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Sketchnote Handbook, The: the illustrated guide to visual note taking

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This gorgeous, fully illustrated handbook tells the story of sketchnotes--why and how you can use them to capture your thinking visually, remember key information more clearly, and share what you've captured with others. Author Mike Rohde shows you how to incorporate sketchnoting techniques into your note-taking process--regardless of your artistic abilities--to help you better process the information that you are hearing and seeing through drawing, and to actually have fun taking notes.
The Sketchnote Handbook explains and illustrates practical sketchnote techniques for taking visual notes at your own pace as well as in real time during meetings and events. Rhode also addresses most people's fear of drawing by showing, step-by-step, how to quickly draw people, faces, type, and simple objects for effective and fast sketchnoting. The book looks like a peek into the author's private sketchnote journal, but it functions like a beginner's guide to sketchnoting with easy-to-follow instructions for drawing out your notes that will leave you itching to attend a meeting just so you can draw about it.

224 pages, Paperback

First published December 3, 2012

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Mike Rohde

13 books44 followers

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5 stars
1,299 (38%)
4 stars
1,229 (36%)
3 stars
670 (19%)
2 stars
144 (4%)
1 star
36 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 313 reviews
Profile Image for Rose.
1,857 reviews1,048 followers
August 27, 2016
Quick review for a quick read. I've recently discovered the process of taking sketchnotes after getting into the habit of bullet journaling. (Bullet journaling is a simple system as created by Ryder Carroll to keep track of tasks and organization, but many people have adapted the process to their own needs and creativity. I've done likewise. ) It was from a number of references that I came across this book.

I really liked how easy this book was to follow along and start getting into the process of creating sketchnotes. I really wish I'd done this back in college since it seems a really cool way to take notes, capture ideas in real time or reflect on events in one's life. Rhode ' s method is carefully considered and expressed, making me want to jump into the practice. I'm definitely referring back to this as I start incorporating use of it on a regular basis. Vibrant information and very helpful advice.

Overall score : 4/5 stars.
Profile Image for Skathi.
13 reviews8 followers
April 17, 2013
Love the layout and style of the book
I really like the work book part where you get to practise
I like that the book is easy going, an easy and fun read

I feel that the material is rather thin, so there's a lot of repeating going on and many included parts feel very unnecessary - like a lot is included to fill it out so it can be classed as a book

Summed up: I liked it, it was a fun read but I really wanted some more depth and knowledge going in to it.
Profile Image for Dave Bolton.
192 reviews78 followers
January 1, 2013
I used mindmaps more than anything else to get me through my Masters degree, and so I have a natural predisposition to visually representing information. I also have a good friend who does animated mindmaps (see http://www.chalksmart.org), which I also love. So, sketchnoting was largely a known idea to me, but I did pick up some new techniques and ideas here. It is also completely illustrated, so it is very quick and easy to read (1 - 2 hours) and digest.
Profile Image for Sara Bakhshi.
961 reviews173 followers
February 18, 2021
This is a way of writing notes which I've been doing since highschool but didn't know its rules (?) And different ways.
I did it mostly because I wanted to prevent myself from boredom and sleeping!:))

Now about the book:
It was written in this method all along and had some different style on that.
There were different writers and designers sharing their styles and experiences with us.

