In school or at university you’re always taking notes, have proper summaries but you still can’t keep the information in your head? Maybe you’re like me and sketchnoting will help you.

About this project

We wanted to know what we actually have in common with our trainees. Are there certain topics or products they are as passionate about as we are? In our new series “Neuland newbees present” we share a trainee’s blog post every month. Today, our lovely Alischa shows you how to use visualization to improve your studies.

What you need to know

Visual sketchnoting is a learning method for which you use symbols or little drawings to connect them to the information you want to memorize. Sounds complicated at first but it’s actually pretty easy. And I promise you don’t have to be an artist to do this.

Our brain is more likely to memorize pictures than texts, and visual sketchnoting helps you connect these pictures with a text. This way, your brain can obtain the “stored” text when you’re looking at the symbols later on, and it often even helps you memorize what happened during a lesson.

This method works very well for people who are visually inclined and you are one of them if you:

  • often decorate the margin of your notes with small shapes or patterns
  • can concentrate better when you’re doodling during a lesson or lecture

If you’ve done this before, you’ve already visualized. And if not, why don’t you give it a try?

What’s next?

Start small and take little steps, for instance, by highlighting key words when writing down notes. Then you can add easy icons, such as stick persons, traffic signs, or just simple patterns. You could mark important information with a stop sign on the margin of your paper, for example.

You’ll soon get a feeling for creating new icons automatically. If you can’t come up with individual icons, you’ll find inspiration in our bikablo® books or online and keep developing your skills further.

Don’t lose heart, keep going!

Don’t be disappointed if your sketchnotes look a bit strange at first, this exercise is all about the process and not about artistic notes. Plus, you’ll need more time to sketchnote at the beginning.

I can recommend to start by visualizing your notes at home when you’re studying. It’s like learning a new language: The more you visualize the easier it gets. Before you know it, you’ll draw icons and containers without even thinking about it. And you’ll also notice an improvement in your memory.

The materials you need

You basically just need markers, some paper and ideas. If you happen to enjoy it like I did, you’ll probably end up using all kinds of colors and different nibs to add more variety to your sketchnotes. Just in case you don’t know which markers to start with, I’ve created a Shopping List for you.

Have fun playing around! Your Neuland trainee Alischa 🙂