Websummit 2018 teaser

This week I am in Lisbon, for Websummit. I am testing out new formats for my sketchnotes, one is a paper format which is easy to do standing up in a crowd and the other the iPad Pro. I want to use this opportunity to play around with the iPad format, and test out different apps. A review of these apps AND my wish for the ideal sketchnote app will come online later.

To be honest I have not have time to review my notes from this conference yet and a lot of my notes needs work done and cleanup before I can post them. Perhaps during my next holiday or if there is a special insterest in it, I will post the notes, along with a summary of the conference highlights.

Meeting room notes – coming soon!

Sorry about the silence here on the blog – I started a fulltime job at an IT consultancy and all the work I do there is confidential, which makes me unable to share my daily sketches. I CAN share what I have learned about visual meeting notes though!

During some phases in our process, we have a lot of meetings. I don’t know about you, but my mind goes blank after 5 minutes in meetings unless I actively focus to keep my concentration – and this is where visual notes are amazing!

  1. They make me listen actively – I find out what I do not understand much Quicker!
  2. I can refer back to my notes later
  3. I get to practice my live sketching in general (practice, practice, practice)
  4. They are fun to do!

After I participated in the same type of meeting several times, I started noticing I could benefit from a certain structure. Since I cannot show you the actual notes as examples, I will have to recreate the same layout types with fake content.

I am looking very much forward to sharing a couple of my go-to meeting layouts and tricks for easy meeting notes with you at a later time.

Update July 209: I am currently compiling a list of layouts that I will share once they are finished. Stay tuned. 

First review: Ipad pro 12,9″ for live sketchnoting

This blogpost is my first review of working on the ipad pro for live sketchnoting. After having played around a bit with procreate, adobe sketch, adobe draw, and a couple less known apps, I chose Adobe draw for my first real practice with live digital sketchnotes.

Speed and accuracy:
When I draw or do illustrations, the precision is great and I love the ipad pro as a tool. The moment I try to go as fast as I do when I sketchnote live, my writing is terrible and I have much less control of my sketches than I am used to having on paper. I tried adding a screen protector in order to create more friction, but I don’t think it makes much of a difference. Hopefully more practice will. As it is now, my writing especially looks very messy. I will get back in a month when I am more familiar with it.

Separate layers required in order to move or resize an element:
In order to be able to move an element or change its size, I need to have it on its own layer. I can’t just zoom in an select it with a tool and move it somewhere else, which makes layouting digitally just as difficult as in my analogue sketchbook with ink – Unless I make each element/section in its own layers. This workflow will take some getting used to. Making sure to check which layer I am in before I sketch, switching between them (as a person who is used to auto select in photoshop) is a PAIN. I cannot count the number of times where I had to duplicate a layer and manually separate them by deleting the wrong part of each layer. This especially is a problem if I use one document for several different notes, where I need to be able to hide the notes that are on different topics.

Limited number of layers available:
I quickly found out that there is a limited number of layers available, and the template I created used 5 layers alone.

Creating my sketchnote template:
In my analogue sketchbook I usually have a similar layout of a few elements like my logo, the border, the headline, space for the speakers name and a speaker quote. I figured that when going digital I could reuse these elements and dublicate the template. This also saves me time choosing my preferred pen settings, as it resets to its default collection when I open a new document.

My choosen pen settings:
I am still playing around with it, but I find using the 4 available pen slots for 4 different purposes provides me with the flexibility I need. The first pen is for general outlining, the second is better for writing headlines, the third is for grey shadows, the fourth is for coloured headlines. Keeping the outlining the same thickness will give a more unified and simplistic look.

I still keep forgetting I am able to zoom in and out:
I will need to test out an A3 format next, where I zoom in on each part I am creating while sketching. I think this will provide me with the space I am lacking at the moment. For a long time I have been used to the same sketchbook format.

Which Sketchbooks do I use?

As a student I need to keep the cost down, so at the moment I use black notebooks from Flying Tiger. They have nice paper and nice sizes, for a quarter of the price of a Moleskin sketchbook.

The one I bring everywhere I go: My visual journal. It is small enough to fit in my smallest everydaypurse, and there is room for my businesscards as well in a pocket. The downside of this journal is that it has thinner pages than the others, too thing for my needs, so I need to skip every other page. This I sometimes switch to a moleskin of the same size – when I spoil myself.

The one I bring to social events and general travelling: My travelbook, small square sketchbook. (As seen on the above picture)

The one I bring to conferences and when I know I will be sketchnoting live: The Big Square sketchbook I take with me when I know I am going to an event where I will sketchnote, double the size of the small travelbook.