I’ll do this introduction the hackneyed way: “A picture is worth a thousand words.” (That said I’m already almost done with my article. That was easy!) – So what was my last hackweek about? I’ve learned to do sketchnotes. Which is in the first place a way to memorize talks and meetings better, by less writing and more drawing your notes.
If you’ve ever been to any conference, you know what usually happens: there are many interesting talks and you try to listen and you write your notes and one week later you can’t remember what those interesting talks were all about and you cannot read your notes anymore (too boring, bad handwriting etc.). – Do you recognize that? The idea of sketchnotes is, that you enrich your notes with typography, images, symbols, anything visual that gives hierarchy. Which in turn makes your brain remember those notes better and looking at them again later is a lot more fun.
That’s not for you? Fear not! There is no need to be a drawing genius. You will be surprised how many different things will appear on your paper just by adding circles, lines, rectangles and triangles. The hardest thing for me indeed was not “drawing” but structuring my notes. And while practicing with TED talks, I always was afraid to miss something.
The whole trick is to limit your notes to the stuff that is important for yourself. In the end it will not only help you to get better through talks and meetings, but you can also sketchnote books, TV series, travel memories or your favorite receipts or what ever comes to your mind.
To make it short here comes my masterpiece of the week: I sketchnoted all 21 hackweek-presentations. And here they are:
You’ve changed your mind and consider reading more about sketchnotes? There is a lot of input to be found on the web. For example this Smashing Magazine article or this short (German!) article about learning sketchnotes. And of course there is the famous “The Sketchnote Handbook” (I’ve worked with) from Mike Rhode.
– Nina @nk_berlin