The Sketchnote Ideabook: First Impressions - Verbal to Visual, Doug Neill, Mike Rohde

The Sketchnote Ideabook: First Impressions

Just under a month ago, Mike Rohde launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the production of a high-quality notebook made specifically for sketchnoters.

It’s called the Sketchnote Ideabook, and I’m excited to share with you my first impressions of a pre-released edition of the notebook that Mike was kind enough to send my way.

A pre-released edition of The Sketchnote Ideabook.

If you’re reading this as soon as it’s released, you’ve still got a few days to support the Kickstarter campaign and get your own copy (or set of copies!) of this unique sketchbook.

If it’s a little later down the line, then keep an eye on the Sketchnote Ideabook website. I imagine that the successful Kickstarted campaign is just the beginning!

First Impressions

If it isn’t already obvious, I’m a biased reviewer. I consider Mike to be a friend. With that said, if this notebook weren’t any good, I wouldn’t even be talking about it.

But it is good. And it checks most (if not all) of the boxes that sketchnoters look for in a notebook:

The cover is solid and sturdy, facilitating both on-the-desk or in-the-lap note-taking.

My first marks in this new sketchbook – these are ideas that I’ll be sharing in next week’s video.

The white paper helps your writing and drawing pop off of the page. I tested out the writing and drawing experience while recording a video lesson that I’ll be publishing next week – I was pleased with how it looks and feels to use this notebook!

The lay-flat binding allows you to make use of the entire page, including that section near the seam that is hard to reach in other sketchbooks.

I enjoyed the bright white paper, the lay-flat binding, and thick pages that prevent bleed-through.

The paper is super thick (160 GSM), which means that you won’t get any bleed through. With my test using the Pentel Energy 0.7mm pen, you couldn’t see the marks at all (even faintly!) on the other side of the page. That will allow you to confidently use both sides of every page.

Special Touches for Sketchnoters

The types of features that I mentioned above exist in other sketchbooks (though not in that particular combination, that I’ve seen), but what makes the Sketchnote Ideabook stand out is all of the features that were added specifically for visual note-takers.

A helpful reference of sketchnoting elements inside the front cover.

Inside the front cover you’ve got a quick reference of sketchnoting elements that you might want to include in your notes, plus a spot to write down your info, along with a welcome message from Mike.

Try out a new approach to layout by selecting one of these sketchnoting patterns, referenced on the inside of the back cover.

Inside the back cover you’ve got a list of sketchnoting patterns you might try out (and with 128 total pages in the sketchbook you’ll want to experiment with many of them!), plus a pocket for loose paper with a reminder that it’s about ideas, not art.

You’ll even find some perforated pages in the back for you to store new visual vocabulary entries!

And maybe my favorite addition of all: the last handful of pages in the sketchbook include some grids for you to keep track of your visual vocabulary!

With both large and small boxes available, you’ve got a place to capture icons and simple drawings that you might want to use in future note-taking sessions. Those pages are perforated if case you want to tear them out for easier reference.

Get Sketchnoting

To summarize, I think Mike and the folks at Airship Notebooks did a great job of making a sketchbook that’s specifically for sketchnoters.

So if you’re able, go back the Kickstarter! And keep an eye on the Sketchnote Ideabook website for future availability.

For a bit of support developing the skills that you’ll put to use in that notebook, go pick up The Sketchnote Handbook if you don’t already own a copy, and browse our online courses to see if any of those feel like a good fit.

Congratulations to Mike and the team on making a great product!