How To Make A Sketchnoted Video On Your iPhone (Part 3: The Recording) - Verbal To Visual Video - Doug Neill - doodling, visual thinking, visual notes, whiteboard animation

How To Make A Sketchnoted Video On Your iPhone (Part 3: The Recording)

Note: This is the 3rd in a four-part series on using your iPhone to create a sketchnoted video as a way to share your ideas with others. View Part 1 herePart 2 here, and Part 4 here.

Having mapped out your ideas, audience, and outcome in Part 1 of this series, and then tackled the equipment and setup in Part 2, we’re now ready to hit the record button.

The recording step has two stages two it: 1) recording the sketchnote, and 2) recording the spoken audio track that will accompany the sketchnote (with maybe a face-on intro and outro as well).

Stage 1: Recording The Sketchnote

Before you hit record on the camera, here’s what you should have in place.

1) A Sketched Outline

Make sure you’ve got a rough version of your sketchnote in front of you. If you start recording without this you’re much more likely to stress yourself out. In the past I’ve even used a red pen to add numbers to different sections of the sketch so that I know in which order I want to draw/write them.


2) Notebook And Pens

Or whiteboard and markers, or tablet and stylus, etc. If you are using multiple writing/drawing tools, make sure that you know how you’ll use each – give each a unique role in your sketchnote and stay consistent.


3) Decent Lighting

Natural lighting works best, but a few lamps on either side of the drawing surface will do as well. When it comes to lighting (and most things, really) nothing beats trial and error.


With those pieces in place, hit record, turn your head down, and get to work!

Important detail: I record in the standard Video mode rather than Timelapse mode, because in some cases the Timelapse mode speeds up the video more than I’d like.


Pro Tip!

Each time you complete a section of your sketchnote, pull your hand out of the frame for a few seconds so that in the editing stage you can expand or contract those hand-less frames as necessary depending on what audio you’ve recorded related to that section.

Stage 2: Recording The Audio

If you’re not doing a video intro or outro, then this step is simple. Use your now completed sketchnote as an outline while you record on your iPhone the audio track.

Use this as an opportunity to expand on whatever sketched ideas you’d like to emphasize, and add important details that didn’t make it into the sketch.

You will be able to do some editing out of mistakes, but my suggestions would be to get this audio in one complete clip, even if you’ve got to do multiple takes in order to get it the way you want it.


If you are doing a face-on intro and outro, my suggestion is to record it all in one video for simplicity sake.

Talk to the camera while recording the intro, then feel free to look down at the sketch while talking throughout the sketchnote as above, then look back up at the camera for the outro. For each of those three clips, feel free to do multiple takes until you like it.

How To Make A Sketchnoted Video On Your iPhone (Part 3: The Recording) - Verbal To Visual Video - Doug Neill - doodling, visual thinking, visual notes, whiteboard animation

Good Luck!

Best of luck as you tackle these recordings! In Part 4 we’ll be editing what you recorded, all still on the iPhone. Till then.


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.