What if you could remember more, and have more fun doing so? That’s exactly the benefits of sketchnoting summed up in one sentence.

Sketchnotes are a fun and creative way to take notes and record information that help you remember more even if you actually record less. But there’s more to them than just that. Sketchnotes have benefits that stem from when Mike Rohde invented them to take better conference notes.

Today, I’d like to share five benefits I’ve discovered from Sketchnoting.

1. Be more engaged when listening

During a conference talk or class, your mind can start to wander. It’s a perfectly natural thing, even during a talk on a topic you really like. Note taking can help keep you focused as you have to listen to be able to record what the speaker is saying.

But with traditional note taking, the information can go in through one ear and out the other as your subconscious takes over. Sketchnoting is both more challenging, and so requires greater focus, and allows you space to note record everything. Together, this makes Sketchnoting more engaging and helps keep you focused.

2. Sketchnotes help you remember more

Connected to that last point, sketchnotes help you remember more. After all, the more engaged and focused you are, the easier it is to remember things. But the memory benefits of sketchnotes don’t just stop there. A study from the University of Waterloo discovered that drawing was the best way to remember something. There are a lot of theories why this is the case but some of the common reasoning includes

  • Using Dual coding (engaging both the verbal and visual parts of the brain)
  • Requiring more thought, leading to stronger connections
  • Encouraging personalization, so your notes become more meaningful to you.
  • Involves the same parts of the brain as story telling, which also helps memory. And more theories. Regardless of disagreements over why it is more effective, we can agree it is more effective.

3. You’ll have notes you’ll actually go back and look at

At university, I think I only reviewed my notes when it was time to prepare for exams. And even then, I might sometimes skip my notes and return to the source material. They just weren’t interesting.

But with sketchnotes, I revisit my notes all the time. I love finding an old notebook and flicking through the sketchnotes of previous years. Or finish a new sketchbook and reviewing every item in it.

In fact, you may even feel like sharing your sketchnotes via social media. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to share my regular old notes with even one person.

4. Sketchnotes can help you relax and unwind

Sketchnoting can be a relaxing, unwinding activity. You can use Sketchnotes to jot down the thoughts racing through your head, or reflect on the week past while planning for the week ahead.

Sketchnotes, don’t just have to be about recording notes on a talk or book. If you have wanted to journal, but found it hard to know what to write, this could be a way to start journaling but using more images. Just record what happened to you today using text and visuals.

5. You can explore your creative side

Many of us don’t have that many opportunities to be creative in a day. And even though of us who can exercise our creativity, probably wish we could do so more. Sketchnoting provides a way to add some extra creativity to every day. By adding a few images and fancy fonts, you can turn your regular meeting notes into a creative exercise.

Or you can add some still life drawings to your regular old shopping list. Sketchnoting also gives you an excuse to work on drawing, painting, calligraphy, hand lettering and any other artistic skills you want to develop. After all, they can all help build your creative sketchnoting skills.

Though, you don’t have to be artistic to sketchnote.

More benefits to sketchnotes?

I’m sure this list is just a small taste of the benefit of sketchnoting with more no doubt possible to add. If you have discovered a benefit of sketchnoting I haven’t mentioned, I’d love for you to leave a comment below.