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Sketchnoting: The Art of Visual Note-taking
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Sketchnoting: The Art of Visual Note-taking

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I was recently asked to contribute an article about visual note-taking to "Primarily English", a print magazine for primary school teachers put out by the Victorian Association for the Teaching of …

I was recently asked to contribute an article about visual note-taking to "Primarily English", a print magazine for primary school teachers put out by the Victorian Association for the Teaching of English.

Rather than write the article, I thought it made sense to sketch it. The result was this four-page comic strip.


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  • 1. SKETCHNOTING They’re used in hollywood ... ... and in design.THE ART OF VISUAL NOTE-tAKING 2012 Matthew Magainsketches have beenused for centuries as ... in architecture ...tools for exploringand communicating KITCHEN BEDROOM NO.1 M U LT I P U R P O S Eideas... DISHWASHER ENTRY SLIDING DOORSketching is a fantastic way to Unfortunately, sketching is While Written notes can form aexpress yourself — even if frowned upon by some, Most good reference, they’re notyou’re not an accomplished commonly, when it occurs necessarily great for recall.artist. during class. pay attention! because Taking notes is best done using words, right? RIGHT? Plus they look kind of boring!
  • 2. D.C. ComicsA global movement, known as Sketchnoting uses a combination of:sketchnoting (visual note-taking) is gaining popularity, Comics!particularly at tech conferences. Marvel Comics and ... which makes it similar to that other frowned-upon art form ... Like the one you’re reading now! Firstly, A Sketchnote is not strictly sequential — There are no panels A Sketchnote differs from a to indicate sequence. Instead the sketcher captures the essence of comic in at least two ways: the talk and arranges it as she chooses, in a form of personal curation.
  • 3. Secondly, There are less bad Sketchnoting requires you to However, You don’t need to be anguys in a sketchnote (unless multi-task, which means you’re accomplished artist to create ait’s from a talk about comics!) often listening, processing, good sketchnote. Sure, it helps, and drawing at the same time. but really You just need to be able to draw basic shapes. GRRR! Marvel Comics So, why create a sketchnote? Doing so forces you to pay In addition, The finished sketch attention. it’s not mindless makes a useful reference, a doodling, it’s capturing nostalgic keepsake, or even a information creatively. unique gift for the presenter. It can improve your retention of the material. Sketchnoting can turn an otherwise boring presentation into a fun learning experience.
  • 4. The next time you’re sitting in Throw in a few quotes, and SO, How does one get started? a talk, start writing down concepts maybe draw a speech bubble or that resonate with you. Arrange stylized quotes around them. the words, on the fly, in an interesting way, with personality. Start experimenting with different shapes that reinforce the message, and work up to sketching objects.Don’t worry about capturing For lots of examples, visit If you’re feeling confident, whyeverything — you’re not sketchnotearmy.com or check not share your sketchnotescreating a definitive reference. out Eva-lotta lamm’s forthcoming online? I’d love to see someAnd remember, It takes practice. book on the topic. of your creations!over time your sketchnoteswill improve, and so will yourlistening skills.you can order Matthew’s latest children’s book, charlieweatherburn and the flying machine, from charlieweatherburn.com