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Mastering the Skill of Business Sketchnotes ™: A comprehensive Guide

Mastering the Skill of Business Sketchnotes ™: A comprehensive Guide

Introduction to Sketchnotes

In a world inundated with information, finding effective ways to capture and retain knowledge is crucial.

Sketchnoting, a technique that combines words and visuals, offers a creative and engaging solution.

Whether you’re a student, professional, or simply someone eager to enhance your note-taking skills, sketchnoting can be a powerful tool in your arsenal.

Visual Summary Taken from Our Business Sketchnote Certification Training

Benefits of Sketchnotes

Enhanced Memory Retention: The combination of images and text engages both hemispheres of the brain, leading to better retention of information.

Improved Creativity: Sketchnoting encourages creative thinking and allows for a more personal and expressive representation of ideas.

Increased Engagement: Visual notes are more appealing and memorable, making it easier to revisit and understand the content.

Basic Tools and Material Required

A) Paper:

Choose a notebook or loose sheets with a smooth surface that accommodates both text and drawings. 150 GSM or higher thickness is best for sketchnoting.

Long form of sketchnotes are made on big flipcharts (mostly you must have seen these in training rooms)

B) Pens and markers:

Opt for a set of pens with various line thicknesses to add depth and detail to your sketchnotes.

Generally, for notebook based sketchnotes you will need

  • .2 mm fine tip black color pen.
  • 2mm marker (generally called sketch pens)
  • 6 mm marker (generally called chiselled pens)
  • Single colored Brushpen or Highlighter for making shadows. Grey is most preferred but you can also use pink or blue ones. Avoid the florescent green ones.
  • Single color soft pastel to fill in big spaces with light tint.
Picture taken from Our Business Sketchnote Certification Training

Visual Vocabulary and Metaphors

C) Basic Geometry:

Simple geometric shapes as they form the basis for a majority of icons found in the world.

It all starts with drawing some basic lines, circles, rectanges, ovals and triangles

Taken from Our Business Sketchnote Certification Training

D) Icons

Icons are simplistic drawing based representations of day to day objects. 

If you are able to draw basic circles, squares, rectangles and, triangles, then you will be able to draw 95% of worl’s icons.

👇Check the image below to see how icons are made by combination of geometries.

Taken from Our Business Sketchnote Certification Training

E) Metaphors

Most of the time in business context, you will be needed to visual intangible concepts like reward, success, negotiation etc.

In these cases, we try to associate object based icons to those intangible concepts.

Eg.

To represent REWARD, draw a TROPHY

To represent GOAL, draw a DART BOARD

To represent DIGITAL, draw a LAPTOP

👇Check the image below to see some of these metaphorical associations.

Taken from Our Business Sketchnote Certification Training

F) Basic Human Drawings:

Mastering basic human drawings, such as doodle figures, opens up possibilities for representing actions, emotions, and interactions.

👇Check the image below to see how a basic human body is represented in a doodle format.

Picture Taken from Our Business Sketchnote Certification Training

Drawing a basic human doodle opens up many possibilities to draw various actions and interactions.

👇Check the image below to see various actions and poses drawn from our human doodle

Slide Taken from Our Business Sketchnote Certification Training

Similar to icons, various business metaphors can be now be represented by drawing our action based human doodles.

This opens an big box of opportunities when instead of just drawing and object, we can now draw a whole metaphorical scene.

My best suggestions to pick your inspiration to draw these scenes are

  • Childhood memories (In my experience I have seen that metaphors coming from our childhood memories and more common across countries and cultures. More common that we think it is ! )
  • Your cultural traditions and some actions. For eg. In India, when anything is started they touch feet of their elders or break a coconut.
  •  Scenes from famous movies.

This way you will easily break the monotony from those cliched Google based typical icons and illustrations.

👇Check the image below to see how the above suggestions are used to represent business concepts.

Photo is from our training material of our Business Sketchnote Certification Training

Visual Grammar

So till now, we have learned visual vocabulary in the form of drawing icons, humans and metaphors.

Like how in learning  any language, words are the first step of learning and we need to bind those words with vocabulary to form meaningful sentences.

Similarly, we need to bind our visual icons and metaphors with some visual grammar. Here certain important aspects of visual grammar.

G) Frames and Containers:

Use frames and containers to organize content, emphasizing important ideas and creating a clear structure.

In sketchnotes, One family of content type is placed inside one type of frame/container.

All geometrical shapes and all icons are used as frames and containers.

👇Check examples below

Even speech bubbles can be used as containers

👇Check examples below

Taken from Our Business Sketchnote Certification Training
Taken from Our Business Sketchnote Certification Training

H) Arrows and Connectors:

Connect ideas visually using arrows and connectors, helping to establish relationships between containers.

They also help in showing information flow

👇Here are various kinds of arrows typically used in sketchnotes.

Taken from Our Business Sketchnote Certification Training
Taken from Our Business Sketchnote Certification Training

I) Visual Hierarchy:

Prioritize information by varying text size, color, and weight to create a visual hierarchy that guides the viewer through your sketchnotes.

In simple words, visual hierarchy means what the reader’s reads first in your sketchnote.

It is almost like when you read your newpaper during your breakfast, you are able to quickly skim through the headings because headings are at the top of visual hierarchy. They have the hierarchy of size.

Similarly there are other hierarchies like thickness, darkness, size and color.

More over, these hierarchies are valid in typography, containers and connectors.

👇This is show in the chart below

Taken from Our Business Sketchnote Certification Training

J) Typography:

Experiment with different fonts, styles, and sizes to emphasize key points and add a dynamic element to your sketchnotes.

One of the important points to note is : DON’T USE CURSIVE HANDWRITING IN YOUR SKETCHNOTES.

Taken from Our Business Sketchnote Certification Training

K) Layouts and Composition

Experiment with different layouts to find what works best for you. Consider the balance of text and visuals, ensuring a harmonious composition that enhances understanding.

Taken from Our Business Sketchnote Certification Training

L) Practical Tips for Business Sketchnoting

Focus on Key Points: Identify and emphasize the most important information to convey the core message effectively.

Practice Consistently: Regular practice will enhance your sketchnoting skills and make the process more intuitive over time.

M) Digital Sketchnoting

These three electronic devices will help you start your journey with digital sketchnoting. Choose any one as per your price comfort

  • – Ipad/Tablet
  • – Drawing based touch screen laptops
  • – Extended drawing pads for laptops

You can use any of these on following aps

  • – Freeform app (for ipad)
  • – Adobe Sketch (for android based tablets)
  • – Canva Draw Function (for drawing based touch screen laptops and extended drawing pads)
  • Drawify.com (for drag and drop based sketchnotes)

N) Resources for Learning

We conduct online and in-person certification trainings on our Trade Marked Training on Business Sketchnotes ™.

We have an open challenge in our trainings : If you can not draw after our 9 hours of trainings, we will close our trainings FOR EVER !! ..and we are still waiting for that one person even after training more than 38000 professionals.

You can also join our whatsapp community to learn from those who have attended our trainings

We trained more than 38000 professional and gave corporate trainings in more than 65+ top notch companies

Check Our Trainings

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