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Entries in Sketchnotes (82)


Sketchnotes for Thinking Things Through

Home Mac Setup

Before I bought a new 13" MacBookPro with 4 USB C ports to replace my MacBook Air, and wasn’t sure what cables I might need. I spent time researching cables and adapters, but that didn’t help me see what I really needed to make my new MacBook system work.

Instead of buying items I wouldn't use, I used sketchnotes to see what my work environment would look like to help plan my purchases.

I grabbed my Studio Neat Panobook and a bold Neuland Outliner, and laid out the future work area as a loose sketchnote.

Once I saw the sketchnote, I knew which cables and adapters I'd need, and ordered them.

Sketchnotes are a tool to help you see your way through problems, no matter how small or rough your sketches are.

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Tasty Food, Brush Pens, and Little Baron Figs

The Baron Fig Pocket version of the Confidant notebook has become one of my favorite tools for making food sketchnotes.

The littlest Confidant is about the size of a deck of 3x5 inch index cards—the perfect size for the road. I carry a Pocket Confidant, a Pentel Brush Pen, and a Flair Marker when I travel, which makes for a perfect lightweight sketchnoting toolkit.

I'll let the sketchnotes speak for themselves:

Sabari Nihari

Tasty Indian food I had with my friend Yusuf on Chicago's Devon Avenue.

Basil Thai

A delicious Thai dinner with my wife in Charlotte, NC.

Mazorca Tacos

Mazorca truck tacos in Milwaukee's Third Ward with my friend Brian.


A late night snack with my wife at Amelie's French Bistro in Charlotte, NC

Friends Sushi

A tasty bit of Sushi in Chicago. I drew the chefs, and they loved it.

Le Ceni's

A traditional French meal at Le Ceni's on Montmartre, Paris

Ubu Cafe

Charcuterie board and wine at Ubu Cafe in Paris with my wife and friends.

Ottos Burger

Juicy burger with my wife at Otto's Burger in Hamburg, Germany.


Lunch with friends at Bulerei, Hamburg, Germany.


Burgers with my wife and son Nathan at Bareburger, NYC.

Aroydee Thai

A Thai lunch at Aroydee in NYC.


Classic pizza with family and friends at Lombardi's Pizza in NYC.

Kawa Sushi

A sushi dinner on my own at Kawa Sushi in Milweaukee.

Red Espresso

Red tea tasting with my Nespressio and Red Espresso capsules at home.

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Super Bowl LII Sketchnote for Philly Fans!

Superbowl LII Sketchnote

Last night I throughly enjoyed Super Bowl LII, watching the Philadelphia Eagles beat the New England Patriots 41-33.

Typically I sketchnote the action live, while I watch my favorite team, the Green Bay Packers. It's a fun, useful exercise to keep focused and sharpen my sketchnoting skills.

Here's a high resolution, letter-sized PDF scan of the sketchnote for Philly fans who want a little something to print and hang on the office wall to remember your new favorite game. Enjoy!

Download the Super Bowl LII Sketchnote PDF (2.6MB)

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Three Keys To Better Sketchnotes

Vikings vs. Packers Sketchnote

The Green Bay Packers lost star quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, and I was frustrated at the team's terrible play this season. I decided to experiment with the format of my game sketchnotes, becoming looser and having more fun (since it was a good bet my team would lose). This little experiment changed my entire perspective on sports sketchnotes for the better.

Ten years ago, I coined the term sketchnoting and began shaping what this word means to me, and to the world.

I helped create a sketchnote community, wrote two bestselling books, and teach sketchnote workshops around the world to help people learn and practice sketchnoting.

I’ve noticed three keys to creating better sketchnotes.

1. Keep an open, positive mindset

More than drawing ability, an open, positive mindset is the foundational key to sketchnoting. It's an openness to learning new things. It's the power to see things differently, to choose what you capture, and how to draw it out on the page.

If you begin with the idea that you're closed to new ideas, you’ve already blocked in your abilities.

I'm a Green Bay Packers fan, and this season my team was terrible without our star quarterback or a good defense. Facing a lost season, I let go of the rigid sketchnotes I used to take for a humorous, looser style for my sketchnotes of games.

I had fun sketchnoting games again. Now I see my sketchnoting practice differently because my mindset was open to change.

