I have always been a doodler. Whenever I am at a meeting, I can listen for so-long, then feel the need to start drawing. If I am taking notes, I will often draw what I am thinking. About a year ago, I found out there was an actual name for what I was doing – taking a sketchnote!

Sketchnoting is taking visual notes while listening to a presentation, video, or even reading! I have started taking sketchnotes for my morning devotions and have found that I am remember more what I have read because a visual representation is sketched in my mind.

photo (50)

Sketchnoting is a mixture of texts, fonts, and images. The images can be very simple and you do not need to be an artist to create a sketchnote. If you look at my picture above, I drew a stick figure with a circle head and triangle body because I can’t draw people! If you can draw a square, line, and circle, you can certainly create a sketchnote. Graphic organizers have been used for a long time in note-taking and a sketchnote considers how thoughts and facts connect. Watch this quick video about sketchnoting:

Braindoodles has some great lessons on visual note-taking. Mike Rhode’s book on Sketchnoting is the one that started me on visual note-taking. This article also gives many ideas for sketchnoting and offers some technology solutions. My absolute favorite source is Kathy Schrock’s page on Visual Note-taking. There you will find links on research, article, books, and videos.

I gave a sketchnote assignment to my teacher candidate students. They had to find out their multiple intelligences and create a sketchnote  about MI in the classroom. I received many outstanding sketchnotes. Here is an amazing example:

Evernote Snapshot 20140918 101047

Meet the candidate HERE. (He is also a talented musician.)

I encourage you to give sketchnoting a try. It can help you formulate ideas, and remember them better.

SlideIdea…Not Just Your Ordinary Slide!

My last post was on do’s and don’ts for creating presentations. As I wrote the post, I came across a new tool that I love!  It is SlideIdea. It is currently an iPad app and enables users to easily create beautiful slides or import from existing slides.

photo 2 (1)

“SlideIdea offers an in-app widget store where users can seamlessly browse and download the widgets they’re looking for. Additionally, SlideIdea offers free and professionally designed templates to help you cut design-time in half.” (SlideIdea)

photo 3 (2)

The transition templates are unique and engaging. “Say goodbye to complicated audio-slide recording software. SlideIdea makes it easy to record, publish, and share your very own SlideCasts. Simply record your speech while you present, then with the touch of a button, publish your SlideCast directly to your SlideCast webpage. To top it all off – SlideIdea provides every user a free personal SlideCast webpage for easy sharing and hosting.”

I admit – I enjoyed the new templates and transitions…but that’s not what caught my eye. It wasn’t until I used 3 fingers to swipe to bring up the whiteboard integration tool. This is what made SlideIdea stand out from some of the other presentation tools!

photo 4 (2)

Simply click the word “whiteboard” and the screen transforms to an interactive whiteboard:

photo 5


It is simple! Just project your presentation through the projection system/Apple TV, use 3 fingers to swipe to the interactive whiteboard, and when you are done writing, drawing, or whatever else you want to do, simply click the back arrow and it will bring you back to the last page of your presentation! Now that is sweet!

Although SlideIdea is currently only available for an iPad or Windows 8, they will be coming out with Android and smartphone apps in the near future:

Screen Shot 2014-09-03 at 1.37.47 PM