One question I’m constantly asked is: “What pen are you using?” People don’t ask me how they can learn to sketchnote, what books or classes I recommend, or even how I learned myself—they ask about my tools! However, the tools do not make the artist.

The only way to become an effective visual notetaker is through regular practice.

It’s not about the tools you use; it’s about the visuals you create. Some of the most effective visual notes I’ve seen were done with a ballpoint pen on a legal pad! There’s nothing wrong with using fancy, expensive tools—you should always create to the best of your ability—but the priority of visual notes is the information, not the aesthetics.


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