Anna Frank
01-17-2019 Anna Frank, design

An introduction to sketchnotes

Anna Frank with basics, examples and ideas around sketchnotes

Sketchnotes are visually designed notes that present ideas in a particularly understandable manner – many of you are already familiar with them from meetings and workshops. At sum.cumo, Anna (Frank) is the specialist for sketchnotes. She provides a brief introduction here, in preparation for offering more information, suggestions and tips in the coming weeks.

What are sketchnotes?

Simply put: sketchnotes are small drawings, graphic elements and drawn letters + ordinary notes:

Sketchnotes = visual notes.

For sketchnotes, you don’t need drawing skills

With sketchnotes, it’s not about creating artwork, but about communicating ideas. The simpler the “drawing,” the faster it’s done – and most importantly, the message comes across anyway.

Give it a try: Take a bottle, for example and spend two minutes drawing it in detail. Then draw it again, but in just five seconds (yes, I’m serious!). You’ll see that you focus on just the essentials, while the details become less important. But people will still recognize your bottle drawing. Another tip: If it’s not immediately recognizable, you can simply write the word “bottle” next to it. That way, there are no more misunderstandings.

Take my sketchnotes selfie as an example:

Anna Frank’s sketchnotes selfie.

Why sketchnotes?

  • Sketchnotes encourage active listening.
  • Sketchnotes are faster than purely handwritten notes.
  • Sketchnotes help to show connections.
  • Sketchnotes make it easier to grasp information.
  • Sketchnotes make it easier to concentrate.
  • Sketchnotes help you to present complex ideas in a simplified way.
  • Sketchnotes are much more fun than just writing notes.
  • Sketchnotes stick much better in the memory.
  • Sketchnotes encourage creativity.

What can you use sketchnotes for?

For everything! No matter whether you want to write a shopping list, record a recipe or jot down meeting notes – sketchnotes are great for everything. Sketchnotes are also perfect for an introduction (see my sketchnotes selfie). Especially with meetings, you’ll quickly notice after a bit of practice that you’re now focusing on the essentials and that the meeting stays in your memory much better with a sketchnote.

Learn sketchnotes? Anyone can do it!

At sum.cumo we offer an introductory sketchnotes workshop. If this interests you, have a look at our Sketchnotes Meetup. All the upcoming dates are listed here.

More on sketchnotes

If you want to delve deeper, I can also recommend the following books:

Happy sketchnoting!