Divide & Conquer


7 Basics to Include In Your Sketch notes

Everyone loves a pretty picture. Sketching notes transforms words (that might normally go in one ear and out the other) into beautiful masterpieces. If you’re anything like me, when I first started I felt like the empty page staring back at me was intimidating and clearly mocking my inexperienced creativity – I had no idea where to start. So, I tried to do something only my husband knows how to do, I attempted a logical thought process.


That in itself could’ve been enough to send me careening into a downward spiral, but thankfully I survived. My logic?

Divide and conquer.

Seeing the page in sections helped to minimize the stress of having to fill up an entire page. When I first started, I would draw my title really big in the centre of my page. Then I would write notes around it. It did make it less intimidating, but it kind of looked like throw-up in a notebook.

Thankfully, I soon developed a formula that made sense to me and kept my notes from filing for insanity. This simple formula wrangles my notes together every time, whether I’m feeling the creativity or seem to have an empty crater for a brain.

This is the format that I use every time I listen to a sermon.

Use these 7 basic elements in your sermon sketch notes and you’ll look like a pro every time.

  1. Title
  2. Date
  3. Speaker
  4. Scripture References
  5. Key Thoughts
  6. Frames
  7. Embellishments

There you have it!

Before you know it, the service is over, you are standing to your feet and you’ve created a masterpiece with the inspired words that God gave to your pastor.

Take your notes and purpose to mull on them over and over throughout the week. It really adds a spark to meditating on the Word of God, day and night.

Do you have any other elements that you add to your sermon notes? Let me know below; I’m always looking to expand my creativity!

Getting Started


So you’re interested in Creative Journaling – sermon sketch noting. This is one of my favourite things to do.


Now, I’m no expert, but I have a few tips on how you can get started in your creative journey. The info in this post are my recommendations for starting out.

Get some paper

Ok, if you’ve ever been to my house, you’ll see that I am a journal hog. I’m mesmerized by pretty covers and the smell of soft leather as I fan the pages it envelops across my face. This is the uniqueness that comes out in me. Now, you don’t absolutely need a journal, you can use any paper you would like. It took me a good year before I found my perfect journal – and I’m sure it will morph as time goes on. (Excuse the fact that my dog decided he loved my journal so much, he could eat it.)


One thing I do recommend for starting out, is lined paper. It can help with dividing up your page and writing neater. As your skills increase, your preference may change as well.

Does size matter? To some it does. I’ve used larger journals before, although it’s not my preference. I prefer to use 5×7 because it fits nicely in my purse, it’s the perfect size for my lap during service and it seems to always fit everything I want to write neatly on each page.

Get a pen

Find your favourite writing utensil. You can use pencil, pens, markers, etc. This is a preference thing and it’s best to start with something that you are comfortable writing with. I’m currently using Sharpie fine tip pens. They’re smooth enough to glide on the paper, but not too thick as to bleed through. When I practice, I sometimes use a pencil.



Be Patient

This is key, peeps! Be patient with yourself, you will not be a pro the first time you try this. It will get better, practice will enhance your notes. Remember that your notes are unique to you – and like you. Don’t compare your notes with others, because you’ll only ever be second best. Embrace your own quirky penmanship and drawing.

Practice, practice, practice

If I had a dime for every time someone said to me that they are not creative enough to take notes like me, I’d be rich. As a matter of fact, I’ve said that myself! Yes, there’s an aspect of creativity that goes into these notes, but anyone can do it! I believe there’s a spark inside of everyone, and if you practice, you will excel beyond what you thought capable.


Have you started sketch noting sermons? Leave a comment below on how you got started, I’d love to know!

*Disclosure: Some of the links are affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase. There is no added cost to you.



The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

Processed with MOLDIV

Mr. Enlartle. That was the name I gave to my first sermon doodle. It was a lengthy church service and I was 13 with a limited attention span. Doodling was how I stayed awake. Creative journaling wasn’t a thing back then and although I didn’t know it at the time, that would be the beginning of my creative note taking journey.

Ok, well, actually it would be another 22 years before I would attempt it again – there’s a fear of getting caught for doodling during a service, and an even greater one for doodling in your brand new Bible!

Today, I love doodling, or creative journaling during a sermon!

Here are my top 8 reasons for creative journaling.

It can be used as a tool for daily devotions

There are many times during a sermon that I think to myself that I should make a mental note to look deeper into something that was said. Before I started taking notes creatively, I would either try to remember on my own (which almost never happened) or I would write a little side note within my sentences. With creative journaling, it’s so pretty that I want to look at my creations every day and seeing them seems to spark my memory in a way like no other. Which brings me to my second reason…

It sparks & boosts creativity

When you doodle or draw, your brain basically hones in on your creativity gene (and yes, I believe everyone has creativity inside of them) and it begins to get stronger. It’s almost like your brain goes into hyper drive creatively and you begin to draw things and do lettering better and better.

I learn so much more

On the same note, I seem to have an uncanny ability to learn things plainly so much easier than ever before. It’s almost as if the learning part of my brain mimics the smooth gliding of the pen on the paper. I can’t explain it, but it’s a real thing. My learning is exponential while I’m doodling.

I retain so much more

Ok, it’s one thing to hear a sermon, love it and purpose to live it out. It’s a totally different thing to actually do that. Now, I’m not saying that creative journaling will cause you to do things, but it brings an excitement to applying the Word of God to your life. And trust me, I need all the excitement I can get when it comes to walking out change in my life. I. Despise. Change.

It causes me to be engaged with the sermon throughout the week

When I used to take traditional notes, I would sometimes reread them 10 years later or sometimes never again. Now that I take creative notes, I probably go over at least a few sermons per day. Per. Day. I almost feel like I relive the sermon every day of the week! This is literally a preacher’s dream!

It’s unique

How many people do you know that take notes during a serive? Maybe half the congregation, on a good day. How many people do you know that draw during a service? For me, only a handful. Taking notes creatively is a unique thing and that’s pretty cool – especially cause I’m unique, or weird or whatever…I’m going with unique. Taking creative notes is a reflection of my God-given uniqueness.

It’s therapeutic

There is just something peaceful and serene about turning the words I’m hearing into art. I found it so peaceful and therapeutic that I started incorporating it into my daily devotions. There’s a reason why adult colouring books have been such a hit as of late – it helps alleviate stress in many people’s lives.

It’s fun

When it comes right down to it, drawing is fun. I get to go to church and do something that is FUN during the service. I look forward to hearing, creating and doodling a masterpiece in real time, right in tune with the Holy Spirit.

So, whether you’re a creative genius or someone who needs help focusing, creative sermon notes can be for you! Join me on this journey to learning how to letter and doodle creatively.

Do you take creative notes or do you know someone who does this? Comment below!