After completing this exercise set by Ironhack, I truly now understand the value of visual note-taking!
My usual method of note-taking is to write out everything, super neatly, with bullet points and diagrams to make it all a little more visually appealing. If I’m watching a video, I’ll pause it (a lot), to make sure I’m getting every last, final, crucial detail.
Is this efficient? No! Does it take up a significant amount of my time? Absolutely! Would I prefer another method of note-taking? Well, we’re about to find out!
My sketch-taking journey starts with Adam Alter, and his TED talk on “Why our screens make us less happy”. As this topic features in articles and blogs quite a lot, I felt fairly comfortable with the subject, and I hoped this would help me in my first attempt!
In the first few attempts, I found that my thoughts were very scattered during the talk, and I was trying to keep up with Adam’s words, rather than the points he was making. I became a little frustrated that I wasn’t able to capture the essence of the talk in a coherent and visual way. However, with some practice (and a couple of tutorials on drawing basic shapes), I felt more of a flow in my note-taking — less panicked, and more focussed.
Even looking at the results a couple of days later, I can recall the points that were being made just from looking at the pictures, and I can trust that everything I drew was for a reason. These images tell a story. It’s true what they say — a picture is worth 1000 words!
The main challenge I found was trying not to draw absolutely everything, and to just relax. This exercise demonstrated how important it is to allow yourself to just go with it, and not overthink each detail. I still have a long way to go with my sketchnotes, and my focus is going to be on expanding my “regularly used” shapes, and on not getting distracted trying to make one aspect of my notes completely perfect (as this kicked me out of flow a few times!).
Consider me a visual note-taking convert!