Sketchnotes & Visual Notetaking Live Course Notes

December 13, 2016 By

Sketchnotes & Visual Notetaking Facebook Live Replay is below! In the video I walk you through the who, what, why, when, where, and how of sketchnotes and visual notetaking. I share for about 20 minutes with the goal of giving you a window into the world of sketchnoting, some tips for getting started, resources to learn more, and then answer questions at the end.

In this roundup post, I did my best to include everything we talked about and will continue adding as more questions come in. Please ask your follow up questions in the comments!

This will help you filter out distractions, other thoughts, to-do list and start to focus and center your mind. When you sit down at the page, start with a big clear title, location, date, author or speaker, your name/contact info. Having a frame for getting started helps overcome the friction of blank page.
  • title: Visual Notetaking – top left corner or center
  • location: Facebook Live
  • speaker: Tasra Dawson @
  • your name:
  • Anyone who wants more clarity and focus or who needs help sorting through information (who doesn’t?).
  • Anyone who wants to invoke their creative side and tap into the therapeutic benefits of visual notetaking.
  • Anyone who feels stuck with a problem or situation and needs a fresh perspective.
  • Anyone who would like to clarify their life and business goals and visualize their success.


Visual notes with handwriting, charts, symbols, shapes and drawings. Creating a personal, visual story. They are notes, not art, intended to help you remember and interpret what you see, hear, think. Drawing is not the most challenging part about sketchnoting… it’s the focused listening.
You do not have to be an artist or designer. You do not have to be good at drawing or sketching.


  1. Behavioral neuroscientist Daniel Levitin, author of The Organized Mind, says that visual notetaking uses both motor and cognitive skills which helps relieve your brain from the stress of focusing on one thing for too long.
  2. Writing things down helps you remember more than just typing.
  3. Sketchnoting encourages you to focus and visualize, to see the bigger picture, to listen for important points, to filter out distractions and synthesize the information into a cohesive whole. All those attributes can bring you into a state of flow, to expand your visual field and your imagination.
  4. You’ll see connections and patterns you might miss with just text.
  5. For those of you, like me, who like feeling productive, sketchnotes are a meditative practice that helps you slow down while also being a productive activity that gives you a tangible outcome.

Travel sketchnote create in Paper app for Victoria BC family trip.


  • Gratitude List
  • Class Notes
  • Travel journal
  • Workshop/Speaker Notes
  • Meetings
  • Planning daily, weekly or monthly schedule in bullet journal style
  • Reading
  • Daily routines
  • Annual Review
  • Timeline
  • Mind Map

Day 3 of Victoria BC family trip captured in Paper app with iPad Pro and iPencil.



What you need: Paper and pen
What you might want: iPad, iPencil, Paper app by FiftyThree
  1. FONTS: Big Idea and Main Points
  2. LINES & ARROWS: Connectors to Link Ideas
  3. CONTAINERS: Rings or Boxes to contain ideas
  4. ICONS: Illustrated ideas – doodles
  5. COLOR: Color to unify or highlight
  • Write legibly.
  • Avoid visual gaps.
  • Write less, more focus on big ideas.
  • Embrace mistakes. They show your humanity and the human touch in your work.
  • Add color afterward.
  • Leave space to add icons later using or google search.


Have you done sketchnoting before? Either analog or digital. With paper and pen or digital tools? Let me know in the comments.

Sketchnote from TedX presentation in November 2016.

Shout out to the top 2 influencers in my sketchnote journey.
Analog – Mike Rohde, Sketchnote Handbook & Workbook
Digital – Mathias from Think Clearly offers a free online course for both digital and analog and he sketches his monthly newsletter

My Sketchnote created while watching Mathias Jakobsen’s class at


Moleskine classic notebook
Paper app
Notes app
Explain Everything
Adobe Ideas
Procreate App
Books & Journals
The Sketchnote Handbook, Mike Rohde (video edition available)
Wreck This Journal, Keri Smith
Mess, Keri Smith
Art Doodle Love, Dawn DeVries Sokol
The Right Brain Business Plan, A Creative, Visual Map for Success, Jennifer Lee
Sketchnoting for Teaching and Learning
Free Online Course
Think Clearly (analog and digital) by Mathias Jakobsen

3 Comments on "Sketchnotes & Visual Notetaking Live Course Notes"

  1. This Is Us
    January 3, 2017

    […] As the first day of the year was heading into twilight, I took a look around and saw father, son and mother all deeply engaged in their own creative pursuits. Making movies, creating stop motion animation and designing a personal planner. […]

  2. […] mind-boggling. Even now, I see that time in my professional life as one of the most engaging and productive I’ve ever […]

  3. […] I am on week 8 and not only have I read the chapters, made notes in the margins, highlighted the quotes, and done the activities, but I am changing so many of my perceptions about […]

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