Reading, Writing, & Sketchnoting

Lately I’ve been thinking about the way that I do my work.

That thinking has been prompted by a few things: the experimenting I’ve been doing in connection with our newest course Digital Sketchnoting, and my recent obsession with the app Notion (prompted by my podcast conversation with Wen Yang and fueled by the YouTube channel of August Bradley).

The focus of my thoughts: systems. Particularly the systems surrounding what I consume and create. In connection with my decision to quit social media, I’ve been trying to ramp up the amount of time I spend reading and writing.

I’ve got an ever growing list of books and articles that I’d like to read, as well as a growing number of topics that I’d like to explore in the essay format. In both cases, sketchnoting plays a role: I sketchnote the key ideas from what I read and I sketchnote the ideas I write about in those essays.

To help wrap my head around how best to do that sketchnoting, and also how to weave some sketchnoting instruction into the mix, I put together this flowchart for myself:

How I’m approaching the creation of sketchnotes (and behind-the-scenes videos about sketchnoting) in connection with the books I read and essays I write.

I still enjoy doing early stage sketchnotes with analog tools, but once I have an idea for what I’d like to sketch out, I like turning to digital tools, specifically my iPad Pro, Apple Pencil, and the app Concepts.

What I’ve recently realized is that there’s an added benefit of going digital: the ease with which I can start recording my screen.

In just about every sketchnoting session, some interesting question or technique comes up that I think other visual note-takers would be interested in. By defaulting to turning my screen recorder on during each sketchnoting session, I’ll collect the raw material for future YouTube videos in which I can share specific tips with real examples from my own experience.

I’m a little bit curious to see what would happen if that were the only type of video I shared on YouTube, because I like how integrated the workflow is with what I’m already doing. No more planning out lessons, just showing my work and talking you through it, and leave the polished lessons for my online courses.

I doubt I’ll actually take that approach with YouTube, though. I imagine I’ll still want to add some polished lessons into the mix. But I really like how the process I mapped out above allows for a large quantity of helpful videos to emerge fairly organically from the work I’m already doing.

How have you been weaving sketchnoting into your work lately?

Come join us within Verbal to Visual and let us know.