From the blog

Fill your notebooks with doodles: learn how to sketchnote

On our list of recommended skills to learn in 2021, drawing had a pretty high spot.

Since drawing is a versatile skill that has many uses, we couldn’t possibly dump all the interesting resources in a single article. This one is all about learning how to sketchnote. What is it? Why should you learn it?

Note: This article contains affiliate links to amazon.co.uk. As such, we receive a commission if you make a qualifying purchase from those recommended resources. However, we would never recommend anything we wouldn’t purchase ourselves.

Note 2: This article contains affiliate links to skillshare through the FlexOffers affiliate program. As such, we receive a commission if you subscribe to a free trial or purchase a subscription. We’re members of skillshare ourselves and we really like it, which is why we can confidently recommend it to you.

Sketchnoting: Take better notes, illustrate concepts and ideas with your drawings

If you’re looking to express ideas and concepts with your drawing, you might be interested in the world of Sketchnoting or visual note taking.

What is it? Find out in this short video.

While this video on Sketchnoting discusses about taking notes it in the classroom, it is not just for school. It is also useful in meetings, in your journal or really anytime you want remember or visualize ideas or concepts.

It can also be used to explore different ideas. Since drawing is a more involved skill than writing, it activates more parts of your brain than simply writing. Effectively, it will activate the parts needed for verbalization, as well as visualization. This will improve your memorization of ideas and concepts.

The Kamo and Chika Miyata books

The Kamo and Chika Miyata books we have added here are, in our opinion, some of the best drawing/illustration we know to learn how to draw simple doodles. Those doodles are perfect for sketchnotes.

Mind you, you won’t learn how to create a masterpiece with those books, but the kind of drawing you’ll learn in those is still pretty useful. You’ll expand your visual language and know how to express ideas and concepts visually.

By the way, those are considered to be children books on amazon. We know! And that’s ok. The information in those is still pretty useful for a grown up.

Books by Michael Rohde

Michael Rohde is the original sketchnoter. He has created a few books which are well worth checking out.

If you’re interested in learning about sketchnoting from Michel Rhode himself, here’s an introduction/workshop he gave in South America.

If you’re interested in purchasing his books, here they are:

Great Skillshare courses to learn how to sketchnote

Skillshare is a online learning platform that offers a ton of courses on all kinds of topics, ranging from design, arts, business and many more. Those courses are focused on doing more than learning. All courses offer exercises and projets as well as a community where you can share your work and discuss about the classes.

On skillshare, there, there are many courses that are useful to learn how to sketchnote. Here’s our list of the top ones:

Sketchnoting basics – Anyone can visualise ideas

In this course, Patrick Visser, a Designer and illustrator gives you some basic drawing/sketching tips about how to represent objects and ideas using simple lines and markers. You’ll also learn a bit about using typography to add some visual interest to your sketchnotes.

Visual Thinking: How to Create Sketchnotes to Capture and Synthesize Content

Here, Catherine will teach you about sketchnotes to visualize and summarize content in a way that helps you process and retain the information. She gives a few exercises about drawing, handwriting and taking sketchnotes during a TED talk.

A Notebook

You’ll need a notebook to keep all those beautiful sketchnotes. Our current favorite is this one. It’s super beautiful, yet affordable.

It has a dotted grid inside, which is pretty great to keep things aligned, yet less distracting than an actual grid or lines.

With it’s A5 format, it’s small enough for you to carry everywhere.

Copic Doodle Pack

Offered in a few variety of colors, the Copic Doodle Pack is awesome for sketchnotes.

Copic markers are the golden standard when it comes to alcohol based markers. Those packs contain:

  • 2 Copic Ciao markers (their entry level markers)
  • a Copic multi liner
  • and a glitter pen. OMG A glitter pen :O this is soooo nice. Sooo shiny.

Those are absolutely great. You’ve got everything you need to get started. A liner pen to draw, 2 markers for highlights and make stuff stand out, and a glitter pen, to add that little magic touch on things that just need to pop.

Drawing Pens

Another tool you’ll need to sketchnote are drawing pens.

You can save a lot if you purchase them in a pack. Faber-Castell produces some great artist pens. The set we propose here is quite nice, affordable and features a nice variety of tips for varied line effects.


Will you take on sketchnoting? Did you learn something new? Let us know on twitter.

We’re also interested in seeing your sketchnotes. Send them over on our Facebook or instagram.