Category Archives: visual-book-notes

Visual book review: Cool Time: A Hands-on Plan for Managing Work and Balancing Time–Steve Prentice

It can be difficult to get work done in an environment filled with interruptions. Cool Time: A Hands-on Plan for Managing Work and Balancing Time (2005) offers many schedule-based tips on how to plan your day so that you have time to deal with interruptions as well as to focus on your real work. I like the emphasis it puts on managing people’s expectations and “conditioning” them to work with you better.

Here’s a sketchnote that summarizes the key points from the book. Click on the image to see a larger version.

20121230 Cool Time - A Hands-on Plan for Managing Work and Balancing Time - Steve Prentice

Cool Time is a good book for people who work in an office and use calendar systems a lot (or would like to make better use of their calendars). Even if you work on your own, you might find it useful to adopt the “I-beam review” involving 15 minutes of planning before you start your day and 15 minutes after for processing. If your life is even more interrupt-driven, David Allen’s bestselling Getting Things Done (2012) book is an excellent read focusing more on managing your to-dos.

Check out my other sketchnotes and visual book notes for more business- and technology-related visual summaries!

Visual book review: The Art of Pricing: How to Find the Hidden Profits to Grow Your Business–Rafi Mohammed

Setting a price for products and services seems like a black art. The Art of Pricing covers strategies that you can use to come up with differentiated prices, versioned products, or segment-based approaches.

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

20121229 The Art of Pricing

The Art of Pricing has some tips for entrepreneurs who are trying to figure out the right price for their first product or service (see the value decoder on p99). It has more tips for business owners who have established a few profitable offerings and are trying to figure out how to tweak the levers for more profit or expanded markets.

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

Visual book review: Blue Ocean Strategy–W. Chan Kim, Renée Mauborgne

Most business books focus on beating the competition. Blue Ocean Strategy (Harvard Business School Press, 2005) focuses on breaking out of red oceans of competition, creating new markets instead. Here are some ways to find alternative markets: alternative industries, strategic groups, buyers, complementary product and service offerings, functional/emotional appeal, time.

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

20121228 Book - Blue Ocean Strategy

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

Blue Ocean Strategy is a good book for established companies that are finding it challenging to differentiate themselves, but it’s also a good read for companies that are starting out and who are looking for their unique selling propositions (USPs).

I’m going to go over different business ideas, sketch red ocean / blue ocean strategies for each, and see about talking to lots of people in order to help validate the sketches. Looking forward to it!

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!

Visual book review: Running Lean–Ash Maurya

If you’re starting a technology business – or other kinds of businesses – you’ll find many tips in Ash Maurya’s book, Running Lean. In particular, he provides step-by-step guides for conducting problem interviews, solution interviews, and MVP interviews, all great ways to validating your business assumptions and make sure you’re on the right track.

Here’s a sketchnote that summarizes the key points from the book. Click on the image to see a larger version.

20121228 Book - Running Lean - Ash Maurya

The business model canvas in Running Lean is released under the Creative Commons Sharealike Licence, so this image is as well. Enjoy!

Running Lean: Iterate from Plan A to a Plan That Works, Second Edition (O’Reilly). (affiliate link) Copyright 2012 Ash Maurya, 978-1-449-30517-8. Recommended for startup founders and early employees.

If you like this, you might want to check out:

Visual book review: The Sketchnote Handbook–Mike Rohde

I know, I know, two visual book reviews in one day. But The Sketchnote Handbook is cool and I just received my copy of it this morning, so I wanted to share this with you today. =)

In The Sketchnote Handbook, Mike Rohde breaks down the process for sketchnotes. He found that writing his notes in pen in a small sketchbook and giving himself permission to doodle made taking notes so much more fun and less frustrating. If you’ve been having problems paying attention in class or in meetings, or you’ve been frustrated by your inability to remember key points from conferences and presentations, this is for you. No art degree required.

Here’s my one-page summary. Click on the image for a larger version, and feel free to share it!

20121211 Book - The Sketchnote Handbook - Mike Rohde

© 2012 Sacha Chua, Creative Commons Attribution Licence

If you’ve always been curious about how to start sketchnoting, this is the best book I’ve come across so far. Read this, then read Dan Roam’s Back of the Napkin for more business-oriented visual tools.

If you’re ordering through Peachpit, use the coupon code SKETCHNOTE to get 35% until Dec 31, 2012. It’s roughly the same price on Amazon (affiliate link). Note that there’s a video edition that includes 70 minutes of video tutorials, which is great for bringing these ideas to life.

I received a review copy of this book from Peachpit Press. Props to them. =)

Check out my other sketchnotes and visual book notes for more business- and technology-related visual summaries!

Other people’s visual summaries of The Sketchnote Handbook:

Visual book notes: Best Practices Are Stupid: 40 ways to Out-Innovate the Competition–Stephen M. Shapiro

Here’s my visual summary of Stephen M. Shapiro’s 2011 book Best Practices Are Stupid: 40 Ways to Out-Innovate the Competition (affiliate link). It’s a good book for people handling innovation management in medium and large enterprises, although small business owners might still be able to apply a few tips like the one about getting out and observing your customers (Lessons from Indiana Jones, p.69) and when to buy/innovate/hire solutions (There’s no such thing as a “know-it-all”, p.42).

Click on the image to view a larger version, and feel free to share it under the Creative Commons Attribution Licence!

20121211 Book - Best Practices Are Stupid - Stephen M. Shapiro

Check out my other sketchnotes and visual book notes!