4 Tips for When and Why To Use Digital Graphic Recording

As a graphic recorder, my job is to combine the honed skills of listening, synthesizing and drawing. The resulting visual serves as an archive of the key themes from a speech, conversation or presentation.

I do this work 2 different ways: 

  1. Using markers on very large sheets of paper or foam core in full view of the participants.
  2. Using an iPad (with the work projected in front of the room, or not).

This fall I’ve had more requests than usual to work digitally, and I’ve learned something about when and why it’s the best option.

1.   Space is too tight for a 4’x8’ board:  If I’m working on my iPad, all I need is a chair and my lap. 

2.  A digital file is needed the same day as the event:  There’s no wait time for scanning or photographing a large paper chart. The work is created digitally and can be quickly uploaded into PPT.

3.  The final deliverable is an animated sketch video:  See the video example below of Micheal Grabell’s keynote. I captured the session live and it was uploaded for attendees watching via live stream to see the same day. 


4.  You need me to be in three places at once: You want the themes from concurrent sessions to be captured, but there isn’t the budget to have a graphic recorder in each room. Take a look at the image below that was captured at the NASAA Conference. I was able to stealthily move from room to room and capture highlights with my iPad without disturbing the group.  

The Bottom Line
Analog or digital, the resulting visual  archive will serve as a cornerstone for building ideas, consensus, and a common vision. 


Vision Maps Are Powerful and Long-Lasting Tools