In the past few months I have seen a dramatic rise in the request in information for graphic recording and visual translations. Is it because of some super clever marketing campaign or some incredibly smart social media gorilla stunt that has gone viral? Not really. The increase appears to be sourced through the an increase in activities of both sketchnoters and graphic recorders pushing their work into main stream culture through social media channels and gaining local and national press.
Take a look at this news piece on CBS News about Sunni Brown and the business of doodling or this article in a local Business Journal which introduces the idea of graphic recording as a tool to improve daily work and general thinking. (Yes, it’s about me and graphic recording. A selfish plug, but then again, you’re already here.)
Yes, graphic recording is on the rise. Be it personal sketchnotes posted on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, or more graphic recorders sharing on LinkedIn and Twitter, the business world is taking notice and responding accordingly by Following, Liking, Pinning and Adding to professional networks. Graphic recording is becoming a business acceptable practice.
Even for myself, my various applications have become a point of conversation with prospects and clients within the financial community, healthcare and business consultants. Corporate strategic planning sessions are incorporating more visual recorders to meetings to add greater value and deeper retention of plans, conversations and general gatherings.
I can’t answer for the general population, but from my personal experience and conversations with those inquiring what it is that I do, a realization of the power of graphic recordings and conversation maps is becoming clearer. And with this clarity comes greater curiosity. Businesses are looking for stronger advantages in the market place and graphic recorders are helping them to see opportunities that once were unseen and intangible. They are beginning to see!
So, if you’re a business, organization or a start-up, connect with a graphic recorder and get your ideas, plans and thoughts drawn out and seen so you can move forward with a clear plan and a map to your future.
Today, St. Louis was graced by four powerful innovation leaders.
What’s next for those wanting to be innovative in their companies? First visualize your purpose and then plan your action.
I love the malls. My biggest enjoyment in these massive places is people watching. You can learn so much about how we humans interact and react. Also, there is great inspiration in these shopping meccas. One inspiration I use came from a sign that almost all shoppers have see, read and referred. It’s a sign predominately display for all to see.. I am referring to the mall map. The sign that plots out all the shops by place and group of services or goods.
The mall map tells us so much about our environment. However, this sign in its entirety was not the source of my inspiration, rather the simple red dot icon and three words accompanying it. “You Are Here.” As a statement to anyone planning strategy, this hits home quickly and strongly. In order to plan, we need to know where we are on this very spot and in this current time. We need to know where “You Are Here” is.
Here is a visual exercise that I challenge anyone who is planning to move forward to answer ‘Who’ and ‘What’ holds you bank and drives you forward.
Before you can move forward you need to know your “You Are Here.”
Every challenge we face has some level of difficulty. Some are gradual and modestly challenging, while others take us to the brink of self-destruction. So ask yourself ‘how was my day, week or project?’ What did it look like? Now, here comes the tool of visual thinking. Rate them by using simple images like the ones below. Record these little images on a calendar, small corner of the project notes or on anywhere that will help you to remember and possibly prepare for the next challenge.
The simple images below which reflect the levels of difficulties in challenges were inspired by a fellow sketchnotes enthusiast Patricia Kambitsch of Playthink and Redesign. Feel free to use them as needed. You may even want to print the image out and attach them to your project notes, then circle the related image.
By using such images as indicators, we are visually connecting the image to the event and later, using the image to trigger the memories of that challenge and similar challenges with the same level of difficulty. You train your brain to create unconscious connections between challenges. The connection also create warnings as well as possible solutions to be used in new challenges.
So, look back on your day, week or challenges and use the images to make mental filings for future use. Good luck and keep (th)INKing visually.
In sketchnotes, we share the idea of capturing emotion with smiley faces on stickmen and these are easy and classic, there is also a way to add emotion to words with a bit of forethought and practice.
Let’s have a bit of visual fun and add stronger emphasis on those words we use.
A great source for lettering with emphasis are comic books, children picture books and graffiti. Learn from others who communicate with strong visuals to enhance your visual notes. So, just as you build up your visual library, try building your word emotion library as well. The more you add visual clues to your Sketchnotes and Graphicnotes, the greater the impact of the underlining information.
By the way, did you notice your eyes went right to the “POWER” word. Color also is a great add to emotion.
Remember, keep your ideas sketchy and visual, because the best ideas are ones seen by all.
There has been much debate around sketchnoting, graphic recording and even the rise of graphic note taking or “Graphicnoting.” Though, similar in nature of recording others through the use of text and graphics, each present some unique characteristics that can help define or clarify what they are.
Mike Rohde is by far the best person to explain what and how sketchnotes work as he is one of the primary founders of the concept and he defines sketchnoting as being a personal tool. While on the far end of the spectrum, graphic recording has a very strong public presence by taking a public conversation and recording it for all to see.
Now enter “Graphicnoting.” Graphicnoting is something I am all too familiar with as this is my preferred method of visual recording. The process can be explained like this; recording graphically a public conversation at a semi-personal level, then sharing to the present and non-present public. Graphicnoting is performed on a smaller scale than that of traditional wall graphic recording, yet with very similar processes formats. Unlike large wall graphic recording, graphicnotes utilizes a more portable media like that of sketchnotes. I see Graphicnotes as bridging the gap between the personal tool and the public performance.
On a last note on production, once completing a graphicnote on paper, the inked pages are digitized, colorized and then publish as needed. There are other ways of creating these graphicnotes such as the use of tablets which allow the creation of digital originals. I don’t believe or see one method being better than another. Each method is based upon the preference of the recorder.
So if you want to shift from sketchnotes into graphic recording slowly or vise versa, my suggestion is try Graphicnotes where the practices and processes of both formats are used. Who knows, this may become your method of choice also.
Until next time, keep your ideas sketchy and your conclusions drawn.