Change your mindset to a positive, open one, and your sketchnoting will improve.

2. Believe you already have what it takes

Wherever your drawing quality is at, it’s good enough to start. It may not be as good as you want it to be, and my goodness it can always improve. but it’s enough.

I say “Ideas, Not Art” because it reframes a student's perspective from “I can't draw because I must create gallery-ready artwork” to “I can draw to communicate ideas.”

We have everything we need to communicate visually. Some are further ahead than others, but I have seen the roughest, most rudimentary sketches communicate ideas more effectively than beautiful artwork from talented artists.

We tell ourselves stories about what we can and can't do. One of those stories is how we can or can't draw, and that’s something we can control  by changing our perspective.

Change your perspective from needing to draw like DaVinci to that of a child trying to communicate, and you’re suddenly good enough to begin.

3. See each sketchnote as an experiment

Every time you sketchnote, you’re running an experiment. It's an opportunity to learn and play with new approaches. You win when you push yourself a little, and learn something new.

If you're too focused sketchnoting as a performance—to be seen and judged by other people—it can freeze your flow. You can lose spontaneity and start worrying about failing and messing up.

If everything is an experiment, failure is a learning opportunity.

My own growth-improving jumps have come when I have pushed myself (or have been pushed) to experiment with ideas that might fail. Mistakes are often where I learn the most. Our job is to have grace for ourselves and learn what we can from them.

Live football game sketchnotes were an experiment when I started them in 2015. I wondered if I could capture my experience of a game visually. This year the experiment was loosening up my take on the games to having fun with the process.

That's why I tell people that sketchnotes are first for themselves and then for others. Once we sense that this work will be judged, we tend to clam up and worry about mistakes: mis-spellings, running out of space, or drawing badly.

Maybe we don't have to share everything with the world. For a little while, try getting loose and keeping a few experiments for yourself.

Change your approach toward improv comedy and away from creating a perfectly scripted comedy film.

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World Sketchnote Day 2016: Monday, January 11, 2016

IT'S A NEW TRADITION! Every year on January, 11th, starting in 2016, we'll celebrate World Sketchnote Day!

World Sketchnote Day

For 24 hours on January 11th of each year (starting in 2016), sketchnoters and sketchnote enthusiasts across the world will celebrate the technique that disrupted note-taking and visual communications!

2016 Official Hashtag: #SNDay2016

What is World Sketchnote Day?

In 2007, I coined the term "sketchnote" and over the years it has been adopted by a huge number of people around the world.

I and Mauro Toselli at Sketchnote Army want to gather our friendly and welcoming community of sketchnoters to share our love for sketchnotes and to express our sketchnote-nerdyness.

World Sketchnote Day IS for everyone, from beginners to experts, and enthusiasts to professionals. If you can create marks on paper, you are welcome to join us!

How to celebrate

Share the Love! Let your Friends know about World Sketchnote Day.

Espresso Sketchnote

Celebrate by sketchnoting something and sharing it with #SNDay2016

The simplest way: jump in the challenge and create one or more sketchnotes working on these themes:

  • "Sketchnotes are..."
  • "Sketchnotes changed my life because... "
  • "I wish I could create a sketchnote for... "
  • Don't forget to share your work with the #SNDay2016 hashtag!
  • Grab some post-its, a marker and decorate your office, the bus, the train, the subway while commuting, the gym — everywhere with mini-sketchnotes, then share photos with the world
  • Hang a large piece of paper somewhere and start a visual conversation with work colleagues or even strangers
  • Gift yourself or a friend a new pen/pencil/marker
  • Gift yourself or a friend a new notebook
  • Build a hand bound notebook and draw a gorgeous cover on it
  • Create a small sketchnoted coloring book for your own kids, nephews or little friends

Don't forget to share with #SNDay2016 hashtag to let us know!

We're celebrating by giving away prizes!

Sign up and tell us how you celebrate for a chance to win one of the prizes offered by our Awesome Sponsors! It's easy: just fill the entry form on the World Sketchnote Day page.

Join the Ask-a-Pro conversations with our Supporters all day long!

Make the most out of the World Sketchnote Day by asking real sketchnote professionals for suggestions, tips, and tricks. See the Awesome Supporters to know how to get in touch with the "Pro"!

Join us for World Sketchnote Day and let's have some fun!