I had a nice little exchange with a colleague recently about The importance of sketching … in the process of collaborating and coming up with good ideas. i.e. “Visualization

Bob Rios>

I want to build and encourage the importance of using Design Thinking (call it whatever we want) with a LEAN approach. The idea is to create a collaborative team, bringing Design, Business and Tech (backend) along with a Project Manager together creating a Holistic Product Vision.

I want to see these small groups naturally discussing problems, removing the formality, and being more at ease. One way to do this is through Better Brainwriting, bringing ideas to the table so we can quickly work in ideas. I’m hoping you can share/recommend some sort of fun and engaging problem solving meeting, or group visual storytelling? Any thoughts?

John Vaughan>

Interesting challenge. I assume this group is remote/virtual.

Don’t know that it’s ‘fun’, but it might be helpful: the SnapShot

How about having a “sketchnoter” illustrate the discussion in realtime?

Definition:  Sketchnotes are rich visual notes created from a mix of handwriting, drawings, hand-drawn typography, shapes, and visual elements like arrows, boxes, and lines


Love the performance doodler idea. Actually this will be both remote and in the office. but first in house


It comes from a real place for me. My school notes were always highly illustrated. I noticed that they often echoed – in some odd, indirect way – the lesson itself.

In any case, I’m a believer: the Gallery

Let me know how it works out, if you use it.– John


Hello John,

Can You Recommend How To Videos or Web Sites On the Importance Of Sketching?


Your implicit challenge is ‘advocacy and motivation’. theGoogle will provide you with links to advocacy pieces. I’m sure there are plenty, but I can’t rate them. Even if you make a compelling theoretical argument – you haven’t really addressed the core issue.

IMO Some of the strongest sketchNoting advocates are the International Forum for Visual Practitioners

“But I cant’ draw”

Your biggest functional barrier is “But I can’t draw“.

My framing observation is usually something along the line of, “Did you draw when you were a little kid?” (Answer: “uhhhh … yep.”)

Me> “Of course. We all did. So …. why did you stop?”

It proceeds from there.

(PS: Here’s another riff on The Vision Thing)

So, I guess the question here is, “Have you considered pencil’n’paper sketching as a way to express and discover …. solutions?”


In a related vein …

Recently was introduced to this intriguing article on the value of taking notes by hand HAND. Excellent insights.

“When people type their notes, they have this tendency to try to take verbatim notes and write down as much of the lecture as they can,” Mueller tells NPR’s Rachel Martin. “The students who were taking longhand notes in our studies were forced to be more selective — because you can’t write as fast as you can type. And that extra processing of the material that they were doing benefited them.”

Handy Dandy

As one of my colleagues noted:  “For me, taking notes by hand is an “input mechanism” into my brain. “

mmm … Mostly Muscle Memory

“There can be no understanding between the hands and the brain unless the heart acts as mediator.”Metropolis (1927)



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