A Sketchnote Template That Balances Words And Visuals

A Sketchnote Template That Balances Words And Visuals

One of the most difficult challenges to overcome when learning how to sketchnote is the fear of the blank page.

There’s the fear of making your first mark on that blank page.

Then there’s the fear of starting a sketch when you don’t know if you’ll have the time or space to complete if before the speaker moves on.

Then there’s the fear of not having enough line left to complete the heading for your new section.

Some of those fears can be alleviated through practice.

You can practice drawing out the elements of your visual vocabulary until you intuitively know how much space you’ll need.

You can practice writing your unique fonts until you intuitively know how many characters of your title font you can comfortably fit across the width of a page.

Other fears can be alleviated via constraints you put on the page itself before you even begin taking notes.

That idea of useful constraints on page layout is the reason I created the Templates category of activities for The Verbal To Visual Notebook. I wanted to give you an opportunity to try out different types of constraints to see which ones fit you well.

That’s the thing about constraints: one set of constraints might work for you friend but not for you, another set the opposite. Only through experimentation will you come to know what types of constraints work well for you in which situations.

All of the templates in The Verbal To Visual Notebook are oriented horizontally, so I thought I’d develop a vertically-oriented template to share here on the blog:


This template is designed to be filled top to bottom as you listen to a talk, read a book, on take in information in some other way. Each of the three main sections of the page are broken down into two parts: one part for words and another for visuals.

You might try filling the verbal parts first with bullets, outlines, and key phrases, and then fill in the visual parts with sketches and diagrams after-the-fact. If visuals come to mind in-the-moment, then feel free to get them down right away.

Or, come up with your own method of filling those distinct sections.

Here is a downloaded and printable PDF version of this template in case you’d like to keep a copy on hand.

Give it a shot and let me know how it goes!


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