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Showing 1-10 of 174 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 225 reviews
VINE VOICEon June 3, 2015
This is a good book not just for the content but also for the design, and both aspects can inspire you if you are fond of using pen and paper (or at least stylus and tablet) to capture what's happening around you. While the concept of a "Sketch Note" seems like something that should not really have a name, the book makes a great case for why visually oriented notes work well. The book contains many examples of notes using the style, and a number of Sketch Notes by practitioners of the craft, including such details as which pens and notebooks they prefer. The book ends with a number of exercises that encourage you to explore your ability to draw using a variety of techniques which make drawing less terrifying that it might be. From the message, to the examples, to the details such as covers with rounded corners (a form that is useful even for those older than "Board Book Age"), you may find this book inspires you to be creative and more attentive when you are taking notes.
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on August 31, 2017
45 minutes is all it took for me to finally begin sketching my concepts. Yes, that's it. I opened the book during an hour train commute. It looked like a thick book but I was done in 45 minutes. My brain had absorbed and retained concepts and I sketched the take aways for me right away. I love the author laying out the simple patterns - e.g., 5 shapes are all you need to draw.

On the ride back I finished the practice sketches. I feel super comfortable sketching out my product concepts. NOW, I know I'm a visual processor and for years have yearned to have a sketch person on-hand on-demand. Now I have him. it's me. If you KNOW you process information this way and just couldn't get started, this quick read can be the change for you!
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on March 22, 2017
This was a quick read. I like the idea behind it and the practice pages for drawing/writing. Even with the tips, my drawings are unrecognizable; however, the book makes the excellent point that you don't need a great drawing as long as it helps you remember the big ideas. I'm considering giving this a shot in my classroom, but not quite sure since I don't do a lot of direct instruction/notes.
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on February 3, 2013
Mike Rhode's Sketchnote Handbook (the video edition) is a thorough guide to creating notes that are both more memorable and probably more useful than the standard way people have been taking notes for years.The book is only seven chapters: he has written a practical guide with few words and many pictures, yet he covers everything from basic materials to a visual guide of different ways to organize content on the page. He avoids the formal language of graphic design for the most part, using layman's terms for the shapes and patterns that anyone can see on a page and copy for themselves. Likewise, in his videos, he encourages the self-defining "non-artistic type" to focus on how to use writing and organizing the content as a starting place, and places more emphasis on active listening and summarizing or using simple visual ideas to make powerful notes. By providing some simple images and ways to draw faces and figures with a few lines, dots and curves, he shows how to move beyond just words to get images into the budding sketchnoter's visual vocabulary.

Printed in two colors on creamy thick paper, the book itself is a joy to hold and browse through, as he has filled the pages not only with his own sketchnotes, but examples from other sketchnoters from a cross-section of disciplines, proving that sketchnotes aren't just the domain of artists. The sketchnotes of software developers, teachers, user experience designers and others are interspersed throughout the seven chapters of the book and the videos (full disclosure: one of my sketchnotes are seen as he scrolls through examples of sketchnotes on an iPad in one of the videos).

I suggest you fill the workbook pages to get the full benefit of this visual thinking toolkit. Even if you don't intend on sharing your sketchnotes with others, I believe that once you get started making sketchnotes through Mike Rhode's method, you'll find you will be compelled to show others why you're doing a better job at remembering events and conversations you've put down on paper (or iPad) in this creative way.
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on July 24, 2016
While I did enjoy the book, I do feel as a beginner it was a bit complicated and sales-pitchy. I would've liked more detail as to HOW to Sketchnote. Case in point being the text: minimal examples were shown where I would've liked considerably more detail as to how the letters were actually formed. It was a busy book and interesting to see how other Sketchnoter's sketch; I guess I was expecting a bit more learning involved in the book. I am giving it 4 stars because it is CAPTIVATING! It makes one want to get on the www. and visit each Sketchnote author's page and get a visual!
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on January 18, 2013
Austin Kleon`s recommended reading list in his book Steal Like an Artist continues to yield real gems. Lynda Barry's What It Is is the first from Austin's list that I read and I loved it. Sketchnotes by Mike Rohde is next on the list.

Here's my sketchnote of what resonates with me from Mike's book: [...]

I have taken notebooks full of notes but I can't stand to read them. Mike felt handwritten notes fell short also. I needed a different way to do it and have struggled for some time to find something I'm comfortable with. I take notes so that I can learn better what I'm hearing by engaging in the subject kinesthetically. Rohde points out that taking notes as pictures and words takes advantage of something called dual coding. We get the verbal by writing the words. We get even more by making visuals. I tried it out and I love it!

If you ask most adults to draw they panic. Mike defangs drawing by focusing down to 5 basic shapes: square, circle, triangle, line and dot. Mike shares a technique that a friend taught him of drawing different facial expressions easily and simply to prove that drawings don't have to be "art".

