Sketch Your Notes


Jenna Keiffer, Social Media Manager, Staff Writer

Taking notes are typically something students and teachers alike do not enjoy, tending to be monotonous, repetitive, and sometimes time consuming. Regardless of how much of a pain note-taking may be, it’s necessary in order to learn in most class settings. What if you told you that taking notes didn’t have to be so terrible?There is a solution to tired students and teacher’s complaints, and it’s called sketchnoting. 

Sketchnoting, a newer concept, is a fresh take on taking notes. The main idea is that your notes become stylized and personalized to how you would like them to be. This includes using fun-colored pens, pencils, markers, writing in different fonts with different symbols, and really just making your notes more simplified and appealing to the eye, so you can study and learn much more efficiently. 


The Pioneer Press met with, the one and only, Mrs. Wright, Jonathan Alder High School’s librarian, on Thursday September 5th, to discuss her views on sketchnoting. Sketchnoting is a form of note taking that has been gaining ground at JAHS. Mrs. Wright says, “Most teachers are hopping on board because they love the idea of simplifying notes for students. Plus, it’s more fun to make colorful notes rather than just copy and pasting a jumbled mess of words!” 

Wright has attended as well as taught a handful of sketchnoting classes, and had many helpful tips to share to anybody who may be discouraged or intimidated by the idea. “Some don’t even want to give sketchnoting a try,” Wright explains. “Students and teachers are so used to notes just being bullet point upon bullet point, but none of this sticks in a student’s brain!” Wright went on to joke about how she may be no artist, but even simple doodles of lightbulbs, stars, or question marks help bring any set of notes to life. “When your brain can put an image to a word or phrase, it processes things much quicker than a confusing definition.” 


Katie Vaugh, a senior at JAHS, is an advocate for sketchnoting, as she was doing it before it was even a thing! “It helps me remember the content when I’m taking notes and makes studying much easier and more enjoyable,” Vaughn says. “I truly think my grades have improved since I started sketchnoting, because the definitions just click in my head.”


So if traditional notes just aren’t you thing, and you’re looking for a new way to learn in class, you should consider trying out sketchnoting. Pick up a pencil, a few fun-colored pens, and start sketchnoting. “The more content you try to capture during a lecture or a meeting, the less you’re thinking about what’s being said. You burn through most of your attention parroting the source.”― Ryder Carroll. Bring back the simplicity in taking notes.