By Brianna Bilter
Blank paper can be daunting — the lack of clear structure may leave some aspiring visual note-takers unsure of where to begin. But never fear! We have some structural inspiration to get you started on your journey.
Perhaps the most conventional of visual note-taking styles, paragraph structure is just what it sounds like: the breaking down of notes and concepts into easily digestible paragraphs. These can be sentences or bullets or clusters of words, but the key is in the differentiationbetween sections. We recommend color-coding, different styles of bullets, or “containers” (enclosing text with boxes, circles, etc.)
This style allows you to scatter your notes in a way that maintains a cohesive narrative. The key component: arrows. Beyond the chronological format, you can also be creative with your content. Make sure to include text, doodles or icons (simple drawings), and mix up the style of arrows.
The mindmap is the visual alternative to a hierarchical outline; the further from the center a concept is, the more specific it is. We recommend color-coding to keep it organized, but you can also experiment with different font size or boldness to differentiate concepts from one another. You can utilize this style for many types of notes, but Jacob from the Unruled team prefers to use it to visualize his (extensive) to-do lists.
A picture says a thousand words, right? This can apply to your note-taking, too. You can connect your notes to one large image, say a map or diagram, or a series of images. You don’t have to be an incredible artist. We here at Unruled are major advocates for casual creativity — just give it your best shot!