It may sound like an offbeat idea, but having the services of a Graphic Recorder who cares about the health of your fledgling concepts could be the extra advantage that puts you ahead of the others. While Graphic Recording generally serves groups and organizations, it is a little-known fact that I can also be contracted to sit down one-on-one with Start-Ups and individuals exploring personal planning, in order to create an attractive mind-map of fresh ideas when and where you need them the most. Tired of seeing an idea that you dismissed as fanciful suddenly become someone else’s business reality? The only difference is that they strategically designed the project stages required to make it happen!  Ever feel some of your best ideas never translated into a real business with a real plan and the right momentum forward? Your ideas are bound to benefit enormously from the services of a Graphic Recorder. Many entrepreneurs praise the mind-map as essential to their start-up process, as a proven crusher of fears and unanswered questions. In fact, you’ll find it included as part of the “tool kit” of many business start-up resources, although lacking the personal one-on-one with someone who cares and asks questions along the way. If required, we can also walk through a business planning session together, with illustrations accompanying your start-up ideas involving concept, niche, funding, marketing, product and so on. Not only does an attractive visual map of your session give you a sense of commitment to your ideas, it serves as a guide for your next planning stages. I have also studied project management and marketing concepts at university, so as a winning stage in your process, you know you’re in good hands. Know someone who might be helped by a session exploring their personal planning or Start-Up as a mind-map, with an artist asking questions as they go? Contact me, and we can arrange a meeting to not only make business dreamin’ fun, but to bring small business ideas to life!

I opened my email a few days ago to learn that my sketchnote art had been featured on Sketchnote Army! What an honour! Sketchnoting is a process which activates the way our minds visualize information.
One thinker behind the current popularity of sketchnoting (as well as the author of several books on the topic) is Mike Rohde. I created this sketchnote as an explanation of Mike’s key moments in developing his ideas around the form, because I found the story of his humble roots quite interesting. Mike Rohde’s style is unique but highly accessible, and his books on sketchbooking are a very helpful addition to the library of anyone seeking fluency in this skill. Sketchnoting now has an active community, some of which are affiliated with the “Sketchnote Army” of Mike Rohde, and some who merely like the term “Sketchnote” and enjoy posting their work and discussing it under the #sketchnoting hashtag on platforms such as Twitter. The obvious application of this skill in the classroom is now actively promoted by many progressive teachers, although the idea of ‘doodling” while someone speaks has yet to capture the confidence of some. Sketchnoting now has a strong footing in the mainstream through studies that formally link its purpose to something called Dual Coding Theory. Dual Coding Theory is a theory of cognition and working memory that has been around since the 1970’s. It is considered one of the most major theories of cognition and is a scientific bridge between psychology and philosophy, or, the concrete and the abstract. The theory states that to code both an image and a word together, to “dual code” increases memory, and so also applies to graphic recording and facilitation. One such study, (Mueller and Oppenheimer, 2014) demonstrating that longhand notetakers outperformed laptop notetakers, is cited by many educators as proof that notetaking (even without adding sketches) is an essential stage of learning. One of the things Dual Coding theory fails to take into account is the other ways people might retain information, such as secondary sensory input involving things such as fragrances, or the pleasure of a beautiful pen. I’ll be posting some of my favourite sketchnotes as I go on this blog. After a little discipline and practice, I found that I was able to listen to an entire online lecture, noting as I went without pausing or rewinding, in order finish a fairly comprehensive first draft. After that, the draft was all I needed to convert my thoughts and notes into a completed sketchnote, making the entire time for the process (from one listen to complete work) quite quick. The implications involved in Dual Code theory (as well as the controversies) are too great to detail here, but the neuroscience behind the ideas is something that is foundational to the merits of both sketchnoting and, with more on neuroscience in blogs to follow, is the basic theory behind graphic recording!