I’m a scribbler. If I am to remember anything, then I need to write it down, and though I’ve tried writing notes on my ipad and on my phone, actually I prefer to write on paper.
Like many scribblers, I’ve got distinct preferences as far as the paper and writing implement is concerned. My absolute preference is for the small Semikolon notebooks which are rather hard to find but worth tracking down for the beautiful paper quality and the small details which enable them to withstand a few months in my handbag. At a pinch, I’ll take a small Moleskine Volant, for no other reason than the fact that they are readily available and I like the coloured covers. The paper quality leaves a bit to be desired, but since my preferred writing tool is a conventional pencil, that’s not a major issue. I have a collection of ordinary pencils in my bag which I usually keep sharpened, though I did encounter difficulties in the office recently when trying to find a pencil sharpener because it would seem that I’m the only one who uses such intermediate technology. Eventually, a colleague did produce an amazing battery operated sharpener which others claimed could eat pencils by the inch. Regrettably, on that occasion, my pencil proved too much for it and I could only offer humble apologies and a replacement!
Anyway, whilst perusing the Amazon recommendations just before we left on holiday, I came across these Moleskine notebooks which are designed to use with Evernote. I’d come across something similar last time we were in Japan and gave it and another, similar app a whirl but since both were native Japanese products, using them presented more of a challenge than I needed. So, seeing this new Moleskine concept, I threw all my prejudice to the wind and ordered the notebook to try.
Around the same time, I read about this. All of this seemed to be leading me down the same pathway. Perhaps it was time to look at a means of developing my note-taking methods, making them more effective and then digitising them? What’s to lose?
I’ve spent the last few days reading the book which backs up my experience that in writing something down, the process of learning/remembering is reinforced and actually takes that one step further by suggesting that recording thoughts visually as well as verbally makes that learning still more effective. I draw in my notebooks anyway, not really because it helps me remember, but rather that it’s quicker to draw something than it is to describe it; for me anyway. Actually, looking at a page from my most recent notebook, I realised that perhaps I’ve been “sketchnoting” for sometime – not that I called it that, of course.
Stream of consciousness stuff this morning then, to fill that scary first page in the book. Taking the advice of the Sketchnote author to use an indelible pen rather than a pencil (and thinking it would digitise more effectively, too) I put my trusty pencil to one side and picked up one of my drawing pens.
Looks like Moleskine books haven’t changed, then.
But it does look as though the Evernote app doesn’t worry too much about that – the above image was recorded with my ipad and the page has recorded just fine.
So, the jury’s out. The Sketchnote handbook suggests watching a TED video and sketchnoting it as practice, which I might do later. In the meantime, there are plenty of fine sketchnote examples here which will either inspire me or put me off completely.