Sunday, September 25, 2011

The dork beacon is shining

So I can be kind of a dork sometimes.  Okay, who are we kidding?  More than sometimes.

For instance, a few weeks ago on a perfectly good Saturday night, instead of doing something cool and date-night worthy, I was researching different ways to make note-taking interesting in a vain attempt to add a little right-brain activity into my invariably scientific and analytical left-brain job.  Did I mention it was Saturday night?  And that I was researching something for my job?  Yeah, my dork beacon was shining brightly that night.

So anyway, in my research I ran across a method of note-taking I hadn't heard of before called Sketchnotes.  Essentially, it's a way of "transforming ideas into visual communication; structuring thoughts and giving hierarchy to concepts" using just text and a few lines, or, with more practice and creativity, some doodling.  At the end of the primer it suggests one way to practice is by sketchnoting movies, which, of course, led me to think I could resurrect my date-night street cred by watching something worthy of a Saturday night, never mind the fact I was using it as an excuse to practice sketchnoting.

Movie #1 turned out to be Casino Royale (with Daniel Craig, of course ... why bother otherwise?):


I know, I know ... my life-like depiction of Mr. Bond is stunning.  But it turned out to be so much fun that the next night I decided to indulge my 1980s John Cusack obsession by re-watching (and sketchnoting) Better Off Dead, a true classic:


I don't know exactly what it means that one sketchnoting attempt has a lot more words and the other has a lot more white space, as I'm sure the plot twists in Better Off Dead are just as complicated as Casino Royale, but there you have it.  Turns out I enjoyed it so much that I've been trying to sketchnote at work during meetings and phone calls, too.  Interestingly, sketchnoting makes me want to look back through my notes, which, with the added doodling and non-linear organization, end up making more sense to me than when I was just taking notes with words.  Go figure.

And to prove how far I've progressed in terms of my Saturday night social activity, I ended up watching another John Cusack classic last night, which shows just how far I've branched out in the past few weeks.  Yeah, the dork beacon continues to shine ....