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So now I’m a Flipchart Ninja

If you’ve been following this blog (or my Twitter or Instagram accounts) you know that I’ve been into sketchnotes and handlettering for a while. It all started off with a training in 2017, followed by trying out live sketchnoting more and more, for instance at the Brussels Tech Summit in 2018. I looked for different resources to help me develop my skills, and took every professional opportunity to practise. Earlier this year I also took part in #the100dayproject, which focused more on my handlettering skills.

In two recent jobs I’ve been able to really put my skills to the test: sketchnoting during meetings, infographic-style illustrations for research papers, and even some graphic reporting/facilitation during events.

It’s that last part that I started to do a bit more of, but I wasn’t very happy with the quality. So I decided I would need more training and would invest in myself. I had come across a company called Visuality during an event last October (2018). Sven from Visuality lead an introduction workshop about sketchnotes and I talked to him about it afterwards. A few months later we met up for a drink to discuss my interest and to find out a bit more about Visuality.

He told me about their work and also about the trainings they offer. On the one hand they offer a sketchnotes training – maybe more for beginners I would say. But as I had more or less covered that in the two workshops I attended before, I was more interested in the second one: Flipchart Ninja. This is where I really felt a need to practise more: live, and on a larger scale.

In June (2019) I could finally take part in the training. There were about 8 of us, meeting at the very cool Greenbiz building where Visuality also has their office. In charge of the one-day training was María Foulquié García and the training was conducted in English. The goal: communicating better through visuals.

Neuland markers

We started off with a visual introduction exercise and were also introduced to some of the wonderful Neuland markers and other materials Visuality works with. I won’t tell you everything we covered that day – you really should try it out yourself – but to give you an idea: we learned how to draw and use frames, connectors, lists, separators, people and faces, icons, colour and shadow.

The most interesting part, in my opinion, were the three exercises at the end of the day. Unfortunately we only had time to complete two of them, but Maria did explain us all three of them. Each exercise focused on one part of the visual spectrum: facilitation, storytelling and communication. I also really appreciated being able to ask for feedback on my drawings at the end of the day. And we got two Neuland markers to take home with us – winning!

Things we learnt


So what it comes down to now is practice and having the opportunity to do it more often ‘for real’. Since the training I’ve done a few more sketchnotes based on Ted Talks, but I really need to up the ante again, perhaps by setting a new goal for myself or taking part in another creative challenge.

Do you use visuals in your communication?


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