Home ยป Learn to draw for beginners ยป Layout in advance

Layout in advance

Now we are leaving the area, where you can “just” add some graphical elements to your usual note taking.

The next level of structure is of course creating a whole layout. That requires somewhat a plan in advance of what you want to sketch note about. Here I show you three examples, which I like to use for different types of what to expect:

Following a classical flow of content, I personally like to divide my landscape oriented page in three columns. This makes it easier to put parts into context than just writing from the top of the page to the bottom and using the whole width. And makes it more readable as well.

Some page design structures

3 Columns

3 columns layout
classic layout

Top down left to right

Star structure

star or centered layout

Or you can pick either structure (there is no limit to your phantasy

sketchnote example
you can tell, sometimes I like it wild …


Personally I often use a box approach, expecting to hear something about certain areas (e.g. interview of a candidate: personality, skills, contract terms, behaviour in the meeting. Or you just cluster in lets say 4 boxes and just use one box per 1/4 of the time – this already helps restricting in space and reducing to the max, plus you are pre structured.

Here you can see a real life example of my note taking in an interview.

  • You have little time
  • In this case I ran the interview (so little attention do drawing)
  • Still you need to put what you want to remember

Process Design

If I know beforehand, that I will be discussing a process, I have timeline in mind. I structure the page in this matter beforehand. For example, a timeline from the bottom left of my page to the upper right. Then there is space to add content blocks on either side of it. This is also a nice example where you might think about a complete image: a road to the sun, a track to a mountain.


Cluster Design


In situations, where I expect information where I can more or less name the clusters e.g. getting to know a person with clusters like personality, skills, wishes, behavior, needs, I like to go for a centric design.

Classical Design

If you do not know what to expect, I go for the classical approach. If you get more and more comfortable, you can start anywhere on the page with your first content block โ€“ maybe number it, so you remember the order โ€“ and put the elements in context over time with arrows.


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