How To Structure A Sketchnoting Practice Session - Doug Neill - Verbal To Visual - visual notes, note-taking, doodling

How To Structure A Sketchnoting Practice Session

Even after deciding that visual note-taking is a skill that you’d like to develop, you might not know how to go about structuring your practice of that skill.

Here’s a four-stage process for you to try out:

How To Structure A Sketchnoting Practice Session (Full) - Doug Neill - Verbal To Visual

Stage 1: Warm Up

Start by warming up the brain and the hand with some free-form doodling, some alphabet writing, and some icon drawing.

Keep it light and stress-free.

Stage 2: Practice

Now that you’re warmed up, it’s time to work on some new skills. Pick one that you’d like to focus on, and spend some time practicing it.

I recommend keeping a practice queue: a list of skills that you’d like to develop and the resources to help you develop them. That way you have a source to pull from when you transition into the practice stage.

Stage 3: Apply

Next you get to actually do some sketchnoting! Apply your skills as you take visual notes on a podcast, video, book, or other source of information that interests you.

Similar to the previous stage, start keeping a stimulus queue (a la Todd Henry): a list of interesting sources of information that you’d like to sketchnote. That way you again have a source to pull from when you’re ready to get down to sketchnoting.

Stage 4: Reflect

Once you’ve completed your sketchnote, step back and take a look at the result.

How did it go? Notice any adjustments you’d like to make to your note-taking process? What new skill would you like to develop next? What new ideas would you like to dig deeper into?

Make the appropriate additions to your practice queue and stimulus queue.

Then walk away and do something else for a while!

Come back in a day or two, and do it again.

Good luck, have fun, and happy sketching.


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.