August 25, 2014
I am a historian at heart. I am also very reflective. So I am always looking for ways to capture my own personal history.
Several years ago, I came across Nicholas Felton’s Annual Reports. I liked how he kept track of a lot of different data points that gave him a picture of his year. I have always wanted to create something like that but never taken the time to try. Plus the format did not seem like a good fit for me.
So instead, each year I gather some stats from the year and put them in Evernote. I added a little bit of visuals through stickers from Gowalla. But it was mostly words.
But this past year, I found something that really helped me capture my year in a way that was meaningful to me. I did a sketchnote. It seemed appropriate because I began the regular practice of sketchnoting last year after reading Mike Rohde’s The Sketchbook Handbook.
The sketchnote really worked for me because I am a visual person. It helped me to capture the important events and things that shaped my life in 2013.
The biggest one was that we moved from Orlando to Chattanooga. I also included books that were meaningful, music and artists, and some personal statistics related to books, social media, journaling, and exercising.
The final product was a combination of sketches and some things that I traced. I scanned my hand drawn sketchnote and then did some editing in Photoshop. I scaled some of the items and relocated others and then added a couple of things I had forgotten. Like all creations, it is always hard to say it is finally done.
I did most of the work at the beginning of the year. But there were a couple of things I wanted to redo and I did not get back to it till this week. I am very happy with the result. I am already planning to do it again at the end of this year. Already have some ideas brewing.