A Walking Journal

You might be surprised at how well your brain is able to sort out problems when given the time and space to do so.

I’ve found that when you combine exercise with the outdoors you give the brain a boost in it’s ability to do that sorting out. Many personal and professional problems of mine have been resolved by the end of a long walk through the forest.

To make sure you act on the insights that come your way while walking, you’ll want to have a small notebook on hand.

I’ve got a dedicated one just for this purpose, and I call it my walking journal.


In this walking journal I capture my thoughts with quick sketches, keyed icons, and sloppy text.

Here are some pages out of my own walking journal – a Scout Book from a local TEDxMtHood event (the notebook I used in the intro to the video is from the World Domination Summit).


In the image above I’m starting to sort out and make plans for my four ongoing projects: The Graphic Recorder, Verbal To Visual, Learn In Public, and Doug Neill Music (coming soon!).


The most frequently used icons: a check box for to-do’s and a light bulb for new ideas.


Project planning for next week’s video in which I’ll be sharing my annual review!

Now it’s your turn – pick up a notebook you can fit in your pocket, then get outside and start walking.


Want To Dig Deeper?

If you’re new to the idea of sketchnoting and excited to develop more visual thinking tools, I think you’d enjoy our foundational course An Introduction To Visual Note-Taking.

If you’d like to make sketchnoted videos like the one you saw here, we’ve got a course for that too! Check out How To Make Sketchnote Videos.

And if you’re an educator interested in bringing visual note-taking into your classroom, check out Sketchnoting In The Classroom.