Write the Docs: Jennifer Hartnett-Henderson – Sketchnotes: Communicate Complex Ideas Quickly

I’m at Write the Docs today in Portland and will be post­ing notes from ses­sions through­out the day. These are all posted right after a talk fin­ishes so they’re rough around the edges.

Sketchnotes are a great way to communicate complex ideas very quickly. Mike Rohde defines sketchnotes as, “rich visual notes created from a mix of handwriting, drawings, hand-drawn typography, shapes and visual elements like arrows, boxes and lines.”

Jennifer’s been able to combine her art interests with her working career by perfecting how she does sketchnotes.

Sketchnotes work due to dual coding. If you combine the visual with the written it increases people’s ability to remember information. It’s important, though, to not think of sketchnotes as art. They’re not art and, instead, are a means of communication. They’re just notes. Sketchnotes are about combining shapes and lines in to a form that makes sense.

There are a few resources to help get up to speed with sketchnotes. Mike Rohde sells The Sketchnote Handbook. Eva-Lotta Lamm also publishes sketch notes from conferences all over. The tools you use aren’t as important as the practice. You can use digital or paper, it’s about what works best for you.