Thinking about the almost now, some visual notes from #BbTLC2014

I’ve been fascinated by visual recordings of meetings for a while now. Once again I’ve been inspired by David Hopkins who I met for the first time last week at #BbTLC2014.  David has recently started to develop his sketch noting skills ( you can see his live notes from the conference over on his blog).

Over the past few years, my own note taking skills have really become  twitter-fied (not sure if that is a word). If I am at a conference I tend to tweet and that provides the basis for my note (and memory) of most events. In fact I think that the 140 limit in twitter has helped my synthesis skills. However, there is something about a picture . . . So  following  a chat with David on his experiences to date, I’ve decided to give it a go. I’ve ordered the sketchnote handbook and whilst  wait for that to arrive, I’ve been having a play with the notability app on my ipad.

I realise that my first attempts are a long way of what David and other such as Guilia Forsythe can do and I  have had a few days to think about things (doing things in the almost now!) But I just thought I’d share them.

So here are my very basic, slightly more visual notes from Professor Stephen Heppell’s and Jay Bhatt’s  (CEO, Blackboard) keynotes (click on the pics to see larger versions).   I think I might try and see if I can do a bit more visual note-taking and a bit less tweeting at conferences, and more practice of my drawing doodling skills.

Stephen and David’s approval has been  lovely and encouraging too.


  1. Hi Sheila – like you I’ve used Twitter as my ‘note taking’ or ‘archive’ mechanism for when I’m at events, but have often found myself flagging by the third or fourth session. If the event is more than one day I’ve often made myself quite I’ll from the constant attention and tweeting, and have looked back and find myself more interested and more engaged in the back channel than the event a a whole.

    It was a tweet from +Sue Beckingham that alerted me to Mike Rohde’s book on sketchnotes – the basic premise of the approach is to sit back and sketch the major theme or concept of the talk, not the individual facts or details, therefore leaving you to listen and engage *and* take notes.

    I haven’t yet tried to do my sketchnotes on the iPad – I bought a stylus a while ago but it didn’t last very long and I doesn’t like the lack of focus/detail it gave me. I do however like your colours and different line strengths and thicknesses, so I might try it again.

    Great to meet you F2F at last, look forward to comparing our sketchnotes again!!

    All the best, David.

    • Thanks David – was lovely to met you finally too. It’s taking a bit to get used to things – particularly positioning of things . Thanks also for encouraging me to have a go. Sheila

      • I’ve loaded my sketches to Flickr now, and placed a CC on them for others to use and be inspired by –

        What I hadn’t planned is the scale of the interest in the approach – not just for what I’ve done but for the general attitude of notes and how they affect how we *attend* events.

        Thank you for your sketches, keep it up. I’ve also taken to using image searches to find other approaches and styles for drawing faces, heads, people, arrows, etc. I’ll upload these to Flickr too later 😉

        All the best, David

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