Learn How to Take Better Notes with Visual Note-Taking!

Welcome back to the Break Room! We are pleased to announce a partnership with a fantastic colleague and consultant, Ashton Rodenhiser. Ashton is the owner and operator of Mind’s Eye Creative Consulting and Facilitation. She has developed an amazingly simple, extremely creative, and absolutely effective note-taking strategy that is beneficial for both students and adults. We invited her to do a guest post for the blog to share some information about visual note-taking and how it works. She is currently offering discounted rates on her training course that starts in January. Check it out, you will love it!!

Visual Note-Taking

From Ashton:

Have you ever been in a meeting where someone records ‘minutes’ or ‘notes’? Afterwards they get emailed around and then you never look at them again? Or when you were a child, did you ever get in trouble for doodling in class? Chances are there is an enthusiastic YES to those two questions. A few years ago, I discovered graphic recording. It is a process where someone stands up in front of an oversized piece of paper or whiteboard and captures the ideas, concepts, and content from the meeting. It transforms into an inviting visual map, mural, and tool that participants can use to reflect on after the meeting in a quick, concise way. No more lines and lines of meeting notes!


Visual note-taking creates an inviting visual map for reflection. Click To Tweet


The same principles for this type work are also used in a small-scale form. This is called ‘Sketchnotes’ or ‘Visual Note-Taking’. Personally, I prefer the latter as the word ‘Sketch’ will likely send you running for the hills, as most people haven’t drawn since they were young and feel like drawing is too difficult. Visual Note-Taking is also a powerful tool for students, allowing them to capture key ideas from lessons that are easy to recall.


Our brains are wired to make sense of and remember visual inputs. Visuals, whether absorbed through drawings, charts, or images can help students understand complex information. Think about all of your students who are ‘visual learners’. Visuals can create a more powerful and memorable learning experience than text alone.  According to Van Meter and Garner (2005), “The external drawing is the learner’s attempt to depict on paper the image experienced internally.”  Students actually begin to learn and understand, instead of just reciting information. For students with learning disabilities who have a hard time concentrating, or those who find it difficult to listen and capture information simultaneously, this tool can be revolutionary and life-changing, leading to increased academic success.


Visual Note-Taking


The idea of visual note-taking is new and seems overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. I truly believe that everyone can incorporate a visual aspect in their note-taking. These are simple elements that are easily taught, and I offer to guide you through the process and help you along the way. My goal is to build your capacity to incorporate this practice into your learning and instruction.


The visual note-taking course is a six week course that is launching January 5th, 2017. There are many benefits to signing up, such as having direct access to an online community throughout the course. In addition to collaborating and sharing with others, I will also be available to assist you as you learn and develop these new skills. I will show you how to smoothly incorporate them into your work and life. For additional details, including an explanatory video, access to discounted pricing, and positive customer reviews, click here. Thanks and stay visual!


Visual Note-Taking

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JCB Diagnostics

Jonathan is the owner and founder of JCB Diagnostics. He has worked in education and mental health for the last 15 years. He is currently pursuing his PhD in Special Education.