An Experiment In Live-Streamed Sketchnoting - Doug Neill - Verbal To Visual

An Experiment In Live-Streamed Sketchnoting

Last week I conducted an experiment over on Facebook: I streamed live video of my sketchnoting of the first five interviews of the Creative Live series 30 Days of Genius.

Here’s a quick recap of the experiment along with the recordings of some of those live-streamed videos.

Purpose & Process

I began each live-stream by letting you know two things: my purpose for sketchnoting these interviews and the process that I would use to do that sketchnoting.

Your purpose provides the filter . It helps you determine what makes it on the page and what doesn’t. Remember: it’s not about getting every single idea down, just those that matter the most in your particular situation.

Your process gives order to the blank page. It’s a style sheet of sorts – a loose set of rules that you can break if you need to but that give you the necessary structure around how you’ll get ideas on the page.

To me, those are two things that you should define for yourself before every single sketchnoting or graphic recording session. They are the creative constraints that provide useful bounds on the experience.

The Recordings

In the first two interviews that I sketchnoted (Mark Cuban and Seth Godin), I didn’t include the audio of the interview in the live stream because I wasn’t sure if host Chase Jarvis and the folks at Creative Live would be cool with that. But by the third one Chase actually asked me to include it (thanks Chase!) so I’ve shared interviews three through five below, which include the audio from the interview:

Marie Forleo

Tim Ferriss

Arianna Huffington


Live-streaming my own sketchnoting was a bit nerve-wracking, but it was also fun. Being able to have a conversation with those who were watching live about the ideas that were shared added an additional layer to the experience that I enjoyed.

I stopped this live-sketchnoting experiment because it began cutting into other priorities of mine (like finishing the How To Make Sketchnote Videos course!) and because even after just five interviews I was starting to see a trap that was being laid – the trap of spending too much time note-taking and not enough time putting into practice the ideas that you had captured.

So watch out for that trap yourself, and stay tuned for future live-streamed sketchnoting – I’m sure it will make a comeback at some point.



P.S. Big thanks to Chase and Creative Live for letting me live-stream the audio of those three interviews. Be sure to check out the full series: 30 Days of Genius.


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.