The Long-Term Arc Of A Visual Practitioner - Stage 1: Getting Started (Featured)

The Long-Term Arc Of A Visual Practitioner (Stage 1: Getting Started)

This is the first in a three-part series on what it looks like to build a visual thinking practice into your life, with the long term in mind. You can view Part 2 here and Part 3 here.

When I think about the development of visual note-taking skills, I like to step back and look at that development from the scale of 5 years, 10 years, even 20 or 30 years.

I’ve made the choice to be a visual practitioner for the rest of my life, so this is personal.

But I’ve also seen others who are doing the same. We’ve got a number of them in The Verbal To Visual Community, and they’re the ones that inspired this series.

My goal with this series is to outline the stages of the long-term arc of a visual practitioner so that you have a reference not just of where you are right now, but where you could be in the future.

The Long-Term Arc Of A Visual Practitioner - Stage 1: Getting Started - Verbal To Visual Video - Doug Neill - sketchnoting, doodling, visual notes

In the first stage you go through a cycle of building your core skills while you develop a visual note-taking process that is tailored to your situation and your goals.

It’s in this phase that you get your bearings as you gain confidence in the combined use of those core skills (text, layout, imagery, and color).

You experiment with different combinations of materials and constraints until you have nailed down a process that works well for you.

When you’ve done that, you know that you’ve completed Stage 1.

If you’re not yet there, focus of building up one individual skill at a time, and start paying closer attention to the usefulness of the constraints that you set up for yourself during a note-taking session.

Good luck and keep at it.

Next time we’ll be exploring what comes in Stage 2.


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.