Sketchnoting makes everything more interesting!
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on January 28, 2013
In theory this book shouldn't be for me. I can't draw to save my life and don't really have a ton of interest getting better. I'm also not a huge note taker at events. All of those disclaimers aside, I loved this book and found it very useful. How you ask (and if you aren't asking how someone who can't draw, doesn't really want to and doesn't spend much time at conferences, then you really should be)? Well, it has encourage me to really look at the way I go about notes in everyday meetings.

While I may not be heading to SXSW anytime soon, I'm most certainly going to be in a meeting at some point during the next week. While time will tell, I believe the approach of this book will have a big impact on the way I approach these. Even if I never get up the courage to add drawings, I believe the concepts inside will help me do a far better job of identifying what's actually important in the span of a meeting from what's actually being said (which can often cause all of the important stuff to get lost).

Despite my awful handwriting and even less desirable drawing skills, I believe my notes will begin to look better and more organized based on the ideas in this book. I also believe they will be more pleasant and useful to look back upon. In fact, I'd love the hell out of a follow up that focused on the best possible ways to leverage sketchnotes in a more traditional meeting setting (I'd imagine the section on not drawing offensive pictures of your boss to be very helpful).

If I had to say one negative thing about the book (I should at least explain why I only gave it four stars), it would be that it was too beautiful (and it really is, every page is hand drawn awesomeness). Much as the book encourages anyone (even me) to draw, it doesn't really show what this looks like. It goes into the idea of simple Sketchnotes, but doesn't really show bad ones. It did however encourage me to try in spite of my natural disinclination, so perhaps in this case it was better to tell and not show...

Bottom line: if you take notes and struggle to make them useful, buy this book. Just understand that it focuses in on Rhode's experience "Sketchnoting" conferences. That said, it isn't all that difficult to extrapolate the lessons into whatever it is you happen to be taking notes on.
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on June 18, 2015
Sketchnotes Handbook by Mike Rohde is a very pleasant and fast read. It shows how the visual is very important to our understanding. Why take the same old notes, and place them to the side gatering dust when you can make taking notes fun. This book shows you how to visualize while you listen to an important lecture or if you just want to remember something and refer to your notes later. You don't have to be an artist to be a sketchnote taker, but if you want to let your sketchnotes pop off the page a few lesson won't hurt. There are some practice lessons on people, objects, and lettering. It is a worthwhile read, and there are some great examples of other people's sketchnotes to help give you some ideas for your note-taking.
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on December 29, 2012
Anyone with basic sales skills knows confused people don't take action. If your job depends on others acting upon your ideas, you will get through to them much more often if you learn to **draw** those ideas. I end up explaining _something_ to _someone_ every day, so to improve my communication skills I recently read this book.

## Why buy this instead of another book?

If you're like me and are primarily looking to improve your communication skills, you might be inclined to buy a "drawing 101" type book. I've been down this road and it's hard to recommend as a first step.

Those books tend to focus on concepts like drawing accurate 3D perspective, human figure drawing, shading/shadows, etc. Those are great skills to have, but it's way overachieving if you're just trying to get ideas across. I would say it's icing on the cake, but it's more like sprinkles _on top_ of the icing on the cake.

## OK so...what, exactly, is in the book?

To oversimplify, the book covers the following topics:

- Sketchnoting 101: What is it? Why do it?
- Sketchnoting Process and Structure: How does it work? What does it look like?
- Basic Sketching Skills: Help! I can't draw.

I didn't completely understand the whole book would be fully illustrated, somewhat like a children's book. So it's sort of a living example of the principles, and there are also many sketchnote examples specifically included. It's very engaging and makes it easy to get through.

Although it's a fast read, take the time to stop and practice drawing the simple shapes mentioned in the text. You're wasting your time if you don't. If you can't draw your way out of a paper bag, the drawing tips toward the end of the book will get you going and build your confidence.

One more tip: watch the videos. You will pick up great details like how Mike holds the paper flat and works in a slow, deliberate manner. This yields a clean, simple style that works as well on a whiteboard or iPad as it does on paper.
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on September 1, 2013
This book is a great starter to think and practice other ways of keeping notes in a multitude of settings. I am starting my doctorate this summer and was looking for different ways to take notes in a seminar setting. I also work in a healthcare setting and spend a lot of time explaining processes, treatments,etc to patients and found myself resorting to pen a paper (often the same exam table paper the patient sits on) to do so. I am by no means good at drawing pictures, but got many great pointers in this book together started with outlines and individual cartoon-style representations of the ideas presented. The book also guided me into summarizing notes in pictures and diagrams rather than the standard information dense outlines. Less writing anymore focusing on the concepts won me over after my first read from cover to cover, now I just need to give my drawing more practice. The author also guided me to other sources, examples of how to use sketchnotes by other writers, websites and other books on the subject, not to mention the video with great additional materials.
If you are taking lots of notes in the classroom, office, at meetings or conferences, this book can help you get more out of it.
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