Speaker

We’ve been going through a series on 7 Basics to Include In Your Sketch Notes.

I talked about how I like to Divide & Conquer my blank page so that it’s not mocking me with it’s flawless, pure and untouched fibers challenging me to draw designs worthy of it’s standards.

Yes, we decided that was dramatic.

But true.

Also, we talked dating.

Now let’s check out the next point.

Speaker

Pastor. Priest. Bishop. Evangelist. Teacher. Reverend. Prophet.

The list could go on. My point is that the first step in writing down the name of the person delivering the message is to know who it is.

Seriously?

Ok, you don’t have to know know them. Just know how to spell their name.

Honestly. Take it from someone who has had their name misspelled their entire life. With a name like Sherianne Rowena Ciaramitaro, I’ve had my name butchered more times than I care to count. It’s so bad, that I have a mental list of people who have spelled my name right and they hold a very special place in my heart.

Enough about that. Just please, spell their name right. If you must, google them or check their social media page. Something.

Why would it really matter if I even write the speaker’s name? I’ll tell you.

Imagine that one day you’re flipping through your journal and you come across this amazing, life-altering sketch note that just pierces your heart. You get lost in all of the deep, amazing words enlightening you as your eyes slowly scan the page.

But wait!

There’s no name on it! That must mean that I wrote those golden nuggets!

Alright, maybe you’re not like that, but I am. I have lots of journals and if there’s no name on a sketch, my first thought is whether I thought up those inspiring words.

Probably not. But I’ll never know.

Let’s move on.

Context

Read the next line out loud.

“I’ll be back” (The Terminator, 1984)

Let me guess. You read that quote in the voice of the one who spoke it. No?

Guess what. I know I’m strange, but when I go over my notes, I read them in the voice and energy of the speaker. It’s almost as if I can hear the message all over again. It revs me up again and again throughout the week!

If I don’t write the name of the speaker, I don’t know how to read it.

I’m lost. I don’t like being lost.

All this to say, knowing who the speaker was helps me keep things in context and relate back to when it was spoken.

I dare you to try it!

Let’s Date

Last week I started a series on 7 Basics to Include In Your Sketch Notes.

I talked about how I like to Divide & Conquer my blank page so that it’s not mocking me with it’s flawless, pure and untouched fibers challenging me to draw designs worthy of it’s standards.

Ok, that’s a little dramatic.

Nonetheless, I like to divide my page into sections.

First we talked Titles.

Today we are talking dates.

Dating is fun. I love it.

I date all the time. Well, there was a time I didn’t date. I can’t even tell you how long that lasted.

You have to admit that was funny.

Fine. I date my work.

Do you remember being in school and having to write your name and date in the top right hand corner? Yeah, that stuck with me for an eternity.

As a matter of fact, I still feel uneasy if I don’t have a name and date on my work.

Adding a date is good on a few different levels. At the very least, it time stamps your work. I use my sermon journal for every sermon I hear – including podcasts and teaching series that I buy with books. That means that although my journal entries are in chronological order (except that one time 2 pages stuck together – that page will forever be blank), they don’t necessarily go in order.

For instance, when we are serving in a ministry, I can’t do notes during service. I have to wait for the podcast to come out. Sometimes, in the day or two I’m waiting, I’ve already listened to another sermon. Therefore, the page that should be Sunday morning, might be some other message.

I know this because I date my work.

Dating also helps when you’re attending a conference.

The conferences I attend usually have a few day sessions, some afternoon breakout sessions and then an evening service. This can easily turn a 4 day conference into a 13 page journaling session. In order to know what day, date and session I’m on, I log it.

For conferences, I usually get fancy and doodle a design for the date or session. This helps me get excited for each of the sessions. Plus, I can do them ahead of time so I still have a title/date for when there’s no break in between sessions.

There are so many options with doodling dates and session numbers. You can tailor them into your title or you can keep them separate.

Dates

Most of the time I just plain, old write it in – just like school days.

Are you particular about dating your work? How do you write the date – extravagant or straight up? Comment below.

Your Title Here

In my last post, I told you the 7 basic elements that I include in my sermon sketch notes. Today I want to start by diving in a little more in-depth.

Your_Title_Here

Titles.

Do yourself a favour and write the title of the sermon.

Ok, it sounds a little obvious here, but trust me on this one. The title is a big deal. One time I forgot to write the name of the sermon and it is seriously still bugging me over a year later! Adding a title gives your notes a simple beginning.

I like simple.

Timing

The best time to draw your title is at the very beginning of the message.

Wow. That was revolutionary, innovative and world-shattering.

Mind. Blown.

Ok, I get it. That was an obvious one too, but do you know why it’s the best time?

Traditionally, the order of service begins with announcements, videos, offering and intros. This gives you a good chunk of time to lay out your title on your page.

Sometimes the preacher doesn’t say the name or says it half way through the sermon. Those are times when you can leave a dedicated space to go back in later and do your title.

Layout

There are so many ways to lay out your title. You can use a variety of lettering, scripting, doodles, frames, etc. However, if you are beginning, I encourage you to start with something simple. Try writing/printing the sermon title across the top of your page.

You can always go back in and add things to your title throughout the service.

Design

There are a few design essentials that I suggest to make your title pop.

Sizing.

Remember how I said that one time I forgot to write the title? I actually don’t know if I wrote the title because everything was written roughly the same size.

Ugh, call me punctilious or whatever, but I have been seriously considering going through the archives so I can listen to that message again and redo my notes with a title.

It really doesn’t matter where your title lands on your page, but the size does matter. Make sure that it stands out from your actual notes.

Font.

Yes, I’m going to call your handwriting font.

That’s a fun thought.

I usually like to use 2-3 types of font per page. At first, I literally just used my normal handwriting. Now, I’m trying to learn more lettering and calligraphy, so I’m starting to incorporate those into my designs.

Here are some great simple ideas for title fonts:

  • Block Letters
  • Handwriting
  • Fancy Script
  • Bubble Letters
  • Caps Lock
  • All Low Case
  • Messy

Thickness.

A great way to make your title pop is by using thicker writing. One time I made a spelling mistake in my title and since I was using a pen, I tried to go over it again and again with the proper spelling. The result? A nice thick title.

Maybe not nice.

But definitely thick.

And one you could see.

So, I decided to keep that format and now I go over my lettering at least a few times.

Bonus, going over the letters makes them appear cleaner and neater.

Dividers.

At the very least, I mentally separate my title from the rest of my notes. I visually create a section and I fill that space with my title. Since my journal is lined, I pick a few lines that I will use for my first 3 elements (title, speaker, date). I will generally incorporate frames and other embellishments to enhance the title.

Remember, these notes are for your benefit. They don’t have to be perfect or even done any way that anyone else thinks you should do them.

Do what works for you.

Sketch your notes in ways that will entice you to go back and read them over and over.

After all, these notes are your creative inspiration from the words God gave to your pastor.

Own it.

Love it.

Do it.

Since we’re on the subject of titles, what are the most creative sermon titles that you’ve heard? Comment below.

Divide & Conquer

Mock_Up_Notes

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.

Seriously.

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

Getting_Started

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

Create_Your_Story

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.)

Journals

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.

Rowena

 

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!

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