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The Sketchnote Workbook: Advanced techniques for taking visual notes you can use anywhere Paperback – August 22, 2014
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"If you want to succeed in capturing and communicating your ideas, you need to read this book. Because it's not merely a book: It's a blueprint for a new way of thinking, and it's fantastically useful." - Daniel Coyle, The New York Times best-selling author of The Talent Code and The Little Book of Talent
"Mike has created a resource that will inspire anyone to take their doodling to a new level and begin using sketchnoting in every aspect of their lives. After reading this book, I know my recipe cards and travel journals will never look the same again!" - C.C. Chapman, author of Amazing Things Will Happen
"Mike Rohde wants you to understand a simple idea: Drawing aids thinking. Or, even better, drawing IS thinking. I fully agree with him: Pen and paper amplify our thinking when we use them to record what we see, and to reflect on what it means. This book, as its predecessor, The Sketchnote Handbook, will not just make you a better artist, it'll make you a better thinker." - Alberto Cairo, author of The Functional Art
"I present information as narrated visuals so Mike's approach makes a lot of sense to me. Visuals are key to understanding complexity, and the combination of images and text as notes is always more effective than notes alone. Sometimes they are more effective than the original presentation." - Horace Dediu, founder of Asymco
“The Sketchnote Workbook is a wonderful 'next step' follow-up to The Sketchnote Handbook. This time, Mike focuses on the finer details of the practice of sketchnoting and the myriad situations in which it can be employed. If you care at all about enhancing the quality, versatility, and fun of your notetaking, you need this in your personal library.”
– Patrick Rhone, author of Enough and Keeping It Straight
“Sketchnoting is versatile, lightweight, and easy to do, which makes it a perfect companion for any agile project. This unique technique fosters creativity and helps teams understand different viewpoints. Sketchnoting saves valuable project time while creating immense focus. In a simple yet powerful way, Mike sets a new standard for the agile industry.”
– Jochen Krebs, agile coach, incrementor, and author of Agile Portfolio Management
“In his latest book Mike Rohde shows you that a lack of artistic talent is no barrier to capturing and sharing ideas. Forget that you can't draw. Mike Rohde shows you how to create and share ideas visually. Dig out your pens and get cracking!”
– Ian Sanders, business storyteller, author, advisor
“I came to sketchnoting believing I had zero artistic talent. Mike taught me that my approach was wrong; we all have the ability to create visual ideas. Now I sketchnote all the time.”
– David Sparks, MacSparky.com
“Mike's Sketchnote Workbook is a phenomenal guide to how sketchnoting works in almost every conceivable situation. It features lots of practical teaching blended with sketchnote samples from school kids and masters students to teachers and other professionals. This book is an essential guide for anyone wanting to communicate information and ideas effectively.”
– Erik Petersen, Emprove
“Mike’s great accomplishment is in making drawing ideas accessible. In his books, he provides a simple, logical, and fast way for you to incorporate sketches into your work. If you need to document ideas, or plan new projects, learn to sketchnote!”
– Eric Karjaluoto, creative director at smashLAB
“Mike shows just how versatile sketchnoting can be, applying this simple and stunning concept to everything from mind-mapping to recipes to documenting experiences. If that's not enough, he also packs out the book with tools, techniques, examples, and case studies for getting started yourself. My travel journals will never be the same again!”
– Tom Allen, adventure writer and filmmaker, and founder of TomsBikeTrip.com
“I admit it, I have a fear of drawing. But now with the exercises and guidance from Mike Rohde's Sketchnote Workbook, the visual half of my brain is ready to rumble!”
– Chuck Teller, vice president of Wise.io
“Fun and functional–The Sketchnote Workbook is a visually thrilling read that inspires you to create and explore. Mike's detailed (and easy to use) sketchnote method is an excellent device for organizing, brainstorming, and remembering.”
– Joey Cofone, co-founder & CEO of Baron Fig
“Mike Rohde is the foremost expert at this craft, and The Sketchnote Workbook offers clear, concise, practical approaches to the art and craft of sketchnoting. For those people who are new to the concept of sketchnotes, then this workbook is going to be a valuable asset. For those who are familiar with sketchnotes and simply want to get better at creating them–especially when it comes to ideation, planning, and documentation–then this book delivers.”– Mike Vardy, productivity specialist and founder of Productivityist
“I can't recommend Mike Rohde's Sketchnote Workbook enough–from the very simple explanations to the examples that highlight the value of a craft that everyone should be exploiting and that no one should be afraid of! So many techniques that can be applied instantly. I've upgraded my rudimentary sketchnoting skills to the point where they're much more useful and practical to me, thanks to Mike and this book!”
– Russ Unger, co-author of A Project Guide to UX Design, Designing the Conversation, and Speaker Camp
“I used to think creating sketchnotes was embedded in a chromosome I didn't have. Mike not only showed me that I can create sketchnotes, but also introduced me to an entirely new creative language. I'm super inspired to keep sketching and learning from his awesome tips!”– Jason SurfrApp, founder of IWearYourShirt and author of Creativity For Sale
“Given the amount of meetings I find myself in during any given week, keeping track of my notes can be a real challenge. Using sketchnotes has made the process significantly more fun and creative. The Sketchnote Workbook gives me completely new areas where I can use sketchnotes to make my everyday life exciting and rewarding!”– Mikkel Bondesen, founder of UFUSE, executive producer of Burn Notice and The Killing
“I told myself I was ‘not an artist’ and couldn't make beautiful sketchnotes, until Mike Rohde proved me a liar with his wonderfully instructiveSketchnote Workbook. There is no better way to bring ideas alive than with rich graphics, and now I can create them. Excuse me while I whip up some beautiful notes!”– Pamela Slim, bestselling author of Body of Work
“This is a fantastic guide to get your creativity and notes in a visual format that's easy to remember and digest. As someone who is very logical and a terrible sketcher, I found this to be an immensely helpful resource to learn how to take better notes and sketch important information in a format I can easily remember. I highly recommend it to everyone.”
