Monday, June 22, 2015

Creating a Sketch Note Gallery for CIPD NAP 2015

Rachel Burnham writes: Inspired by last week’s #PKMChat I found myself spending the CIPD NAP conference in York drawing pictures as sketch notes, rather than doing my usual live tweeting. I have curated all my pictures drawn at NAP 2015 in an album on Flickr. Here is an account of that experience and my learning from it as a late addition last week’s #WOLweek.
Sketch Note of opening keynote from Ryan Cheyne
As I often do, I set out for the annual CIPD Northern Area Partnership Conference in York having packed a sketch pad, set of pencils and a packet of fine tipped coloured pens.  I often add them to my luggage, because I like to doodle and sometimes find the odd half-hour or so when I’m staying away to work on a drawing.  My intention was to live tweet from the conference sessions as usual, but during the opening session, I found myself reaching for pencil and pad, rather than phone and drawing out a title page.

As I hadn’t planned to do this, I used my drawing pad of the moment, which is spiral bound and does work better for me as a notepad, compared to the cloth bound sketch books from which I am always losing pages.  My first pictures were drawn using pencil, but I quickly started to incorporate some colour and these are much more distinctive and reproduce better.   
Positive Psychology - with lily

I kept the pictures simple and didn’t think about them too much – picking out key words, using arrows and other easy to draw symbols, plus images that sprang to mind from what was said.  If you look at the gallery you will find that I often add in flowers, trees and other greenery, because that’s what I doodle when listening – even if it is not immediately relevant to what is being said!

During the session, I took photos of the pictures to live tweet.  I don’t think the quality of the pictures is that great, I kept getting the conference badge or bits of cardigan or shadow in the way, but they were useable.  

On the second day, I switched to drawing in a notebook provided in the goodie bag for the event – this felt great to draw in and is a lovely record of the event for me.  However, I think this isn’t as easy to scan as the spiral drawing pad and so is not so good for sharing electronically.

Reviewing the pictures after the event, it is very apparent that the easiest sessions to sketch note were the sessions that had the clearest messages and where the presentations were more strongly structured.

I decided to curate the pictures using Flickr and first scanned them into my PC, so that I had clearer images than those ones created during the session.   I collated the pictures into an album for the event and Flickr provided me with a shortened link to the album.    I think an alternative way of doing this would be to use Pinterest and may well try this out at some future point – but I’m out of time tonight!  

I am really pleased with this approach.  I tend to make notes at events and find that I have books and books of notes taken from various meetings and conferences – and I hardly ever look at them.  These notes at least look more attractive, so possibly might get refered to again.  Certainly I can recall them better – at this stage…

Let me know what you think of my sketch notes.  Why not have a go yourself?

Rachel Burnham


Burnham L & D Consultancy helps L&D professionals become even more effective.  I am particularly interested in blended learning, the uses of social media for learning, evaluation and anything that improves the impact of learning on performance.
Follow me on Twitter @BurnhamLandD

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