Low-tech idea: Mike Rohde’s Alaska Sketchnotes

Mike Rohde is a graphic artist who publishes a lot of his work (and thoughts) online on his blog, Rohdesign.com. I’ve always admired his sense of style, and when his method of doodling conference notes evolved into his own style of “sketchnotes,” he completely hit it out of the ballpark. Instead of blindly writing down lecture notes or just adding some comments on conference handouts, Mike decided he would listen for key points, and convey them in his Moleskine sketchbook using a mixture of simple sketches, and clever use of handwritten typography.

Mike Rohdes Alaskan Cruise 09 Sketchnotes.

Mike Rohde's Alaskan Cruise '09 Sketchnotes.

When he went on an Alaskan cruise last year, he decided to use his sketchnotes style to document some of what he learned and experienced on his trip. The result is his Alaskan Cruise ’09 Sketchnotes, which you can view on Flickr.

OK, so most of us aren’t as talented as Mike is. But his beautiful (and monochrome) sketchnotes reminds us that we don’t have to take a big camera bag and a ton of gadgets in order to remember our trips. Mike’s Alaskan sketchnotes are a great example of how anyone can take a little notebook with them to capture their memories of a trip.

If you like sharing your trip reports with friends, imagine how novel and fun your report will be if they include scans of your sketchnotes. And if you’re the type to frame something like this after you return, you might even consider using the Japanese-style Moleskine notebook with fold-out pages. Just sketch on one side of the paper, and then cut the panels later and frame them to your liking.

One Comment

  1. Lani, thanks so much for the kind words!

    I’ve been sketching and writing travelogues on trips for a while and I always appreciate them later on. I still have my books from trips to Germany and Sweden, and I find that even if I write an outline of activities and impressions in a bulleted list for each day, I recall the details so much better. When I sketch and write in more detail, it gets even more vivid.

    I would encourage anyone reading this to give it a go on your next trip. By bringing your mind up a little to the meta level you can not only experience the trip differently, but you might also see how you are changing through the process.


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