– Thanh Pham, AsianEfficiency.com
“Mike Rohde's newest book, The Sketchnote Workbook, combines insights with exercises to take the guesswork out of sketchnoting.”– Nancy Duarte, CEO, Duarte, Inc., and bestselling author of Resonate and Slide:ology
“The Sketchnote Workbook is packed with practical examples of how to apply sketchnoting to tasks beyond notetaking, including brainstorming ideas, planning presentations, and creating how-to documents like recipes. The book includes numerous samples from real-world sketchnoters. It's a worthy companion to The Sketchnote Handbook.”
– Michael Mace, CEO of Zekira.com , and author of Mapping the Future
About the Author
Mike Rohde is an experience and interface designer who has created usable and compelling applications for mobile, web, and dedicated devices. His clients include Northwestern Mutual, GE Health Care, Bio-Rad Laboratories, We Energies, Epocrates, and Qvidian. Rohde turned to experience design after 20 years as a successful print and web designer where he first developed his sketchnote approach and technique. Because of his sketchnote work, Rohde has been hired to illustrate REWORK and REMOTE, bestselling business books from 37signals; Chris Guillebeau’s The $100 Startup; Daniel Coyle’s The Little Book of Talent; and he has been hired to create live sketchnotes for a variety of conferences and events, including SXSW Interactive, An Event Apart, Summit Series, World Domination Summit, The Storyline Conference, Chick-fil-A Leadercast, and The SEED Conference. He has also taught sketchnoting workshops at conferences and for private companies. Rohde is the author of The Sketchnote Handbook: the illustrated guide to visual notetaking.
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Top customer reviews
This approach to information recording may not appeal to everyone but I’ve found that sketchnoting (or “personal infodoodling” if you’ve read Sunni Brown) can be used (1) for highly effective note-taking during meetings, and (2) organizing my own thoughts in a visual and engaging way. This has great appeal to me in my work as a technical leader. I’ve returned to these visual notes much more often than any that I previously took. One claim that the book makes—and one that I strongly support—is that this helps with information retention. The book also claims that it’s relaxing and fun…also true for me. I’ve found this approach to be particularly useful during dry (but important) meetings. Translating dry ideas into some simple visual representation can help draw you in (sorry…no pun intended) and make you more engaged in the topic.
Where these techniques really seem to help me is in idea generation, a topic that Rohde covers in some detail in “The Sketchnote Workbook.” I’ve used this technique to create one-pagers of visual notes (for my own personal consumption and use) on tough issues that our organization faces, strategic planning, presentation creation, and even in preparation for performance evaluations. I now make a visual one-pager (at least a quick one) before drafting any lengthy work-related document. It really helps. There are few areas in my work where this is not useful.
If this type of note-taking is new to you (as it certainly was to me), my advice is to commit to trying it out for some period of time. I committed to doing this for one month. In my job this meant (1) creating visual notes for one or more meetings and/or scientific seminars per day, (2) making about 20 idea generation visual one-pagers during that month, and (3) contending with some very odd looks (and even odder questions) from colleagues sitting near me during meetings. At the end of that first month (1) my visual notes got a lot better, (2) I’m referring back to those visual one-pagers more than once and using them for preparation for follow-on meetings, (3) and not getting as many looks from colleagues—but sharing the notes occasionally when asked.
These books have it all: Pragmatism; great, simple design that is really approachable; solid pacing; good writing
As far as the more technical aspects, Mike does a great job of breaking down the concepts of visual notetaking into more digestible chunks. It's not at all overwhelming, primarily due to the nature of sketchnoting and the nice balance between diagram and narrative, but also because Mike is just really damn good at explaining these concepts in laymen's terms.
Look, if you're a visual learner at all and are at least a bit interested in organizing your thought process into something more compartmentalized and "on the go," this is for you.
I'd suggest you nab them together, as The Workbook is definitely a more in-depth dive into advanced Sketchnoting techniques while The Handbook is a well-rounded introduction.
The author does a great job of explaining his style and gives plenty of examples and techniques to become better doing it. In every style of visual mapping, including this one (sketchnoting) it takes practice, practice, and practice. You also have to overcome the notion that you need to be an artist or a good drawer to be able to do it - that's not true!
Oh, and the brain eats this stuff up! You can accelerate learning for people by using these techniques. It is a powerful way to increase participation and memory.
But this books is 90% examples of various applications, like travel journal, food journal, planning. I can easily find examples on the internet, and I don't have the need for most of those.
There is one page in the book regarding various layouts that i find useful. The last chapter is the best; it talks about various fonts we can use based on our own handwriting, advanced yet simple face drawings, speed and what to do with mistakes. I thought the entire book would be like the last chapter, but I'm sorely disappointed.