World Sketchnote Day – January 11, 2022

World Sketchnote Day is on January 11 each year. It clinched a place amongst the holidays on the calendar in 2016. The word ‘sketchnotes’ is a composition of the English words for “sketch” and “notes”. The art has a very large fan base. Countless sketchnoters have their say (and their picture) and have created various formats — with classic sketchnotes, drawn recipes (sketchipes), charming travel memories in sketch form, to-do, and shopping lists. The very act of sketchnoting does two things: helps one remember better, and it lifts the mood because of the cute graphics. It is based on good listening skills and the ability to sift information to capture visually what is important.

History of World Sketchnote Day

Although traditional history traces the earliest known writings by humans in Mesopotamia between 3400 B.C. and 3300 B.C., note-taking and creative ways of capturing ideas were always in demand. One of the ways of doing this is brainstorming, where groups get together and think creatively and use sketches and words to get to new ideas. Sketchnoting builds on this, with an individual taking notes in an interesting, memorable way.

The earliest reference of sketchnoting — sketch (visuals) + notes (text) dates back to early 2007 when designer, Michael Rohde, decided to experiment with a new approach. This was to enhance comprehension while taking copious notes. While attending a design conference, he had taken just a small pocket-sized notebook, which was too small to write everything. He began listening and analyzing, capturing the big ideas he was hearing, seeing, and thinking about into lettering and drawing. Thus, the process of sketchnoting — sketching + noting — was born. And other people began following.

The art uses the Visual Alphabet, a collection of shapes and symbols that can be used to create a wide variety of sketches. It is much like how letters are joined together to form words. Basic shapes such as dots, circles, lines, waves, triangles, and squares can be rotated, distorted, and combined as desired. People can use the symbols and sketches as they desire, and they build their own enhanced alphabet, built on their meaning associations.

World Sketchnote Day timeline

2009
Sketchnote Army Born

The Sketchnote Army is a community of creative visual thinkers from across the world.

2011
The Sketchnote Handbook Written

Mike Rohde puts to paper an illustrative guide to note-taking.

2016
World Sketchnote Day Birthed

The idea of its celebration was to honor how sketchnotes have bettered our lives.

2018
Pass the Sketchnote Kicks Off

An initiative of educators, Carrie Baughcum and Monica Spillman, participants of the doddle collaboration, gets noticed by social media and spreads.

World Sketchnote Day FAQs

What's the difference between a drawing and a sketchnote?

Sketchnotes (visual notes) are hand-drawn records of information or an experience using drawings and written text. Drawings are only illustrations.

Why do they use sketchnotes in Education Scotland?

The Education department in Scotland uses sketchnotes to document inspection findings after school visits.  They find it is concise and easy to read.

What is sketchnoting used for most?

Sketchnoting has become very popular at tech conferences.

How To Celebrate National Sketchnote Day

  1. Know you can

    If you have ever doodled while on a phone call, at a conference, or in a meeting, you are a prime candidate for sketchnoting. Read some available material, develop your ideas, and you are well on the way to becoming a sketchnoter.

  2. Join the conversation on social media

    Link up with other creative minds on social media, share and showcase your ideas. It's a whole new world of possibilities out there.

  3. Teach those around you

    Once you have mastered the skill, teach and inspire others, such as a local study group. You may teach them this as a life skill, knowing you have helped people with an easy way to remember what they have learned.

5 Facts About World Sketchnote Day

  1. You can adapt it

    You need not be an artist. The discipline is based on simple sketches, and you can adapt it to suit your needs.

  2. Every thought can be sketched

    It all comes to perfection with lots of practice. Through the use of illustrations, symbols, structures, and texts, your every thought can be translated into paper.

  3. Sketchnotes creates the perfect outlet for ideas

    Sometimes words and text fail to capture difficult concepts adequately. Sketchnotes help us by creating a gateway to fully transmit our creativity.

  4. Sketchnote is a type of note-taking technique

    Note-taking has its earliest origin traced to Greeks using notes for personal records. Sketchnote is a combination of text, typography, shapes drawing, symbols, and shapes to take notes that look interesting and are memorable.

  5. It is based on associations

    The symbols and pictures are based on creating word and picture associations, which engages the brain in learning in more than one way. While note-taking, at the least the ears and eyes are used, and the eyes make up 80% of how we take in the world around us. This helps us remember the work covered more easily.

Why We Love World Sketchnote Day

  1. It's unique

    Sketchnotes are super fun, catchy, devoid of fixed rules, and deeply personalized. Two people taking the same notes will have sketchnotes that differ, which makes it feel like a secret code. It brings back memories of childhood longings to be a spy with secret writing skills.

  2. It decreases stress

    Having a note-taking skill that is suited to you, decreases the stress of the process. It eliminates the problem of lost or misplaced notes, or missing pages because it is safely in one place.

  3. All senses are engaged

    Sketch notes are more engaging because of the different incorporated elements. It helps improve the learning process, giving clarity and aiding retention. This is because when you enjoy the process, you remember more, so recall is also easier.

World Sketchnote Day dates

YearDateDay
2021January 11Monday
2022January 11Tuesday
2023January 11Wednesday
2024January 11Thursday
2025January 11Saturday

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