It emphasis on this not being about illustration and is a way of writing and not painting and doing very artistic things about that.
Profile Image for Iryna.
115 reviews6 followers
March 14, 2020
Я веду короткі конспекти прочитаних книг та прослуханих лекцій. Зазвичай нотатки пишу інтуїтивно, без якогось певного плану, текст розбавляю малюнками. Книга Майка Роде допомогла мені краще структурувати сам процес нотування. Вона швидко читається, легко й дотепно написана, симпатично проілюстрована.
Автор час від часу намагається дати копнячка всілякими мотиваційними закликами на кшталт "ти зможеш", "у тебе все вийде", "головне — почати". Для когось це мінус, для когось плюс, мені — не заважало )
А ще я зацінила "рекламу" блокнотів та ручок, якими користуються інші скетчноутери. Тепер хочу попробувати їх всіх в ділі!
Profile Image for Катріна Хаддад.
Author 3 books19 followers
January 19, 2018
Досить деталізований і дуже практичний посібник. Не скажу, що він вчить саме того, як візуалізувати ідеї, хоча пара-трійка корисних порад у цьому плані є (про пошук парадоксальних метафор, про п'ять простих елементів, що можуть бути основою будь-якого малюнку тощо). Натомість тут багато порад про те, як організувати таку візуальну нотатку, як створити свою бібліотеку візуальних образів, із якої потім можна під час нотування в режимі реального часу швидко брати елементи; як урізноманітнити свої рукописні шрифти тощо. Як на мене, дуже корисна навичка, причому як для себе, так і для дітей-школярів, яких можна цього вчити.
Єдине "але" - трохи втомлюють мотиваційні повтори а-ля "ти зможеш" і так далі, спишемо це на американський стиль популяризації ;)
501 reviews
May 1, 2015
- Not that much substance
- Some good guidelines and drawing tips
- Like the inclusion of exercises to start building a library of icons and practise drawing simple objects
- Understand that the objective is to encourage everyone that they have the ability to produce sketchnotes but the message felt too repetitive
- Maybe the workbook would be more useful for me
- Some of the sketchnote examples were too overwhelming to follow (granted, they show the variety of styles, etc.)
Profile Image for Oleksandr Golovatyi.
412 reviews32 followers
May 30, 2017
Не стандартна книжка, своєрідна, з цікавим оформленням, що додає їй якоїсь чарівності. Дуже корисна для людей, хто відвідує якісь події і постійно занотовую ідеї та іншу інформацію. Цікаво було, що навіть без особливих здібностей до малювання можливо створювати цікаві та інформативні нотатки. Особливо сподобалось в частині, щодо порад, як малювати людей. Це було дійсно корисно для мене.
Profile Image for Elizabeth A.
1,801 reviews107 followers
December 29, 2015
Book Blurb: This gorgeous, fully illustrated handbook tells the story of sketchnotes--why and how you can use them to capture your thinking visually, remember key information more clearly, and share what you've captured with others.

There are things I liked about this book, and things I did not. I am a really good note taker (not bragging, this is just a fact), and I refer to my notes often. I am however not a visual note taker. I do not have sketches or diagrams in my notes. Arrows, and some key notations yes, but my pages do not look like a sketched flow chart.

This book highlights some of the various way to incorporate flows and sketches into your note taking, and if that works for you, or is something you'd like to try, this might be the perfect book for you. I found it too short and way too repetitive, though I did agree with the general premise, and liked the various example styles shown.
Profile Image for Karen Mardahl.
587 reviews27 followers
June 30, 2013
Marvelous book. I read it in just a few hours and all my notes were sketches. The key takeaway is practice, practice, practice, and you will be on your way to sketchnoting everything. Listening is also part of that takeaway. I recently took a course on drawing (for work and notetaking). This supplements that very nicely. Great fun. Mike Rohde practices what he preaches. The entire book is sketched!

BTW this is only available as PDF for those who like their books electronically. I assume the heavy graphics is the problem. I use Readmill, but it was not happy with this book. It took forever to turn pages, so I ended up reading it all in iBooks instead.
Profile Image for loafingcactus.
428 reviews48 followers
January 22, 2015
Yes the book is too short and too expensive and too repetitive... but, it is perfect.

I love that he gives examples from more than 10 other sketchnoters for a variety of how people do what they do. I love that they show what they do with mistakes, and that the author shows the difference between a doodle and a high-quality sketch.

YOU can "just doodle." You CAN. What you draw is individual and unique to you. In a world drowning in words, a little more doodling and sketching is what we need.

TIP: To see more of what people are doing, looking up the following hashtags on Instragram: #Sketchnotes #visualjournal #visualdiary
Profile Image for Lê Quân.
33 reviews7 followers
October 24, 2017
Instructions with clear examples to follow
Really help to take advantages of your creative right brain's resources
Profile Image for Stefan Kanev.
125 reviews207 followers
July 13, 2014
This book is A-WE-SOME.

It was a great complement to The Doodle Revolution. Not only it makes a great point about why to make sketchnotes, but it is full of practical things one can do in order to improve. It also has some great examples.

It's not a traditional book – instead of just text, it is organized as a sketchnote itself. Not only you get to use them as a medium, but you also see great example.

Seriously, greatly recommended to anybody into visual thinking.
Profile Image for Deepika Ghodki.
60 reviews1 follower
August 14, 2022
I love this book!

First off, this book is so pretty and colorful that it has to be consumed as a physical copy. I took my sweet time reading and re-reading it. (Honestly there's not much text to read, but there is a lot of content to absorb.) The book is filled with illustrations and details, so just glancing through the words won't help.

I've been doing a little bit of sketching and note-taking, but it takes me ages to make one (I get lost in beautification :P). I picked this book up with the intention of improving my current skill set and imbibing sketchnoting in my day to day. My motivation is two fold - visuals are easier to grasp that words (at least for me) and thinking in visuals is so much fun.

Mike Rohde, the person who coined the term Sketchnote starts with the importance of visual note taking, why they are important, and how you and I start making them. There are a variety of tricks on how one can make visuals with simple shapes and texts. The most important takeaway is that they need not be pretty, they can be crude or fancy or anything as long as they're conveying your ideas in an understandable fashion.

I am so inspired and motivated after reading this, that I've started taking some time out to practice basic shapes, building icon library and drawing stick figures in my leisure. These are all exercises from the book itself. And once I've got enough practice I'd like to implement these in my day to day, like meetings, schoolwork, or just journalling. Next on my list is The Sketchnote Workbook: Advanced Techniques for Taking Visual Notes You Can Use Anywhere.

This was a fun genre! I can't wait to try more!
Profile Image for Bilal El Houdaigui.
57 reviews37 followers
May 12, 2019
Fabulous book! The author puts a lot of effort into it, it's a great introduction to sketchnoting, I highly recommend it to anyone interested.

كتاب جميل جدا يتحدث عن ما يسمى سكيتش نوتس، و هي ترجمة بصرية للكلام لدي نراه و نسمعه إلى أشكال بصرية و لفظية يسهل إستيعابها و فهمها بكل متعة و سهولة.

هذا الفيديو للأستاذ بندر سليمان يلخص فكرة لكتاب بشكل جميل

Profile Image for Nadine.
1,558 reviews43 followers
December 20, 2018
I’m still looking for the book that will get me started ! This one is great for more established sketchnoters and has some beautiful examples from pros but I need more hand holding and examples of how to ...
Profile Image for Jens Poder.
110 reviews41 followers
November 2, 2017
Måske lidt kort... men en vidunderlig inspirerende og smuk bog.

Dejlig intro til en mere visuel hverdag.
Profile Image for Hitessh.
422 reviews25 followers
April 7, 2019
Visually appealing, but slower approach to notes taking. Mindmaps are faster. But learned few tricks to enhance Mindmaps.

Profile Image for Ash.
1,000 reviews122 followers
October 14, 2020
After watching couple of workshop videos from Rohde, I was excited to get more info about sketchnoting and ended up reading this book. I loved this technique so much. Can’t wait to try sketchnoting myself soon. The book itself is a Sketchnote so it’s very easy to read and grasp concepts. The book format proves why sketchnoting works. I was able to read quickly but still get all the information, instead of reading boring passages for pages together like in other books. I am planning to convert some of my travel journals to Sketchnote format for easy reading.
Profile Image for Marzhana Kengessova.
40 reviews10 followers
November 23, 2017
I enjoyed reading illustrated book, I am not sure if I am going to take my notes this way, but it was really useful to know the options of taking notes. I kind of mix the visual note taking with words, it depends on what kind of lecture or talk i am attending.
Profile Image for Thao Nguyen.
107 reviews23 followers
July 29, 2021
Well, I expected more from this book.

Điểm tốt: Rõ ràng, dễ hiểu, khuyến khích thực hành theo. Có kèm cả workbook và challenge nữa nên sẽ thử tiếp 2 cuốn đó như nào
Điểm trừ: Các ý chính cứ lặp đi lặp lại và mình hy vọng với 1 cuốn sách dài 200 trang thì nó sẽ mang lại cho mình nhiều kiến thức hơn
Profile Image for Richard.
Author 1 book9 followers
August 20, 2017
It's a curious thing to read about a technique that you've intuitively employed for years without realizing that someone has put a name to it. As an educator, I appreciate the way in which Rohde has synthesized the components of this note-taking technique and presented them as a platform, not a prescription.
Profile Image for Kunal.
39 reviews14 followers
January 14, 2018
This books is 80% on importance and structure of sketchnoting, and only 20% deals with teaching actually how to sketch.
That being said, the way the book develops is organic and the works of "sketchbookers" are inspiring.

If you want to get into giving more time into sketchnoting, then this is a good go to book. I am still looking for a better book on note making though
Profile Image for Олена Павлова.
Author 1 book50 followers
January 18, 2022
Цікаво усвідомити, що з'являються професії, яких ще не було, коли я вчилася у школі. Вже спробувала себе у скетчноутінгу і планую розвиватися в цьому жанрі. Як на мене, це класний перетин професій художника та журналіста.
Сподобався підхід спрощення і геть перфекціонізм. Що скетчноутинг — це про ідеї, а не про мистецтво. Що простий малюнок передає ідею так само чудово, як і складний, тільки зусиль йде менше.
Також круто, що професійним досвідом діляться багато профі. Але все одно, хотілося б трохи складніше, більше лайфхаків, професійних порад, що за чим, може про помилки та композицію. А то розслабтеся і малюйте, не бійтеся, шрифти важливі. Найчастіше повторюється досвід - я малюю в молескіні, вони класні)
Підійде новачкам, як художникам, так і ні, підійде освітянам — креативна методика навчити дітей робити конспект. Чудова книжка насправді, але великих прозрінь і потаємних істин від неї не чекайте. Все прийде на практиці, я так розумію.
Profile Image for Anežka.
11 reviews3 followers
March 18, 2021
Knížce nemůžu křivdit, je velmi solidně zpracovaná, formou „skečnoutů“ jasně a stručně prezentuje základní informace o vizuálních pomůckách, líp to snad ani nešlo. Zatím jsem ale zůstala jenom u teorie, koncept mi přišel skvělý, ve výsledku ale až příliš časově náročný a pro větší rozměry nepoužitelný. Pro zapisování tedtalků skvělé, pro učení příliš zmatené a zdlouhavé. Asi ještě nějakou chvíli zůstanu u normálních verbálních pomůcek, jinak ale obdivuju všechny, co skečnoutí na denní bázi.
Profile Image for Matthew Bogart.
Author 6 books53 followers
April 7, 2013
This review was originally posted on my blog at MatthewBogart.net

I don't like to write. I'm a terrible speller, and I have terrible sentence structure, I use punctuation haphazardly because I don't truly understand it. I usually embarrass myself when something I've written gets published. (Like, perhaps, right now?) When people say, "I don't know how to draw, I'm not an artist." I understand. I don't know how to write, I'm not a writer. With all that being said, writing is simply too useful for me to not do it at all. Text messages, journal entries, scripts for comics, bizarre observations, I might not consider myself a writer but I write all over the place!

I wonder about the reverse. Do the people who have no interest in being a capital "A" Artist feel fine busting out sketches and doodles? I don't think most people do, and, until I read "The Sketchnote Handbook" by my friend Mike Rohde, it never occurred how much people who write off drawing are missing out.

Often people look at drawing and sketching as a superfluous trait akin to being a really good whistler. Good for you if you take it seriously, but it's hardly in the same league as having an understanding of language, reading, or writing. I think "The Sketchnote Handbook" gives us a sense that drawing is a great deal more useful to everybody. That's an important lesson to pass on.

