-“Visual Thinking? Isn’t that something like mindmapping?” Well yes, it is one way to visualize an information stream.
-“That is a clever trick, that sketchnoting!” Well yes, it is helpfull and everyone can learn it. But there is far more to it!
First of all, visual thinking is a the way some of us learn and think. It is the opposite to linear thinking ; step by step bottum up thinking. Visual thinkers see the total picture, in images , all at once. They are rightbrainers as opposed to the leftbrainers that most people are. In school (in our society) we are expected to learn in a linear and step by step way, based solely on language and writing. Our visual thinking skills fade away if we aren’t real visual spatial learners. There are several different learning styles. Through images, through rythm and music, through actually doing things, through writing and reading. Some take in information better one way, some the other. We all have our preferred information binging methods. I for one love to have overview and visuals, others want to see gradually progressing video’s while others still want text or graphics and numbers.
Furthermore visual note taking is something that we all can learn, even though we are not all visual thinkers. It is very useful for everyone to have an overview of a concept , idea, session, or to take notes of a speaker or workshop without having to read a whole text, watch an entire video or write everything down you hear. It is something to help us process larger chunks of information in one clear image. Of course, you still want to go more in depth if it is something you would want to know more about, but it is a way of easily filtering and summarizing information.
Since there are massive numbers of data produced every single day, we need a way to filter al this data, the visuals, the music, the graphs, the text. The way I see it, visual iconic language that connects and gives overview is the way to filter, to have a quick scan overview to decide weather or not you want to take in more info on a specific topic. Choosing the most suited form of information.
This applies also when people talk or work together. Or where problems need to be solved. Visuals and visual connections that give a quick overview can help different thinkers to more easily understand eachother and build on their thoughts, rather than clashing whilst saying basically the same thing but not understanding each other.
Visual thinking binds all forms of thinking together and has the power to connect great minds and have them fully understand one another. It helps to see different learners understanding each other and lets us build from there, instead of making ripples in your own area, you could make far bigger ripples while interconnecting different disciplines.