Creating a Visual Library for Note-Taking: Part Two

Interested in learning how to take visual notes? Then you should check out the first part of this series, on how to start creating your own visual library. Once you start taking visual notes and become more comfortable with the process, you can advance to making your visuals specific to you and the context in which you use them.

Making your visual library personal

There is an endless supply of icons to draw when visual note-taking. However, depending on your industry, education, or area of interest, there may be some icons that are more suited than others. It is important to find these icons and add them to your visual library.

Here are a few examples to get you started:


Icons for advertising and marketing


Healthcare icons


Financial icons


Technology Icons


Government Icons

Non Profit

Non Profit Icons


Pharmaceuticals Icons


Icons for Education

Real Estate

Icon drawings for real estate


Consulting icons

Event Planning

Visuals for event planning


You can
combine visuals to represent complex ideas.

Instead of drawing multiple icons to get a complex concept across, you can start to unite them with each other. For example, a pencil on its own could mean one thing, but combining a pencil with a lightbulb can mean something entirely different!

Steps for combining a pencil and a lighbulb

Combining visual metaphors saves you time when trying to illustrate complex ideas. Let’s walk through one of these visuals together.

Step one: Think visually

If you were trying to illustrate customer satisfaction, step one would be to think about it visually. Picture the words in your head and see what comes to mind. For example, you might associate rating something five stars and the face of a satisfied customer with customer service.

Step two: Combine the ideas

Think about how you can combine these ideas. I immediately thought of the hand cursor over the fifth star. Then to drive the idea of “customer”, a simple face on the hand finishes the concept.

Step Three: Draw it!

Think about the order in which to draw each icon, because you are combining these visuals, some may be more in the background than others. For example, the stars in this drawing are going to be behind the hand cursor, so I would draw the cursor first. Then the stars and the face.

See how the concept of customer service comes to life?


Keep on practicing!

Now that you have started a visual library, you can take your notes to the next level. As time goes by, the process of visual note-taking will become easier and you’ll see your notes transform in a way that allows you to engage with their content on a deeper level.

We can’t wait to see what you create! Tag us on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #ThinkLikeInk.