One Squiggly Line Blog

Hand-drawn pictures can make things clear, simple, and fun in blogs, too!

Visual Thinking & Visual Notes: Live Graphic Recording

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People often think I do a lot of drawing while taking live visual notes. If you really look at the image above, you'll see there's really not much drawing there at all. Just some squares, a couple of circles, and an arrow. That's it!
When you write words inside simple shapes, those simple shapes start making your own notes a bit more visual. They become more dynamic. More interesting. The image and the message become more unified. And far more powerful. 

A great way to make your own notes more visual is to write some of your words inside simple shapes — circles, squares, triangles, arrows, etc. Give it a try!

The image above is a close-up of a 4'x8' drawing, created live, in real-time during a Design Thinking workshop. Be sure to check out the entire image!

Visual Thinking & Live Visual Notes: Graphic Recording

When working live, you never know what's going to happen. I usually only have the same information the people in the audience have, which is a basic agenda. So I know the speaker's name, title of their talk, and how long they are scheduled to speak. That's it!

It's not uncommon for talks to go longer as planned, like the one above. That's usually a good sign, as it means the audience is really engaged. But it can be a challenge to capture all that extra content on the same page. 

Color is a great way to keep things organized when there's not much space available. Grouping concepts and thoughts according to color allows you to have completely different ideas right next to each other without things getting confusing. 

See more visual notes created live at One Squiggly Line's graphic recording page.

Graphic Recording: What to Do With Your Boards After Your Event

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One of the great things about graphic recording is that it's big. Really big. Often 8 feet long by 4 feet high. To put that in perspective, a Smart Car is almost 9 feet long and about 5 feet wide. That's just about a foot bigger than a lot of graphic recording work!

Graphic recording literally gives you the big picture. So why not make the most of it! Like the creative folks at Tech Liminal in downtown Oakland, CA. As you can see in the photo above, they hung their boards right on the wall. That way, every one who comes in can seen what they've been up to. And for those working there, creative inspiration is just a glance away.

The two graphic recording boards above were created live at The Product Summit a few months ago. Each board is 8 feet long by 4 feet high.

Live Graphic Recording: Design Thinking Innovation Workshop at The Product Summit

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Workshops are generally made of PowerPoint presentations, hands-on work, and lively discussions. Graphic recording is a great way to capture both the facts and the flavor of the group, giving everyone (present or not) a clear picture of the key points and the experience as a whole. It's also a great way to show the whole group how much of an impact each person's  participation has on everyone's experience there.

The two images above were created during the full day Design Thinking Innovation Workshop last Saturday, as part of The Product Summit in San Francisco.