Category Archives: Sketchnote

Reflections of a Beginning Sketcher

For 2017 I chose to challenge myself to complete a #SketchADay for my 365 project. As a way to reinforce my #OneWord for 2017, imperfect, I also committed myself to sharing those sketches on my social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Google+).

Three months have past and I took some time today to look over how far my skills have grown since January 1st. You can see my sketches in this shared Google Photos Album.

I am pleased with how far I’ve come but am MOST excited by the sketches I’ve done in the past seven days.

My fellow Google Certified Innovator, Cate Tolnai, sent out an email on March 20th to some of her PLN with the idea of spreading the #SketchADay concept into a social experiment of sorts. #Sketch50 was born. Within three days, this incredible group of EDU-sketchers (of which I am honored to be a part) had social media accounts set up along with the domain. Daily prompts were brainstormed and collected in a Google Sheet. Images for the daily prompts were organized in Google Slide deck. The group moved from emailing as the primary form on communication to a Voxer group.

It has been beyond incredible to see how fast the idea took off. After the first day, we even had 2nd graders in Africa participating!

As I write this, we have 43 more days in #Sketch50 and I know it is going to continue to grow. So cool to think that my little 365 project had even a little bit to do with Cate getting inspired to do this.

If you haven’t joined in on the #Sketch50 movement, it is not too late. Join us. Here is how:

How to Sketch 50

If you are at all curious about how I am doing my sketches, here is a bit about my workflow:

My sketching workflow

My go-to app is Procreate for iPad. I currently have an iPad Air 2 but am seriously considering upgrading to an iPad Pro to get a bigger screen. I am currently not using a stylus. I have tried many but always return to using my finger. Haven’t given the Apple Pencil a try yet though.

I can’t recommend the Procreate app enough. It is the best $5.99 I have ever spent on an app. I really think I would not be sticking with the #SketchADay if I hadn’t taken to this app the way I have. The fabulous Sylvia Duckworth gave an impromptu sketchnoting session at ISTE 2016 and I have been hooked on Procreate ever since.

One of the best features of the Procreate app is the ability to activate the time-lapse feature. It makes it possible to export a video that shows the steps of the creation process. Here is an example, a video of the creation of the workflow sketch I posted earlier:


Three months down and nine more to go. My goals are to continue building my visual vocabulary and work into doing more larger sketches. I’ve done a few and they have been well-received but they take me quite awhile to do. I hope to develop a good workflow for that so I can get more of these ideas out of my head.

Here are some of my bigger sketches:

don't suck

corral the work like

become a grand inquisitor

help learning stick

love changes everything



I am fascinated by Sketchnotes.  I’m not much of an artist but have been playing around with the fundamentals. I am finding the Sketchnote lessons of Sacha Chua very helpful. If you are interested in Sketchnotes, check her out. Other good resources are Sketchnote Army and the Sketchnote Workbook.