A Menu for Sketchnoters

Do you ever feel overwhelmed at the start of a sketchnoting session?

Sometimes it can feel like there are just too many options out there, too many small decisions for you to make prior to jumping into some visual note-taking.

I think I came up with an analogy that might make it easier to make those decisions.

A menu for sketchnoters, to help you jump into your next sketchnoting session with a plan in place.

Imagine going to a fast-food Mexican restaurant where you get to see your food being made at the bar.

Often you’ll see a big menu above the bar that has a three-step process to it.

First you decide whether you want a bowl or burrito. Then you pick your protein source. Finally, you pick what veggies and other toppings you want.

I feel like there’s an opportunity to do something similar with sketchnoting.

In the first step you pick your materials. In the second step you pick a specific process that you want to use. And in the third step you pick some individual skills to focus on during that sketchnoting session.

That’s the menu that I decided to sketch out above, and here’s what the creation process looked like:

I started by finding a helpful reference image by doing a Google search for “3-step restaurant menu.”

I then did a quick draft.

I sketched each step out on copy paper.

And then brought it all together on some large poster paper.

So there it is, a menu that outlines your options and helps you choose your next sketchnoting meal!

I hope it was useful both seeing the result and also seeing the process that led to it.

Dig Deeper

Are you a teacher interested in helping your students develop their own sketchnoting skills? I built a resource kit to help with that, called Sketchnoting in the Classroom:

Add sketchnoting to your toolkit as an instructor, and help your students develop their own visual thinking skills!


If you work outside of the education setting but still want to build your visual thinking skills and apply those skills to your personal and professional life, you might enjoy An Introduction to Visual Note-Taking:

Reconnect to making marks by hand as you learn to use text, layout, imagery, and color to engage your visual brain.

You can also check out full course library here.