Tools For Taking, Storing, & Sharing Your Sketchnotes

“What materials do you use to sketchnote?”

That’s one of the questions that I am most frequently asked, so I decided to make a video sharing the tools that I use. I’m also working on a more comprehensive materials guide for sketchnoters to lay out all of the options available to you.

Check out the video above for descriptions of each of the tools that I use and how I use them. Below you’ll find links if you’d like to pick some of them up for yourself.

The Tools I Write & Sketch With


The Materials I Write & Sketch On


Combinations & Processes


  • Legal pad + black pen for initial brainstorming
  • Index cards + black pen for to-do lists and planning
  • Index cards + black pen + highlighters for slides and shownotes
  • Index cards + black pen + highlighters for book notes
  • Large sketchbook + two-color pens for illustrated videos and classroom lessons
  • Large moleskine + pencil -> pen for two-stage sketchnotes
  • Small moleskine + pen for travel journaling
  • Grid paper + pen for digitizable notes
  • Roll of poster paper + chisel tip Sharpies for large scale work

The Digital Tools I Use


There are plenty of interesting and useful materials out there, but don’t try to find the perfect combination, just start with what is affordable and accessible, and then experiment from there.

The Verbal To Visual Materials Guide - visual note-taking, sketchnoting, doodling, notebooks, sketchbooks, tablets, pens

What are your favorite tools for sketchnoting? Share them here for possible inclusion within the materials guide I’m working on!

Comments 12

    1. Post
  1. Thanks for the great resources Doug! I’m very new to sketchnoting and have been trying to find a balance between paper and digital. For paper I’m using some hand-made paper notebooks. For digital, where I’ve initially spent more time, I’m using an iPad. I tried the Wacom Bamboo tablet, but couldn’t easily adjust to not looking at the tablet. And the time it takes to set it up compared to a stylus and a tablet is a small but significant roadblock.

    With the tablet I can pick it up any time and any place and sketchnote. I’ve tried a variety of apps and am currently enjoying the free app Inkredible. For a stylus, after trying a few, I really like the feel of the Paper 53’s Pencil 53.


    1. Post
    1. Post
    1. Post
  2. Hi Doug,
    I found your site yesterday and really short of words, your page is one of the best site for sketchnoting. I am a certified Business Analyst and I really want to learn this stuff to help me in documenting my requirements in a professional manner…I have spent the day watching most of the episodes and some of my questions have been addressed. Admire your passion this subject and please keep up the good work. Can’t wait to establish a mentor and protege relationship…

    1. Post

      Hi Abdul, thanks for checking out the videos – glad that you’re finding them useful. I’m seeing HUGE opportunities in the business world for folks who are willing to develop these visual skills, so I wish you luck and hope that my work continues to be useful to you along the way.

      1. Really appreciate the feedback Mr Neill,
        No doubt Sketching is a good skill for anyone who is Agile especially in a digital project where there is less documention. Ability to visualise info is a cool skill to have.
        Keep up the good work and I’ll continue to benefit from your awesome videos 👌👌👌

  3. I am really enjoying your videos and tips. The materials list is invaluable, especially for the analog piece. I wanted to order the pencils and find I have to select the type. You mentioned purchasing a five pack and settling on one. Which size would you suggest?
    Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *