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Visual Note Taking Guide

This LibGuide lists the different methods used in visual note taking, resources for each method and examples. If you have any questions about this guide, please feel free to contact the librarian listed on the home page.

Sketchnote Definition

"Sketchnoting or visual notetaking is a process of representing ideas non-linguistically. (That’s a fancy of way of saying, “drawing pictures.”) Visual notetaking can include concept mapping, but also more artistic ways of visually capturing and representing ideas. On the simpler side of the visual notetaking continuum, visual notes can be used to create narrated art. On the complex end of the spectrum, some visual notetaking applications support the creation of narrated sketchnotes (whiteboard animation videos) which include audio narration synchronized to screencasts of drawings. Visual or graphic facilitation can be used at meetings to summarize presentations and guide discussions. Whether simple or complex, visual notes can be used to more deeply process information as well as communicate it to others with images."

"Sketchnote" from Wesly Fryer via


Sketchnoting Articles

"Visual Notetaking"

A collection of resources offered to explain what Visual Notetaking is, how it is done, and tools that can be used (both free and for a price) to use visul note taking techniques digitally. 

Drawing Tools (iOS and Android)
  1. Adobe Illustrator Draw (free)
  2. Explain Everything (post explaing app differences)
  3. SketchBook Pro (annual subscription required

For a complete list, see link above for the article.

"Tech Tips Newletter - Visual Note Taking and Sketchnoting"
List of resource articles providing introductions into sketchnoting, research on how sketcnoting can be a powerful tool in education, and technology resources from the University of Wisconsin-Stout.
"Start Doodling in Class: The Value of Lo Fi Graphics in eLearning
"Sketchnoting 101: How To Create Aweseome"

     Matthew Magain showcases his method and technique in preparing sketchnotes for a presentation. Provides a list of tools and steps for             sketchnoting.

"Sketch Notes from Creative Commons

Examples of general sketchnotes on creative commons.

"The Near-Sided Monkey" Tumblr by Lynda Barry

Student sketchnote examples from classes.

"Sketch Notes, a Non-traditinoal Way for User Researchers to Take Notes
"Sketchnoting for College Students" by Doug Niell
"Sketchnoting in the Classroom" by Doug Niell
"Sketchnoting pushes studetns to learn, retain information differently - particularly in STEM"

This article examines the use of sketchnoting in STEM classroom, with Assistant Professor of Industrial Design Verena Paepcke-Hjeltness introducing the method to roughly 1000 students, when the article was published in 2018. 

"Note-taking: A Research Roundup

Jennifer Gonzalez offers a general overview of note-taking, brief descriptions of different areas of note-taking. An area of intrest that pertains to visual note-taking (section 4). Within the seection are links that provided additional articles about sketchnoting from an author, a list of books pertaining to visual notetaking, a list of Youtube videos, and hashtags to find examples of visual notetaking on instagram and twitter.

Google Doc List Resource

"Inspiring the next generation of students in STEM (Category: STEM Sketchnotes)"

A collection of students' stechnoting articles they read that pertains to STEM.

EXAMPLE: "Girls and Physics: Continuing barriers on 'beloning'"

"Sketchnote your Science"

Dr. Sue Pillans' article gives examples of using sketchnoting and STEM in both high schools and university, as well as workshops by Dr. Sue Pillans.

"How to Teach Sketchnotes from a Distance"

A blog that takes reader through step-by-step introduction to skechnoting with materials, videos and tools in the classroom or distance learning. Link provided in blog for a sketchnoting course. 

"Can You Picture This? Instructions for Using Sketchnotes to Help Novices Improve Their Design Sketchnoting Skills"

By Morgaard 2017


Video Examples of Sketchnoting

Youtube Channel: "Verbal to Visual", by Doug Niell, offers multiple videos detailing examples and instructions on what sketchnoting is, how to start sketchnoting, and various techniques to use sketchnotes in different situations. Doug offers a playlists of videos called "Sketchnoting for Professionals", "Sketchnoting for Teachers", and "Sketchnoting Courses". Additonal, there is a site that offers a guide to starting sketchnoting and additonal resources. 

Videos showing how to take traditional notes and slightly change those into sketchnotes. Sublte changes for beginners using a familiar format. Video produced by Doug Niell on Verber to Visual youtube channel.

Doug Niell offers his "Sketchnoting Tookit" and how he uses each item. 

Rachel Smith provides two videos: 1. Overview of "what" and "why" of visual notetaking, for those who what to listen more than readand 2. Overview of digital visual notetaking examples for the first three minutes of the video.
Giulia Forsythe's presentation called "Drawing Conclusions" offers advice and encouragement for those who do not consider themselves "artist". Both video and presentation are available. 

Rachel Smith's videos and Giulia Forsythe's video and presentation found on 

By Kendra L. Andrews and illustrated by T. Mark Bentley, explores strategies such as sketchnotes can enhance idea generation and learning and provide classroom stategies for multimodal composition.