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Entries from April 1, 2011 - April 30, 2011


Speaking: The Art and Practice of Sketchnoting - Washington DC

Adcmw logo

On Wednesday, April 27th at 6:30, I'll be speaking to the Art Director's Club of Metropolitan Washington (ADCMW) on the Art and Practice of Sketchnoting.

I'm very excited to be sharing the story of sketchnotes, the lessons learned from them and how those lessons apply to art direction, design and life.

Thank you Carolyn Sewell and Eric Stewart for making this event happen!

Location Details:

Center for Digital Imaging Arts (CDIA), Studio C
1055 Thomas Jefferson Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20007-DC (Google Map)

Time: 6)30-8:30 ET
Non-member price: $35.00

If you're in the DC area, please join us Wednesday night!


Mike Rohde's Art and Practice of Sketchnoting - ADCMW
Art Director's Club of Metropolitan Washington (ADCMW)
ADCMW Full Bleed Magazine

iPad 2: Killer Live Presentation Tool


Recently, I've had a few opportunities to use my iPad 2 for presentations. It worked so well, I've captured my thoughts for anyone else thinking about presenting with an iPad 2.

Mirroring: The Killer Feature

One flaw in the original iPad were limitations when using the Apple VGA Adapter. The adapter only worked in certain apps, like Keynote and no others by default. Pretty useless for showing websites or iPad apps that didn't support video out.

The iPad 2 changes this by mirroring the entire iPad screen through an adapter to a TV screen or overhead projector. It doesn't matter which app you're in — mirroring works in any app you care to launch. It even shows the iPad desktop.

Live Sketching & Collaboration

Through mirroring, I can blend sketchnotes right into my presentations. Using Adobe Ideas, Penultimate or Sketchbook Pro to draw on the iPad screen, my audience can see those drawings as they happen on the big screen, in real time.

Images, like wireframes or design mockups can be imported into a drawing tool, and notes can be added right on top of the images. This could be ideal for design critique sessions, as feedback could be captured from a team, with one facilitator or even each team member making notes directly on the design for all to see.

iPad 2 screen mirroring also opens the door for other collaborative apps being used on the iPad - writing tools, task and project management tools and more.

Remote Sketching

In a visual thinking workshop this week with Stone Ward, we used Air Sketch, an iPad app to draw sketchnotes, which were displayed locally on my MacBook's web browser over WiFi from the little web server built into the app. The images posted after a very brief delay, which was so brief the remote watchers couldn't sense it.

Airsketch browser

A sketch sent from the Air Sketch web server in a local browser window.

This approach worked great. Images Air Sketch displayed live in the browser were shared with a remote audience over a GoToMeeting connection, who could see and respond to my live drawings almost immediately.

I'm excited to see what other drawing tools will develop in this space, with presentations to local and remote audiences in mind.

VGA vs. Digital AV Adapters

Apple offers 2 adapters for the iPad 2 that can display mirrored video:

1. The Apple VGA Adapter ($29) with a 30 pin adapter on one end and a VGA port on the other. The VGA adapter is probably better for all around use, as you're more likely to find a VGA cable on an overhead projector when presenting on the road.

2. Apple Digital AV Adapter ($39) with HDMI port and a 30-pin connector to charge the iPad. This adapter requires an HDMI cable and port on the overhead projector or HDTV monitor. Having the charger might also be handy, though a fully charged iPad 2 ought to run a good 8-10 hours on a charge.

If you have an iPad 2, try picking up one of the Apple video adapters so you can try it out in your next presentation. It might just become your go-to presentation device.


Sketchnoting Chick-fil-A Leadercast 2011

Images 1

I'm very excited to announce that I've been commissioned to capture live sketchnotes at Chick-fil-A Leadercast, happening on Friday, May 6th, 2011 in Atlanta, GA.

Sketchnoting the event has been in the works for a while now. Just last week the details were finalized, airline tickets purchased and I've started planning for the event.

About the Chick-fil-A Leadercast

If you haven't heard of it before, Chick-fil-A Leadercast is a one-day leadership event, which is also broadcast live to hundreds of sites across North America and the world. Read more about the event on the Leadercast site.

I'll be capturing sketchnotes of 11 speakers, including: Seth Godin, Sir Ken Robinson, John Maxwell, Alison Levine, Erin Gruwell, Dan Cathy, Muhtar Kent, Dave Ramsey, Suzy Welch, Mack Brown and Frans Johansson.

Entering New Territory

I'm very excited to sketchnote a leadership event, which is a bit different area than the design community where I've typically worked. This is a great challenge and an opportunity to share sketchnotes and the idea behind them with a whole new community of people.

We're planning are to capture my sketchnote work in real-time for the live broadcast to other sites. I've only done this at a small scale with the Visual Note-Taking 101 webinar in 2009, so this should be a fun challenge.

I'll also post my sketchnotes here and in my Flickr stream, so you can enjoy them while learning what the Chick-fil-A Leadercast is all about.

Thank You

Thank you Jeff Shinabager for making the connection and to the Chick-fil-A Leadercast team, especially Rachel Christopher and Stephanie Holcombe for the opportunity.


Living a Better Life Story: Storyline Conference

Million Miles

IF YOUR LIFE WERE A STORY, how would it read?

In his book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, author Don Miller asks that question of his own life. He found the state of his life pretty mundane.

He became fascinated with story and its structure, learning the elements of story in order to examine his own life and seek ways to change the story he was living into a better one.

For Don, that meant hiking to Machu Picchu, seeking and finding his long-lost father, riding his bike across America to raise funds for wells in Africa and founding a mentoring program for fatherless boys. Quite the change in story.

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years was a great book. It challenged me to think more deeply about the life I'm living, how I'm leading my family and what kind of impact I'm having on others. I'm thinking about my life in ways I hadn't before.

In some areas of my life, I love like how my story has unfolded. In other areas, I'm not as happy about the story I'm living. There's plenty of room for improvement.

Most of all, I love the idea that God is writing a story with my life and invites me to be part of that writing. The opportunity to live a more interesting life and to encourage others to live better stories with their own lives is fascinating and exciting.

The Storyline Conference

Saturday, my wife and I signed up for Don Miller's Storyline Conference in Portland, Oregon to learn ways we can write a better life story, together.

I learned about the Storyline Conference and A Million Miles in a Thousand Years through Don Miller's blog. I enjoy his writing, so when I saw his post about the conference, I was intrigued with doing something more with my own story.

The Storyline Conference is a two day workshop in Portland, Oregon. Attendees hear stories from Don Miller, use workbooks to find out where their own story is headed, and through the process, write a better story of their lives. Music and other surprise experiences during the 2 days should create a unique experience.

Here's the promo video:

Looks like a great experience in a great city!

This spring I missed SXSW due to illness, which was a big bummer. Choosing to experience Storyline, the city of Portland and experience it with my wife is a wonderful reward after missing SXSW. We're both very excited.

I'm also planning to sketchnote the Storyline Conference. If Don is OK with it, I'll post my sketchnotes on Flickr and here on my blog. I'm excited to learn and then share story concepts with others curious about writing a better story with their own lives.