GenderCamp sketchnotes – my first attempt in visual note taking.

Sketchnotes zur Klassismus-Session auf dem #GenderCamp 2013

I’ve been always quiet impressed by sketchnotes which passed my eyes through my twitter, flickr and RSS from lectures, barcamp sessions or conferences. Those visual notes mixed from drawings, text, diagrams and structures appealed to me and gave me much more of an inside on the issue of an event which I missed than just some tweets and pictures or sometimes even full length blogposts.

In short, [sketchnoting] is purposeful doodling while listening to something interesting. Sketchnotes dont require high drawing skills, but do require a skill to synthesize and summarize. Sketchnote Army

Having “I can’t draw” in mind (as many people, I guess) I never really considered to begin with sketchnoting myself. Although taking sketchnotes is much more about taking notes for oneself than visualizing something for others. That was until I watched the webtalk on #pb21 – a blog on civic education – with Ralf Appelt (@ralfa), one of the most frequent sketchnoters in my streams. This video finally encouraged me to try it myself and the first best chance to try it was GenderCamp 2013, a barcamp on feminism and internet culture and politics which I co-organize.

So in all of the gendercamp sessions, which I didn’t facilitate myself or where I wan’t in charge of the formal written documentation, I took some visual notes. Let me show it to you, before I conclude what benefit I got from creating those sketchnotes.

Sketchnotes from GenderCamp 2013

Sketchnotes zur Session „Sichtbarkeit“ auf dem #GenderCamp 2013

Sketchnotes zur Session „Subkultur versus queer-feministische Ansprüche“ auf dem #GenderCamp 2013


Sketchnotes zu der Session „Privilegien“ auf dem #gendercamp 2013

My conclusions

Well, first of all it was a lot of fun. I haven’t just pushed away my allergy against dead wood a bit, but really enjoyed myself in taking sketchnotes during the sessions. I don’t know, if this is a first time phenomena, but I guess I’ll figure it out eventually. But besides that the greatest advantage I realized from taking sketchnotes was, that I was really focussed to the input – probably much more than usually. And that alone is reason enough for me to try it again (next week at [BarCamp politische Bildung / barcamp civic education)(

Remaining questions for me are:

  • How can I prevent stereotyping and (in)visibility issues?
  • Should I use more color?
  • Where do I leave how much space if I don’t know a talks outline
  • Do I take the effort to scan or do I just take a picture?
  • Do I stick to one line strength or do I really need three for the basic text and drawings?

Further reference

2 Replies to “GenderCamp sketchnotes – my first attempt in visual note taking.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *