Sketching Tip: Sketching your notes at conferences, meetings & in class

Toad 5x5
Notes from a training I did in preparation to volunteer for an amphibian monitoring citizen science project in Wyoming.

These tips are excerpted from an earlier article I wrote highlighting many ways that sketchnotes are being used by scientists. The following tips, though, are broadly applicable for many kinds of note-taking situations.

  • Keep your supplies simple and portable. A ballpoint pen and one color (marker, colored pencil, even a crayon!) can produce delightful results.
  • Use frames to organize/design page layout. You can even set up your pages in advance, making frames for intro, main points, conclusion, key questions, etc.
  • Incorporate text into your sketches. Be sure to include your own questions and observations. Your personal “feedback” will make the sketches particularly interesting/valuable to you later.
  • Use only one spot/accent color. Realistic colors are hard to achieve quickly in a dark room. Instead, use color as a design device, to highlight key points or thought flows.
  • Using a quick sketch to capture the essence. Even if your sketch isn’t technically accurate, it will help you make or remember a point.
  • Think of yourself as a curator. Don’t try to capture everything, and don’t worry about what you should draw. Sketch what interests you.

Want to take sketching seriously? Here are a few resources for sketchnoting and drawing:

What doodling can do for your brain:

Join the conversation!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s