a great idea.

However, I also know that writing, illustrating, and designing books is demanding, time-consuming work. It’s hard on me and my family. I’ve decided to take a little time before making a decision. 

While I’m figuring out which direction to take with the book, I plan to experiment with 30-day ideas, testing them with a small team.

I will also restart my twice-monthly newsletter, The Rohdesign Dispatch, featuring links on visual thinking, tools and ideas. Sign up here for free.

Why I love to teach sketchnoting

This sudden shift in direction got me thinking about why I love sketchnoting. Here’s what I’ve realized:

I write books, teach workshops, share ideas, and encourage others to sketchnote because I believe everyone is creative. I’m fulfilled when I help people discover and develop the creativity already inside them.

Considering my vision, a publisher offering or cancelling a book is really just an implementation detail.

Thank you

I appreciate your continued support. I wish my first book update offered better news. But I don’t view the cancellation of my book as an ending. I see it as merely a change in direction, possibly even a new beginning. The route may change, but the journey will always be about teaching, sharing, and encouraging creativity through sketchnoting. 

I hope you’ll join me, wherever this next path may lead.

— Mike Rohde


My New Book: The 30-Day Sketchnote Challenge!

I'M WRITING A NEW BOOK! I'm working with Peachpit on The 30-Day Sketchnote Challenge. This will be book 3 in my sketchnoting trilogy, and it's scheduled to launch in early fall 2016.

Here's the new cover design in aqua, black, and orange, with new icons that represent the 30-day challenge:

30 Day Sketchnote Challege Cover v3

What's the new book about?

The 30-Day Sketchnote Challenge is different than The Sketchnote Handbook and The Sketchnote Workbook—it's designed to guide you through simple daily drawing exercises and mini-projects to improve your visual note-taking skills over a 30-day period. It's a directed, process-based approach that methodically improves your sketchnoting a little bit at a time.

All new content!

This new book will feature all new content, including tons of tutorials showing you step-by-step how to create simple drawings that you can use over and over again in your sketchnotes.

Book Concepts

We're running these how-tos along the bottom of every page throughout the entire book. I want to pack this book full of great, easy-to-master drawing tips to simultaneously help you build a fantastic icon library and boost your confidence in your own drawing skills.

Sketchnotes from around the world!

Just like the Handbook and the Workbook, I'll feature the work of sketchnoters from around the world. I love inspiring readers by sharing the work from the many friendly and welcoming sketchnoting community members.

I'll be sharing a form in a few weeks where you can apply to be a featured sketchnoter in the book, so stay tuned!

Where did the concept come from?

I've been inspired by a few key experiences:

Keeping a daily logbook since January 2014. I've found that by doing little bits of sketchnoting every day, I see gradual progress in my thinking, creativity, and openness to new ideas.


Shawn Blanc's Focus Course. The Focus Course helped me envision a step-by-step approach to improving sketchnote skills that's fun, practical, and delivered in small, bite-sized pieces that won't overwhelm you.

Focus course

Teaching tons of sketchnote workshops. I've been all over the world, teaching sketchnoting to hundreds of students. I've found that a methodical, layered approach to building skills is the most effective way to help non-artists feel comfortable and excited about visual note-taking. I can't wait to pour what I've learned from my workshops into this book.

Workshop kc

I'll document my process right here.

For The Sketchnote Handbook and The Sketchnote Workbook, I loved documenting the experience of writing them with updates, photos, and sneak peeks. Once again, I'll document the experience while creating The 30-Day Sketchnote Challenge, right here on the blog, on Instagram, and on Twitter.

The Dispatch will change a bit until the new book is complete. In order to focus on writing, I'm pausing the Dispatch format until September.

Thank you!

Thanks so much for your support as I craft this new book. I'm excited to create a new way for people to enter into sketchnoting.