Sketch 2



Trying out visual notes was undoubtedly a very weird experience for me. I’m usually a very serious note taker, introducing little dynamism to what I write. However, it served as a great method to further my understanding on the topic. Although it would be impossible for me to do all my notes, I would do this again if I had to review a concept or topic, therefore rewriting my notes in this approachable format. For some reason, I always kept going back to arrows, which lead the way I think about a concept and understand it, especially in chemistry. Although it was not an particularly enjoyable, given that I am exclusively creative in music and nothing of the visual nature, the fact it helped me understand the concepts better fascinated me.

Visual Note Taking

For my visual notes, I decided to draw my ARTHIST 102 lecture on African art. It was unusual for me to create a visual note due to the fact, that I am used to writing down just texts. To be honest, I don’t think that my understanding of the topic improved. However, while I was drawing these objects, I memorized some details better as I paid more attention. On the one hand, the process of creating these visual notes was engaging and interesting. On the other hand, I realized that I learn and understand better from my regular notes. I feel that this method of learning may be extremely useful for some students, but, as I realized, not for me.

Sketch 2: Visual Note Taking Assignment

Snapseed 3

Sketch 2: Visual Note Taking


This was a strange experience. One that I have not yet tried out. I am used to simply writing down notes, so this was very different from anything I’ve tried.

It turns out that this doesn’t really help me with remembering my notes any more than simply taking notes. But my notes are already not purely text. I often include diagrams, charts, and pictures of concepts that we are learning in my notes already, so this is only taking away the words. If anything, this has been things a little more difficult to study. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m so used to note taking in the word form, or rather if it’s because I’m truly more built to memorize off of words. So, while this didn’t really help me remember things easier, it was still a more fun approach to taking notes. However, it also takes a lot more time. I found myself trying to adjust things that didn’t matter. This may be because I found myself working more on an art project rather than a set of notes, so I didn’t pay as much attention to the notes.

So while there weren’t any new discoveries of how I like to learn, it was a fun activity that was a good refresher from all the blocks of text I’m more used to. However, even if it is a refresher, it is still somewhat bothersome that it doesn’t really help me any more than regular notes. In fact, it may even be worse that taking regular notes. And, to top it all off, it takes way longer than regular notes. So, yes I’d be willing to do this again, but only when I have more time. When I’m pressed for time, such as when I’m studying for a test, this is absolutely not the way to go. At least, not for me.

Original assignment link: Sketch 2: Visual Note Taking

Visual Notes & Reflection


Visual Note Taking

Creating visual notes definitely helped me understand the “products of evolution” more so than just plain text.  I find that when I’m in class I’m mindlessly typing and copying down notes as opposed to engaging and comprehending the information. Visual note taking allows for a more creative approach to grasping concepts, which I find to be not only beneficial but enjoyable as well.


Visual Notes

I decided to take my visual notes for my chemistry class. I am currently taking CHEM 202 at Emory and we are learning about chemical equilibrium so my notes are on Le Chatelier’s Principle. My course’s this semester are mostly in the STEM field so taking visual notes seemed like a fun challenge for me. I employed the use of arrows and little doodles to keep myself engaged in the complex information. I also really like writing in different fonts, emphasizing certain pieces of information. I think this assignment was a very useful way, not only to study for my upcoming midterm, but also to put my creative skills to the test. I don’t know if my peers felt the same way, but this almost made my note taking pretty relaxing. I did not feel like I was basically transcribing from the textbook like I normally do. I hope to utilize this style of note taking much more in the future.

Sketch 2: Visual Note Taking

Due: 2/4

Tag: sk2


For your sketch assignment this week, I want you to create a set of visual notes for one day in one class (other than this one) that you are currently enrolled in. You do not need to take your visual notes in real time; in fact, I recommend that you don’t. I recommend that you go to your classes and take notes in whatever manner you normally do, then after class go through your notes and recreate them as visual notes.

Giulia Forsyth

Visual notes from a lecture about Domain of One's Own

“Domain of One’s Own” by Flickr user Giulia Forsyth

I’m a big fan of the work of Giulia Forsyth. She works in a teaching and learning center, where she helps professors and instructors be more innovative in their teaching practices, and she also works as a visual note-taker and facilitator, which means that she is sometimes employed to go to presentations and meetings and to doodle notes for the meeting.

Check out the four minute video to the right, where she gives a quick summary of how she began to take her doodling seriously and where it has led her.

On her Visual Practice page, Forsyth has lots of videos and images explaining how she approaches the task of producing drawings that help her and others to not just grab the information that’s been presented in a class or discussion, but to grapple with the material and better understand it. You can also see numerous examples on her Flickr page, especially her Visual Practice album.


For your sketch assignment this week, I want you to create a set of visual notes for one day in one class (other than New Media Writing) that you are currently enrolled in. You do not need to take your visual notes in real time; in fact, I recommend that you don’t. I recommend that you go to your classes and take notes in whatever manner you normally do, then after class go through your notes and recreate them as visual notes.

You do not need to draw your notes in a digital environment, either, though you are certainly free to do so. If you prefer to doodle with pen, pencil, or marker on paper then do that and once you’re done with your drawing, just scan the pages as JPG files so you can upload them to your site. If you have an iPad or other tablet or would like to draw on your laptop or desktop, then you might try apps like Inkflow or Adobe’s Sketchbook or search for other free/cheap drawing applications. I am completely tool agnostic on this assignment, so make your drawings in whatever manner make sense to you.

Your visual notes do not need to be polished or beautiful or anywhere near as intricate as Forsyth’s. Do try to take this assignment as an opportunity to really engage differently with your material – don’t just make a series of doodles that follow the outline of the lecture or discussion in your notes but try to really translate the concepts and information into a new, visual set of notes. You might think about creating flowcharts or diagrams, which are also visual devices.

Once you’ve got your notes, load them onto your course site as a sketch post. Make one of your notes pages a featured image.

As you upload your visual notes, take a few moments to reflect on the process and then write a paragraph or two about what you learned during the process of creating your visual notes. Did it help you to understand the course content any differently or better to create notes visually rather than just as text? Did you discover anything new about yourself or the way you think in the process? Did you find it enjoyable or find some aspect of it particularly interesting? Someplace in your reflective text, create a link back to this blog post assignment.