My digital sketchnoting workflow

2013/07/29: Update: Watch the episode or read the transcript!

Mike Rohde’s The Sketchnote Handbook (see my sketchnotes of it) focuses on pen-and-paper sketchnoting. I really enjoy digital sketchnoting, although there’s a bit more of a barrier to entry in terms of hardware. I’ve figured out a pretty sweet workflow for live-publishing conference/event sketchnotes so that you can catch people while they’re looking at the Twitter hashtag. Mike and I will be talking about digital workflows and tips for one of his podcasts, and I wanted to sketch my thoughts/talking points in preparation.

Click on the image for a larger version of the sketchnote.

20121212 My digital sketchnoting workflow

Not specifically mentioned there because it’s more of a blogging setup, but WordPress + NextGen Gallery + Windows Live Writer + Text Templates plugin = great.

Feel free to share this! You can credit it as (c) 2012 Sacha Chua under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Canada licence.

Like this? Check out my other sketchnotes and visual book notes. Want me to sketchnote your event? Know of any interesting tech / business talks coming up? I’d love to hear from you!

3 Pingbacks/Trackbacks

17 responses to “My digital sketchnoting workflow”

  1. linditt says:

    You’re collaborating with Mike?! Two of my favourite note-taker! Wow!

  2. luc taesch says:

    just find this thx to mike podcast . thx ! Q: do you use art rage or stekchbook pro ? artrage is mentionned on the sketch note . and 2/ I find digital drawing not using the right space, too coarse. am i using the wrong resolution? should I zoom in when drawing ? ( wacom tablet). could you post a video of you drawing a sketch note from scratch, to perceive tyour workflow ? including mistakes and repositioning …. as I see it as a important value for digital..

    1. sachac says:

      Sure, here’s a sample with a lot of moving around to make things fit:

      I mostly use Sketchbook Pro because I’ve found that to be the most reliable and most responsive program for me. Illustrator often crashed, and ArtRage is a little slow for the kinds of things I like doing. I work zoomed-in, and the grid helps me keep in touch with how much of the page I’m using.

      1. luc taesch says:

        Many thanks:

        here is my take, correct me:

        – use only one pen ( ) with only two colors, selected from preset , and lasso for recolor or repositioning

        black is in fact dark grey, with a bit of the « other » color in it ( here blue) ( so there is space for pure black or pure blue if necessary : Title and reference stands out))

        – fit magically in the the page ??, but his was a panel, so I guess a temlate in mind , ie1 column per panelist ?. what would happen if suddenly you have too much for a panelist , thought ? (like the Q/A maybe) do you resize the page ? move it somewhere else ?

        – digital enable repositioning, so one can create space around a blob to make it stand out. i.e. the containers are mainly space, not explicit dot or bubbles. => lighter skectchnotes

        – usage of a grid in the background, very light :how so light ? grig is fine, a bit like ruler on notebook. write every other line. @sachac:disqus share the grid ?

        1. luc taesch says:

          I followed your example, and created a ready to start template, A4, 300 dpi, a grid grey and black , stronger every 5, 3 layer (gris, cartouche), title, main drawing .

          Many thanks for the lead !

      2. luc taesch says:

        artrage : slow as unresponsive, to react, or missing UI shortcut ? did you tested 3 or 4? ( just discovering the workbench for shortcuts since 4)

        1. sachac says:

          Ooh, I should upgrade and give that a try. (I was on 3.5.) Maybe I can use the workbench and views for a new sketchnoting workflow…

          1. sachac says:

            Here’s a sneak preview of my thoughts on Artrage 4. Thanks for the nudge!

          2. Hi Sacha which plugin did you use to do the shared draft?

          3. Ya saw those two too, I’ll try the one to see how it goes, even if has no reviews yet it seems to be vetted by the author to be compatible with WordPress 3.5.1

          4. I ended up with “Public Post Preview”

            Here’s an example:


            The ShareADraft uses uninitialized variables (I have my WordPress installation set with enable warnings since I wanted to make sure my theme was clean)

            I couldn’t get the other one to work with Posts that are scheduled.

  3. patmolla says:

    Thanks it´s cool!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>