A Decision Tree for Sketchnoters

When taking visual notes, there are a lot of different decisions that you have to make.

Some of those decisions you can make before the sketchnoting session (like the materials you’ll use and the overarching sketchnoting process you’ll go with).

But other decisions need to be made in the moment (like how to visualize the idea that you just read about or listened to).

I’ve found it helpful to create a flowchart that dictates how I’d like to make those decisions (also know as a decision tree).

My sketchnoting decision tree has three sections to it.

The first outlines my process depending on the type of media I’m taking notes on:

The different approaches to sketchnoting that I use, depending on the type of source material.

The second section of my decision tree helps me decide how to sketch out each individual idea:

How I visualize each idea, depending on what type of information it is.

The third section of my decision tree helps me remember some post-sketchnoting steps that I don’t want to forget to take.

My post-sketchnote workflow.

Check out the video above for a walk-through of each of those sections!


That decision tree is a work in progress.

With each sketchnoting session I learn about what works well for me and what doesn’t, so over time I can continue adding to and refining the nodes and branches.

The goal in creating it is simply to have a reference for all the details of my process so that I can carry it out well and also so that I can continue to make it more efficient and more effective over time.

If you’re lacking some clarity in your sketchnoting process, then try creating your own decision tree!

You can incorporate the types of media that you most frequently work with, the categories of visualization that you find most helpful, and the post-sketchnote steps that ensure your notes have as positive an impact on your work and life as possible.


Free Sketchnoting Guide

Want to give sketchnoting a try but not sure where to start? Check out this sample of The Verbal To Visual Notebook:

That 100% hand-sketched notebook includes a set of prompts to help you put pen to paper and start sketching out ideas yourself.

You can get the free guide here.

Good luck building out your own decision tree in support of your next sketchnoting session!