What’s the benefit of sketchnoting compared to other forms of note-taking?
The most foundational impact of sketchnoting is this: it results in a fully engaged brain. By weaving sketches and diagrams into the note-taking process you’re tapping into both the verbal and visual processing powers of your brain.
When you make your ideas visual, that also leads to clearer thinking. Sketchnoting makes it easier to see the relationships between ideas, the logical sequence from one to the next, and the people and objects that live behind abstract concepts.
By engaging the visual processing powers of your brain, you’re setting yourself up for better recall. You’re more likely to remember a few sketched objects than a few bullet points. Recalling those sketches and where they live on the page in relation to each other will help trigger the words and ideas that live alongside them.
I’ve also found that sketchnotes make a great jumping off point. I can point to different parts of my sketchnote and say “that’s an idea I want to explore further” or “that’s an idea I need to start incorporating into my daily life.” Sketchnotes are like maps – sometimes they make you want to zoom in and explore an area in more depth, other times they make you want to zoom out and get perspective of the broader region.
As you take more and more sketchnotes over time, you build up a record of your evolving understanding of a topic. As you dive deeper into the subjects that interest you, the depth of your knowledge will be represented in the richness (or simplicity) of the visual representations you create.
By taking the time to do a bit of drawing and diagramming, you’re also slowing down your thoughts. Instead of a word vomit on the page you get down fewer but better ideas.
And when you go to look for a specific idea a few months after you created a sketchnote, you’ll likely notice that it’s easier to find things later. It’s easy for a word to get lost in a sea of text. That’s not the case with drawings and diagrams.
Have you noticed any of those benefits as you’ve been sketchnoting?
To dive deeper into the development of your skills, check out our library of sketchnoting courses.
I hope you enjoy the process of balancing out word-heavy processing with some visual skills.