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Sketchnoting during lockdown

Lockdown in spring was tough. But it also encouraged/forced us to be innovative. And with potential second lockdowns looming in different countries I thought to give you my take on sketchnoting during lockdown.

If you are not familiar with sketchnotes I invite you to have a look at my blog post ‘The sketchnote beginnings‘. In short: it a visual way of taking notes, often helping you to remember the content better. A great format to do this is at meetings, trainings, conferences – events in general. And thanks to corona those live opportunities have been out of the picture for a while now.

Of course, a lot of ‘live’ events went digital: team meetings, Friday night drinks, family gatherings – sometimes I felt like I spent half of my days on Zoom. And soon videochat fatigue followed. 

Of course you can practice sketchnoting with Ted Talks. They are often short and well structured, and there is an abundance of interesting topics. I just found it hard to focus, and really didn’t want to spend more time behind a screen after a whole day of it at my living room table. Besides, you can check Ted Talks anytime and from wherever you want, so I found myself just putting it off indefinitely.

What did help however, and instilled a certain sense of urgency in me, were digital conferences. Not too many, but a select few on topics I’m really interested in. They took place on a certain date and time, which meant a  certain community of like-minded individual would gather online with whom to share your work. And often the conference sessions are available online for some time afterwards, so you can still catch up on the sessions you missed. 

Online communication & outreach to young people (Chase)

In June (2020) I took part in a three day online conference for our European network of communication and information officers. Not all sessions were publicly available, but this one was live streamed on Facebook, where you can still revisit it. Chase, a social storytelling agency hosted this talk on communicating with young people. As you can see from the photo above I used one of my notebooks with dotted pages. It makes it easier to structure the sketch in my opinion, with the final result being a lot neater. And if you made a mistake you can just correct it with a white sticker.

Adobe 99U Conference: Nurturing the creative self

If you follow me on Twitter you probably already spotted it but if you don’t: a great account to follow is @99U by Adobe. They share some amazing creative content and also organise a yearly conference in New York. I’ve dreamt about attending it, and this year that dream more or less came true! Their conference went digital and what is more, you could join in for free! Definitely one of the few actual good things to come out of this worldwide pandemic. The pictures above and below show my notes from the opening session that I attended live (in the evening for me due to the time difference). There was one moderator and three different speakers. Their video’s were prerecorded (and still available to watch now) but the whole things worked seamlessly. The content I’ve seen so far was really inspiring so I recommend you to have a look! 

Adobe 99U Conference: Practising Radical Gratitude (A. J. Jacobs)

As mentioned above all sessions from the 2020 Adobe 99U conference are available to watch on demand and it is such a great resource! Some time after the conference I decided to watch one of the talks and I felt very inspired to make the sketchnote above. It had been a while since the last one I made, so I drew this one up in pencil first. Sketchnoting really does helps me to remember the content, because when I was telling my better half about this talk afterwards, I kept on visualising the drawing to remember the parts I found most interesting. 

IBM Think Digital Summit: adapting to the new reality (Wouter Denayer)

This was a conference I signed up for but didn’t attend when it took place online. I kept on reminding myself to watch one of the talks but only came round to it in September (2020). I made this sketchnote of the opening session, also in pencil first. I find it a bit ironic sometimes to make these sketchnotes with pen and paper when the subject is ‘digital’. On the other hand it’s a topic I’m really interested in – like when I attended the Brussels Tech Summit in 2018. Making visual notes of a video is not the same as the really thing of course, but for now it is definitely better than nothing.

Have you come across any digital events the past few months that really stood out? 

Would you like to know more about sketchnotes? Have a look at one of these blog posts:

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