If you read my previous post on the pitfalls of why you stop taking visual notes after a few attempts and you thought ‘Oh that sounds like me!’, then read on.

In today’s post I am offering you a playful strategy to help you get out of any of the pitfalls you fall into – perhaps again and again.

For the practice I like to invite you into, I thought of using the metaphor of an ‘all you can eat’ sushi restaurant concept. From the menu you can select multiple rounds of servings and each time, you focus on something new you wanted to taste.

The way you are going to practice your note-taking, is by selecting from three sections of the menu, each time you practice. There are only two ‘rules’.

Develop your visual note-taking skills like dining in an ‘all you can eat’ sushi restaurant.

The 3 main components of visual language that help you focus while practicing your note-taking skills

You must select 3 servings, each from one section: the 3 components of visual language.
See them as a required combination to leverage the power of visual language to make comprehensive meaning possible:


  • lowercase
  • capitals
  • narrow
  • wide
  • large
  • small
  • thick
  • thin
  • contour
  • dashed
  • dotted
  • lined
  • shadowed
  • outlined
  • coloured
  • italic


  • dot
  • line
  • arch
  • roof shape
  • loop
  • spiral
  • circle
  • rectangle
  • triangle
  • oval
  • pentagram
  • cloud


  • separators
  • listings
  • arrows
  • people
  • flora
  • fauna
  • buildings
  • transport
  • objects
  • icons
  • symbols
  • visual metaphors

If you order more than 3 servings, only focus on enjoying three of them.
In a ‘all you can eat’ sushi restaurant, you order round after round. You make a selection and once your dishes are served, you take a look, smell, taste and eat your servings before ordering again.

I am not saying you can’t select more than three servings, but to ensure you don’t fall into any of the pitfalls, you may want to limit yourself by focusing for your development on only three. After all, I don’t like for you to get overwhelmed and fall into any of these pitfalls.

Now each time you take visual notes, you can select a new set of elements to focus on. Or you continue to practice the same set until you are satisfied with how you use them. Enjoy!


  • 1 >  Visual notes are made out of visual language
  •  2 >  Visual language consists of words, shapes & visuals
  •  3 >  Combining words, shapes & visuals increases the power of your notes
  •  4 >  Focus on only 3 elements at a time when taking visual notes

What is most insightful for you?
Please share your reflection with me
in the comments.

In this FREE video series you receive 7 Tips to increase your impact beyond the training room.

My name is Mireille van Bremen and I work internationally as a visual catalyst. Everything I do as a graphic recorder, visual mediator, facilitator, visual skills trainer and coach, stems from an intention to invigorate creativity and empathy in order to catalyse potential, prevent conflict, navigate change and stimulate inclusion.

After a career as a design department leader I nowadays work internationally as a visual catalyst to increase the impact of presentations, workshops, strategic meetings and conferences by providing visual translation and by teaching others how to communicate and facilitate visually.

The training programs I design and offer as live as in the online Visual Skills Training academy I founded, help trainers, facilitators, coaches, educators and leaders from all over the world to become resourceful and self-reliant in their communication so they can facilitate impactful dialogues.

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