So I started Sketchnoting …

… and I ABSOLUTELY LOVE it! In recent years, I’ve come across many inspiring illustrations that looked like very pretty and dynamic mindmaps (to my uneducated eyes) and seemed like visual depictions of what had been said at a meeting, convention or talk. I only recently started paying closer attention to them, having seen and admired the work of Sylvia Duckworth. Her sketch note on the SAMR model is quite memorable, using text and visuals to explain the concept simply but powerfully.


Image credit @sylviaduckworth 


Hearing that she had given a webinar on 15.05.2017 on how she creates sketch notes, I decided to take a look at the video on youtube and I was inspired to give it a try. Three weeks later I’m hooked. I’ve taken the plunge and am quite eager to incorporate this in my teaching, both for my presentations and materials as well as for my students.

Here’s how I started my journey and what I’ve learned so far.

As you can see from the sketch note in the title image, I’ve tried to learn from experience sketch noters, viewing their material and trying to follow their advice in how to go about it. Here again, twitter proves to be a treasure trove of resources, not only people but also helpful links and hints. Following the hashtags #sketchnotes or #sketchnoting gets you off to a good start.

After watching a few youtube videos and how-tos, I downloaded a free course on iTunesU called Digital Sketchnotes for Visualizing Learning by Karen Bosch. For those in the Apple ecosystem, this course is a must. I really recommend it.

Of course, I researched on which stylus to buy and ended up buying two. One is a simple Bamboo Solo stylus with a rubber tip, which works just fine. Another stylus which has not left my hand since it was delivered, is the Musemee Notier Prime. To someone like me who has never actually used a stylus on a regular basis before (despite having an iPad since 2010) it looks weird and takes a bit getting used to. But is glides beautifully across the surface and is quite precise.

On the question of drawing apps, I tried out quite a few. I really do like Paper by 53 and the Moleskine apps (both free). I also bought Procreate, but haven’t had a chance to get to know it. My favourite app at the moment is Adobe Draw, which has several killer features, for free. It’s really intuitive and easy to understand. Also, it’s easy to fill an enclosed shape with colour in one tap; it has layers and also a no-frills brush set.

If you’re like I was, on the fence about starting to sketch note, then my simple advice is to start. Just do it. Read up, look at tutorials, test apps and styli and start by imitating a sketch noter or sketch note you really like. What also works is if you have a deadline to give up a project or presentation – set a goal of doing a sketch note so you have a bit of pressure that it needs to be presentable enough to be seen by others 🙂

That is actually how I started. This is my very first sketch note (done without a stylus) for a project at my school. I did it last week, inspired by a sketch note by Sylvia Duckworth (who has graciously allowed me to „copy“ and publish).


I’m really happy I decided to start sketch noting and I’d encourage all interested educators to start as well. My ultimate goal is to teach my students to sketch note.

I hope I could inspire you to start sketch noting. Here are the sketch notes I’ve done mapping my learning journey so far, followed by sketch note resources.

Practice, practice, practice! 🙂






Sylvia Duckworth

Kathy Schocks Guide to Sketchnotes

Sketchnote Tools and Resources

Verbal to Visual

Sketchnotes Army

“Sketchnotes” Invigorate Student Note-Taking and Bolster Visual Thinking


Paper by 53


Adobe Draw

Adobe Sketch



Tayasui Sketches


Sunni Brown: Doodlers, unite! (5:43)

Graham Shaw: Why people believe they can’t draw and how to prove they can (15:03)

Brad Ovenell-Carter: A Sketchnote Primer (19:54)

EdTechTeam Live: Sketchnoting for Educators with Sylvia Duckworth

Taking Visual Notes with Sketchnotes: An EdTechTeam Session on Air with Brad Ovenell-Carter (1:07:19)

Top 10 Visual Metaphors for sketchnoters (5:28)


Digital Sketchnotes for Visualizing Learning (iTunesU)

Sketchnoting Tutorial

Sketchnotes: A Guide to Visual Notetaking

Ressourcen in deutscher Sprache

Mike Rohde Das Sketchnote Handbuch: Der illustrierte Leitfaden zum Erstellen visueller Notizen

Nadine Roßa Sketchnotes: Visuelle Notizen für Alles: von Business-Meetings über Partyplanung bis hin zu Rezepten

Additional Resources



Testing with iPads

This year marks the first where I have the chance to use tablets systematically in a classroom, in my case with a group of 14-year old English learners, so there are a lot of things that I’ve read about but hadn’t had the opportunity to try. This week in class I tested testing with the iPad for the first time. Here is what I’ve learned. „Testing with iPads“ weiterlesen