| Category: Bullet journal, Study tips | By Carl-Philippe Carr

What are Sketchnotes?

Sketchnotes are visual notes consisting of a mix of handwriting, drawings, symbols, hand-drawn typography and graphic elements like arrows, boxes and notes. Mike Rohde – you can name him as the “founder of sketchnotes” says: It’s about ideas and not art. You do not need to be an artist! It is more about “fast drawing“. Essentially it is the way of taking notes enhanced with sketches, doodles, simple drawings, as well as text.

Complex ideas can often be portrayed more effectively with drawings. For me, drawing is not merely a hobby or even my job, it is more or less a way of life. As a child I would draw non-stop, like most children do. Very often – when starting school – people more or less stop to draw. It might be connected with that they at lessons are told what’s wrong and right. But honestly. There is no right, or wrong way of doing things!

Whitelines A5 lined notebook
Whitelines App version. The app removes the background and make it easy to share as pdf/image.

What if I can’t draw?

Yes, you can. Start out with fun and easy beginning activities. That is the key to continued success. The best way to get into sketchnoting is to practice. Just start to create small hand drawn images to underline your written notes. Don’t feel stressed, it is okay to add just one or two small drawings to your first page. The more you practice, the more drawings you can add. Use different typo to create a visual hierarchy. Use frames, arrows and lines at the beginning and you will see that this already creates a completely different style than “normal” note taking.

Visual notes help you to understand, summarize and distinguish the important from the less important. Visualized processes help to clarify and explain ideas. Visual thinking is important. 75 % of our brain is used for visual processing. Therefore, we capture more information by looking at pictures related to what we listen to, compared just reading a text. With images you maximize effectiveness and impact. When you draw you organize your thoughts.

Images are important as they make connections, organizes your mind and boost your memory. Sketchnoting is more than just taking notes. Including images related to the content enhance the learning process. You effectively capture what is most important. And the best: If you review your sketchnotes, you can create a better recall of the material and information covered. This creates a deeper understanding of what you are learning.

What if I don’t have time to draw?  

Okay, you know what: – Start your bullet journal!

People often complain that they don’t have the time to draw. I have a brilliant idea:  Start a bullet journal! You can combine creativity and get your whole life organized at the same time. A bullet journal can be used for Business –private life –studies – whatever you want!

No more chaotic piles of memos, and no more annoying reminder apps: You simply use pen and paper, which is presumably precisely the reason behind its astonishing success. The system, which was “invented” by the New York graphic designer Ryder Carroll, is based on a sketchbook where you create your own customized calendar.

In your bullet journal, you separate your tasks, events, notes etc. by using key codes or color codes. It allows you to see what you have already completed, uncompleted, what is important, has priority and what you can do later. It organizes your events, time tables or study goals. A bulletjournal can be everything. It can also be your diary, your travel journal or your habit tracker. The perfect tool to recap habits, grades or activities. It is simple and effective and allows you to create your own style. No more blank pages in your calendar. Simply customize it so it suits your individual needs. Hey, and use some sketch notes in it. I promise you: You will never ever be better organized.

Share your ideas

There is a huge sketch note and bullet journal community in social media. Share your ideas. Learn from each other and get inspired. Use hashtags and look what others are doing. Be creative and learn. I promise you – this is so much fun!

Whitelines A5 squared notebook
Whitelines App scanned version. The app removes the background and make it easy to share as pdf or image.


Yours Diana


This text is written by Diana for Whitelines.

Instagram: Dianasoriat


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