I have always been one to doodle while taking notes. As a kid, I was sometimes reprimanded for drawing during class. Admittedly, sometimes my mind was a million miles away. However, at some point, I started using it as a way to stay engaged. Over the years, I would ask myself, "If I were an illustrator, how would I represent the concepts being discussed?" It helps me to stay focused and remember what I was listening to while drawing.
I've since learned that there are other who take notes in similar ways -- a whole army of Sketchnoters! There's a great book and video by designer Mike Rohde who teaches it as a method of taking notes. For most, the desire for quality of artwork is not as important as thinking of symbols that will help you remember the concept being discussed.
Whenever I attend a workshop or training, I take the opportunity to practice. Here are some pages from a workshop I attended today where I learned a lot about the Collins Writing Program, a great new program that helps teachers of all subjects integrate writing across the curriculum.
I would like to do a series of retro toys. I am interested in the theme of Play -- what it means to children, and to adults, as we contemplate the artifacts of our childhood. We learned to think, solve problems, and write stories. It is an undervalued activity today.
If you see me at a conference or receiving any kind of instruction, I will most likely be doodling. I have learned over the years that it helps me to focus. Usually, I try to think like an illustrator. If this were a commission, how would I present this information in a graphic format? You have to work fast, but I find that in addition to helping me focus, I remember what I'm hearing better and understand it better. I think in pictures. I think some of our kids do as well. I try to encourage them to go ahead and doodle, but not to tune out! How can you make images and symbols that will help you remember what you are learning. Here are some of my recent "Sketch Notes". Our presenter was Carol Gardner, who explains things well, and with picturesque language and humor, so the drawings just flowed, as you can see. Some of them were a little rough, so I redrew them at home and colored them.