Mike maintains that "sketch notes", which are a combination of words, symbols, and pictures, can be vastly more effective at getting to and retaining the core of an idea than traditional, text only notes. The book bills itself as a toolbox for helping people incorporate sketching into their note taking, specifically in the context of seminars, meetings, classes, and the like. With a lot of fun mixed in, he makes his point convincingly. I think you'd be hard pressed to argue with him.

Yet, while the idea that words, symbols and pictures add up to more than the sum of their parts seems like it would be right up the alley of a cartoonist, "words, pictures, and symbols" being just about our entire arsenal, there's another important aspect to the book that I think most cartoonists could learn from. Mike points out what little drawing skill you really need in order to kick an idea's ass. You don't have to draw like Chris Ware in order to convey gorgeous, inspiring, useful ideas in crude, crazy, stick figures.

Mike illustrates wonderfully, through tons of simple, beautifully drawn pages, that sketching is no more complex than writing. Once you've learned the alphabet, it doesn't matter if your penmanship rivals the great calligraphers of the last hundred years. All that matters is that your writing is legible. After that, what you're writing is usually all that matters.

​A page of "The Sketchnote Handbook"
There's a free sample chapter if you'd like to take a look.
I'd love to hear what you think. Even better, I'd love to see something you've drawn. Anything. I swear. ANYTHING! You might not think I'd be interested in that thing you've drawn but you're wrong. Post a link in the comments or send me a message with it.

You can see the original post with images here:
Profile Image for Radovan.
31 reviews1 follower
June 6, 2016
Keď poznámkovanie nie je príťažou, ale baví

Vydavateľstvo Jan Melvil publishing je české vydavateľstvo '… literatury osobního rozvoje. Přinášíme svým čtenářům důležitá témata, která se mnohdy teprve klubou na povrch a jejichž včasná znalost ovlivní váš úspěch v budoucnosti…'. S ich knihami som sa zoznámil vďaka Zen a hotovo a Sústredenie Lea Babautu. Začal som odoberať ich aktuality a cielene som si prešiel zoznam doteraz vydaných kníh. A hneď som si poznačil niekoľko kúskov, ktoré ma zaujali. Príručka skečnoutingu je prvá z nich.

Čo je to vlastne skečnouting? Pôvodný anglický názov môže napovedať viac - 'sketchnoting’ je spôsob zaznamenávania si poznámok kombináciou textu a jednoduchých kreslených obrázkov. Vďaka tomu si človek dokáže zapamatať a zaznamenať viac informácií, faktov i emócií, než klasickými poznámkami.

Aká je Príručka skečnoutingu? Poučná. Systematická. Názorná. Zábavná. Pritom štýlová a neskutočne cool. Keď som vďaka Babautovi znovuobjavil kúzlo poznámkovania ceruzkou, alebo perom do bloku, ani som netušil, že moje denné poznámky sa prirodzene a plynule pretransformujú od klasických textových po vizuálne skečnouty. No a táto veselá knižka od Melvila mi predviedla ďalší level tejto činnosti. Systematicky od úplného úvodu čo to tie skečnouty vlastne sú (tu som sa vlastne dozvedel, že už vlastne skečnoutujem), prečo skečnouting začať používať, ako proces skečnoutingu vyzerá, aké sú typy a postupy tvorby vizuálnych poznámok. Samotná kniha má formu skečnouty a obsahuje ukážky množstva týchto poznámok, takže človek má pocit, že číta knihu v knihe. Každá stránka je nabitá informáciami, podanými v takej príjemnej a intuitívnej forme, že sa človen nevyhne úsmevu a s radosťou sa vracia na začiatok (okrej, alebo stred) stránky a číta znova a znova. Na webstránkach Jan Melvil publishing je možné si stiahnuť aj PDF šablónu s ilustrovaným sprievodcom tvorbou vizuálnych poznámok, ktorú si môžete vytlačiť a vyskúšať svoje schopnosti.

Príručku skečnoutingu doporučujem úplne každému, pretože mnoho z Vás už skečnouting robí (a ani o tom nevie) a ďalší si ho vďaka tejto knihe zamilujú. Pretože táto forma poznámkovania je skutočným relaxom a dokáže prebudiť Vašu kreativitu.
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