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Entries in Sketchnotes (82)


Michelle George's Global Leadership Summit Sketchnotes

A few weeks ago I received an email from Michelle George, who had questions about the pens and Moleskine notebooks I use to capture sketchnotes. I shared my thoughts and about a week later Michelle emailed to share her sketchnotes:

Global Leadership Summit 2008 : 00-01

It was very cool to see Michelle use sketchnotes at her event. I was curious to hear her feedback after trying out the sketchnote approach at the Global Leadership Summit she attended, so sent Michelle a few interview questions:

Michelle, I’m curious to hear how the sketchnote approach worked for you. Was it easy to do? Were there specific challenges you found while capturing your sketchnotes?

I found it difficult to start with because sketchnoting is a totally different style of note-taking to what I use most of the time. I occasionally work as a scribe in government recruiting processes, and that involves taking LOTS of very detailed notes during the interviews.

To get the speed and accuracy I need for that I type on my little laptop (Fujitsu Lifebook 1620P), and end up with three or four pages full of single-spaced notes after a 30 minute session.

The sketchnote approach forced me to slow down and process the information on the fly and what I ended up with was a much more distilled representation of the information.

The sketchnotes that I filled my little Moleskine with are about what was impacting me as the speaker delivered his or her message, as opposed to being a slab of recorded information that was disconnected from how I felt about it.

Once I got going it was pretty easy. I have doodled in journals for years, and have played around with graphic design a bit, and letting those things flow as I processed really was a meditative process. I loved it!

Challenges? Hmmm... yeah that my sketching ability sucks when I’m under pressure! Normally my drawings take several hours…to whip out a sketch in less than a minute takes some serious skill! Practice!

How do you feel about your sketchnotes after the fact? Are they easy to read? Did they capture the detail you had hoped for?

Usually I take notes at a conference, the notebook gets tucked away and I rarely go back over them unless I’m looking for material for an article, but with sketchnotes, they are like little pieces of art… I have to confess that I love looking at them.

I am really pleased with the way they turned out as a first attempt. I don’t think they are particularly aesthetically pleasing, or anywhere near as wonderful as yours, but I have enjoyed the process itself as well as going back over the notes.

I have found it remarkably easy to remember the context and even some of the mannerisms of the speaker, which is a real surprise to me given the notes are not a verbatim account of what happened at the conference. I would have liked to draw a little more to reinforce the words, but I think that will come with time as I practice.

Michelle, what do you do professionally?

I work for myself as a technical writer. I work with government ICT sections and small businesses to produce user documentation, process and procedural documentation, and help desk material.

I also do some scribing and editing work, and the occasional graphic design job. I am passionate about clear communication, and I am fascinated with the connection between the written word and good design.

My business website Robertson Studios is being given a facelift at the moment, though you can see my personal blog and my online drawing board, to see more of my work online.

Thanks so much for taking the time to share your sketchnotes and thoughts on using them!

Mike, thanks for the opportunity to share this stuff! I love the way the Net connects people all over the world!

You're welcome Michelle! Thanks for taking the time to talk and share your work. I hope it encourages others to try out the sketchnote technique at their next meeting or event.

(Ed. - Michelle lives in Canberra, Australia with her husband and two sons.)


Skecthnotes on The Thirsty Developer Podcast 39

I'm happy to announce that my interview on sketchnotes with Larry Clarkin and Dave Bost for the Thirsty Developer Podcast is online!

In this episode of the Thirty Developer Podcast, Larry, Dave and I talk about how sketchnotes came to be, my approach to creating them, the tools and techniques I use and how sketchnotes might be useful for information documentation on development projects.

Here's the show link and the full MP3 for your listening pleasure.


An Event Apart Chicago 2008 Sketchnotes

I'm back from An Event Apart Chicago 2008 and have just posted 82 pages of my sketchnotes captured at the event. I've created a FlickrSlidr show below:

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

aealogo.gifI thoroughly enjoyed all of the talks on Monday and Tuesday. I picked up on a couple recurring themes: a challenge to add more craftsmanship to our work in an era of modular CMS tools and a challenge to push our designs further and break new ground in web design.

Sketchnotes Report

Sketchnoting event went very well. My hand was a bit tired at the end of the 2 day event but not nearly as tired as I feared it might be. My mind was more fatigued from processing all of the excellent talks I was able to hear.

In the end I captured 82 pages of sketchnotes, using up a brand new Moleskine pocket sketchbook in the process. I had to use another sketchbook to capture the final Q&A session on Tuesday afternoon.

At the event, I had a chance to speak briefly with Jeffrey Zeldman and Eric Meyer about sketchnoting. They were both happy to have me there and very curious to see what I would capture. I hope you guys like the results. :-)


An Event Apart Chicago 2008: Official Sketchnoter

Hooray! On Monday, October 13th & Tuesday October 14th I'll be the official Sketchnoter at An Event Apart Chicago 2008! aealogo.gif

What is An Event Apart?

Imagine 2 full days of learning from the greatest minds and hottest talents in web design and development, then add a healthy dose of meeting other like-minded, passionate web designers and developers — that's An Event Apart.

Speakers? How about: Andy Clarke, Curt Cloninger, Jason Fried, Robert Hoekman Jr., Cameron Moll, Sarah Nelson, Derek Powazek, Jeffrey Veen, Rob Weychert, Jason Santa Maria, Eric Meyer and Jeffrey Zeldman. Heavy duty.

This event is so good, it's already sold out!

I'm excited about sketchnoting the event. We'll see how my brain and hand hold up with so many great speakers and topics packed into 2 very intense days.

I'll be posting my sketchnotes after the event. If you're curious about sketchnotes, have a look at my Sketchnote Collection on Flickr.

Thank you Mr. Zeldman for the invitation to join the event and provide sketchnote-by-sketchnote coverage. I'm honored!

Say Hello!

I'm staying in Chicago Monday night to meet attendees and speakers, so if you're attending An Event Apart, drop me a line with AEA in the title, or follow @rohdesign on Twitter. I'd love to meet for a coffee and show you my Moleskines!


Jason Fried's Discovery World Sketchnotes

This evening I had the opportunity to hear and sketchnote Jason Fried of 37signals while speaking at the Discovery World Museum on Milwaukee's lakefront. Jason's 1.5 hour talk was sponsored by my alma mater, Milwaukee Area Technical College.

I captured 22 pages of sketchnotes from the talk:

Jason Fried Discovery World Sketchnotes: Pages 01-02

View the archived live video from the September 24th, 2008 event here:

Afterwards I had a chance to say hello to Jason, and show him the sketchnotes. He seemed very pleased and a little surprised (in a good way) about how I managed to capture that many pages in an hour and a half.

Jason, thanks for coming up to Milwaukee to talk with students, MATC alumni and the business community. We all really appreciate your time and insight.

Come up again anytime! :-)