Monday, June 9, 2014

Taking Notes

This weekend has been inspiring in so many ways! We spent the past three days with many friends and familiar faces at a summer retreat which included four churches. The weather was perfect, the kids got to run and swim to their hearts' content, and the after-the-kids-are-tucked-in-bed gatherings were hilarious. There's nothing like a table of snacks and stars overhead to bring people together!

During the retreat we heard four lectures about spiritual disciplines - also inspiring. I've always doodled little pictures while taking notes to help me remember what we've learned, but this time I thought I'd push it farther. I'm a visual learner, so abstract concepts can often get lost in my mind (there's a lot of space in there!). So I challenged myself: How visual could I make my notes and still retain the content?

some content was very easy to translate into images

headlines and main titles of sections became a typography treat

I decided the order of information wasn't necessary to preserve, as long as I kept it in groups of topics or ideas.

Abstract ideas and lists proved a challenge, as well as anticipating how much space to leave for future sections. Our speaker was very organized in his delivery which was a great help!

After one session, I went back and added color to my notes - the tulip poplar trees behind the speaker (we're outdoors at a camp!) were so beautiful I had to include them. Now I'll remember what I learned whenever I see a tulip poplar!

I do think my doodling was a bit distracting to the folks sitting around me, especially my kids. I often encourage them to "draw what they hear" if writing out notes seems too difficult for their young fingers, but that usually disintegrates into drawings of little army guys battling each other across the page. Fun, but not great for later study and recall! My hope is that this exercise will show them how to balance the doodling with the words to make concepts more memorable. 

What's your favorite way to take notes? 

1 comment:

Jessica Kovach said...

This is wonderful!! Looks like you have some great and inspiring artwork to hang up in the house. What a great way to teach your family. :)