Imagining the next five years and planning 2013

One of the assignments in the Rockstar Scribe course I’m taking through Alphachimp University (affiliate link) is to sketch where you want to be in five years. This is my sketch.

20121228 5 years vision

What does that mean for 2013?

Work: I’m focusing on business idea validation, sales, and marketing this year. It’ll mean scaling down my consulting income, but I think the opportunity cost will be worth it. To keep building other market-valued skills, I may still do a little web development – primarily for my own projects, but possibly for others as well.

Relationships: I’m focusing on spending time with W- and friends, especially through exercise and cooking. I’d also like to organize things more at home, and to learn more kitchen skills.

Life: Regular exercise supports my goals here as well, and so does organization and decluttering. I’m looking forward to digging deeper into Emacs for planning and organization, too.

Learn: I’ll research and go to interesting events to sketchnote. I’ll also keep an eye out for good books to review.

Share: I’ve sketched out an editorial outline of things I want to write about, which may help me write with more deliberation.

Scale: I’m documenting many of my ideas and processes in a public manual, and I’ll add more as I learn how to scale up.

Onward and upward!

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  • What’s your take on the Rockstar Scribe course? I’m new to the sketchnote world and as a high school teacher I want to teach my students these skills. It is a worthwhile investment?


    • The Rockstar Scribe course is well-suited for beginning graphic recorders who work on large-scale paper drawings. You might find the tips on drawing even circles or rectangles and expanding your visual vocabulary through practice useful when you draw things on a blackboard. I’m not sure if it’s that useful in terms of things that you can pick up and re-teach to students, though, and for the price (they’ve recently increased it to $497), there might be better ways for you to learn.

      In terms of notetaking, I’d probably start with going through Mike Rohde’s Sketchnote Handbook. Practise and become comfortable with it on your own, and then start incorporating it into your diagrams, hand-outs, or web resources. You may need to teach your students basic notetaking skills, with sketchnotes as a way to liven things up. (Ex: students don’t need to write everything down, they can write highlights or keywords, but they should probably write *something* down instead of relying on their memory.) The Cornell method may also be useful. What keeps you from taking notes? can give you some ideas. I remember what it was like teaching university students – there’d be one or two people with excellent notes, and it seemed everyone else got by with just those or with lots of cramming.

      Take a look at some of the student sketchnotes on Sketchnote Army (history class, final exam) for some ideas on how to incorporate sketchnotes into your teaching.

      I’ve been thinking of putting together some resources around sketchnoting and learning for both entrepreneurship and for education. I’d be happy to answer questions and coach people for free because that helps me put together better content, so please please please feel free to reach out and ask questions. We can also set up a Google Hangout or Skype chat so that you can pick my brain and vice versa. =) Looking forward to hearing from you!

      • Wowzers, yeah at $497 it doesn’t fit in a high school teacher’s budget!

        I would be really interested in anything you publish about sketchnotes in the classroom. I’m thinking of starting a site that is dedicated to just that, Sketchnotes in the Classroom. I would love to spread the word and help other integrate this into the classroom. I’ve gotten great feedback from the teachers that I’ve already talked to but the problem is I usually don’t have a lot of time to discuss it in detail with them and while I ALWAYS recommend Mike Rohde’s book, I’d also like to have some other resources and real examples to share with them. That’s why it might be easier for me to create an online resource I can direct them to if they have more questions about *how* to do it.

        I guess my biggest question right now is how do I introduce it effectively and get the students to buy into it. I will try doing some of your suggestions as outlined above.


        • That sounds like a great idea for a site! If you create a site with a contact form that goes to both of us (I’m [email protected]), I’d be happy to help by answering your questions and your readers’ questions. We can brainstorm topics and I can help put together some sketchnote lessons that you can crosspost on your site. I’ve been meaning to put together resources for accelerating learning with sketchnotes anyway, so people’s questions and feedback are helpful.

          • Great, I’ll keep you in the loop about the site. I’m hoping to have a rough site within the next few days.

      • Also, have you found a place in the US to purchase the Bikablo book that isn’t $60?

        • Nope, not yet. But you can probably replicate the breadth of the regular Bikablo books by building your own visual vocabulary (here’s how I use Evernote to do that and other things). As for the depth of the Bikablo Emotions book… I find that I rarely use the concepts when sketchnoting live events or personal thoughts because simpler emotions usually do the trick, although the basic ideas are useful for giving you a framework for expanding your visual vocabulary further. See my sketchnote lesson on drawing emotions for some tips.