Sketchnotes are hand-drawn notes. They are often very simple images used to communicate more complex ideas. They can include cartoons, lettering, diagrams, and more. The process of drawing ideas out has been transformative for my thinking. The word Sketchnotes was coined by illustrator, Mike Rohde.
I came across sketchnoting intuitively at first in 2013 when working on my dissertation. I was stuck and couldn’t find a way forward or how to connect all my ideas. In a moment of desperation, at my favorite cafe in Camas, WA, I pulled out a piece of paper and pen and stared off into the distance, asking myself, “If I could picture this in images, what would it look like.” Almost instantaneously images came to me. I began drawing out images that in a matter of five minutes helped me understand how the dissertation worked together. From that point forward, it basically wrote itself. I later learned about sketchnotes and became a fan of Rohde’s work, learning how to implement sketchnoting more as a process in my writing, speaking, and preaching.
The dissertation process (and the original image I drew) was chronicled in Rohde’s second Sketchnote book, “The Sketchnote Workbook.”