Doodle, if you like to

Some people are rather visual and like diagrams, sketches and pictures. Actually, I also like to visualize things. However, I’m terribly bad when it comes to drawing. If you can remember pictures better and if you like to draw, you might consider taking notes in class rather visual than in written-only form. In this post, I want to introduce you to the concept, show you some nice examples and how doodling can help you to enrich your presentations.This is called visual note taking (see also here, here here and here)  and some people see it as „the new religion„.

One way to organize ideas are so-called mind maps. They can be very structured like this …

Structured Map (taken from

Structured Map (taken from

… or very personal and lively like this one

Mind map in personal, arty style.

Mind map in personal, arty style (taken from

For the first kind, there are many software applications to make them. For the second one there is some drawing involved.

Mind maps are usually elaborated. They take time to draw and you will invest quite some time to add pictures and to make them nice, even when using a computer.

Visual notes are different. They are made during a talk. Eva-Lotta Lamm introduced the concept on a conference, here is a recording of the talk:

Eva-Lotta Lamm: Visual Note Taking / Sketchnotes from webexpo on Vimeo.

Visual notes can be only sketches …

Sketched visual note (taken from

Sketched visual note (taken from

…, be rather messy for others …

Messy notes (taken from

"Messy" notes (taken from

…, very arty and elaborated …

Artt notes (taken from

"Artt" notes (taken from

… and can even turn into cartoons, reflecting the drawer’s opinion as well.

Cartoon-style (taken from

Cartoon-style (taken from

If you are able to draw fast enough, you might consider drawing visual notes on a whiteboard or a computer (using a drawing tablet) while giving a presentation. The videos produced by The RSA in co-operation with a company called Cognitive Media became a kind of viral. In these videos, talks are illustrated in real-time by using visual note taking techniques. Okay, they cheat a little bit by speeding up the recording of the drawings. However, as you can see, simple visual notes can be used to illustrate your talks, making them more engaging. Here is one of the videos:

If you cannot draw so quickly or (like me) can’t draw at all, there is also a way illustrating a talk using a prefabricated mind map. You can use an online application called Prezi. Watch their short intro video:

I hope, you found this post interesting and yes

Doodle in my class, if you like!

3 thoughts on “Doodle, if you like to

  1. Pingback: Sunni Brown at TED about visual notetaking a.k.a. “doodling” - Martin G. Döpel

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