5 Warm Up Routines for Sketchnoters

What’s harder than facing the blank page? Doing so with cold muscles and a foggy brain. Let’s fix that.

Here are five warm up routines that will help you prepare for your next visual note-taking session.

Make random marks.

For a lot of us, the challenge of sketchnoting lies in making marks other than letters. This is your opportunity to get comfortable with squiggles and long lines and different shapes, without trying to sketch out anything recognizable (yet).

Write out the alphabet in a few different fonts.

Start with your natural handwriting (maybe cleaned up a little if you’re sloppy by nature) and then practice a second font that you might like to use within your sketchnotes. Pick a few trouble letters from the new font and practice those letters three or four more times.

A few activities to help you warm up your hand and your brain prior to a sketchnoting session.

Draw some icons.

Here’s where you begin sketching things out! Start with some icons that you’re familiar with and then maybe weave in some new ones as well.

Practice your stick figures (or any other new visual element you’d like to weave into your notes).

This is where some skill-building comes in. What visual elements are you not yet comfortable with? Use this as an opportunity to practice those so that you’re more likely to use them in the upcoming sketchnoting session.

Explicitly identify the intent behind this sketchnoting session.

Why are you taking notes in the first place? By identifying the purpose behind your sketchnotes it will be easier to decide what’s worth capturing and what isn’t. That filter will help you keep up with the pace of information.

These warm up activities will prime your hand and your brain for the work that comes next – processing and visualizing whatever information comes your way!

Best of luck with your next visual note-taking session.

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If you’d like some additional practice activities to help you become a better visual thinker, then check out the free guide Getting Starting with Sketchnoting:

Happy sketchnoting,

-Doug