About Sketchnotes, Rocketbook Wave and thoughtful sharing

Hi guys

In my holidays – in which I decided to go completely offline – I have been reading some stuff which could be useful in my work as an online course designer. Among other things, like   Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi  and also a bit of romantic bullshit (also  worthy of some stars- in German, as a consequence of my insatiable and eternal  learning desire… I have been reading this highly interesting work by Mike Rohde: ‘The Sketchnote Handbook, The Illustrated Guide to Visual Notetaking’. Just a matter of spending my limited analogue time in a useful and pleasant way. So I bought a good marker pen and started to think and draw. I don’t think I’m very talented, but Mike and co. firmly state that everybody can learn to draw. Okay then… here’s my very first sketchnote. Tadaaaaa! (bit childish, I guess, but anyhow, it’s thinking and drawing work in progress…)

Got my message in this rather infantile sample of a first sketchnote? I hope so, otherwise I’d love your feedback. But let’s repeat  my point in a slightly more formal way:

Sharing information is a tricky thing. If you share a post every day, because you want to be noticed, forget about it without delay, unless you want to keep annoying people. Because, as a matter of fact we’re being overloaded by information all the time, so spare your connections and skip the addressing-the-whole-world-information attitude. Think of your friend’s poor, frenzy head, take a look at my sketchnote and read a few supremely simple tips…

  • Only share links, books, posts, articles after giving them some profound thinking. Is your information chunk directly useful for some specific connection of yours? Go ahead and please your connections!
    Are you sending it because YOU think it is interesting, but you cannot formulate the point of interest for the receiver? Okay, do him a favour and drop it. Now! Sharing is about giving, not about imposing yourself upon someone…
  • You think the link you’re sending is definitely of interest for your connection(s)? Wrap it up as a gift. Tell him in short why you think this information might be useful for his work. In this way the receiver can decide for himself if it’s okay to invest some of his precious time!

By the way,I worked out this first creation in my Rocketbook Wave. Nice digital thingummy to share drawings, analogue infographics or meeting notes digitally.  And you never ever have to buy a notebook again!!!! For more information: watch this movie.


So, do you think my sketchnote is a fairly good start? Let me know. Do you think my initial drawing skills are rather terrible? Save the world from these creations and inform me…



Denny Kondic: What have you learnt from #WOL?

Hi friends

Here’s what Denny Kondic posted on 3rd July in the Working Out Loud-group on Facebook.

In English:  WOL lives because of the experiences that people have in Circles and their personal change. What have you learnt or experienced because of WOL?

Well, Denny, when I first learnt about Working Out Loud, I was intrigued. I was listening to John Stepper’s talk at the London Learning Technologies Conference at the beginning of 2017 when my teamleader @RubenBellens whispered to me: ‘Our corporate training department should be informed about this…’ That statement triggered me in such a way I just couldn’t do anything else but start to read and research. It didn’t take a long time before I stepped into my first WOL-circle.

And    Wham! – I was completely blown away! To make a long story short, here’s my first vlog!Thank you Denny, for this question. Because of this, I realised that Working Out Loud has changed a whole lot for me. It not only improved my visibility on social media. Much more important though, it has

  • enlightened my way of connecting with colleagues at work outside of my own team,
  • opened the corporate world outside my organisation,
  • paved my road to professional peers,
  • given me new friends and a meaningful network,
  • given me back my self-esteem.

And to be really honest: it has made me believe again in the goodwill and generosity of people. Precisely at one of the most difficult moments in my life…

Grateful grtz


Start to Work Out Loud: Week 0

Hi everybody

This time written in English, for my American WOL-friend Shalinni S. Batta.

@Jen Deneckere, one of my circle colleagues is starting up his second circle himself and having some questions about that, I think it’s the right moment to share my own experiences with the first week of the circle. I am in my 4th and 5th circle right now, which – I must admit – is really a bit over the top.  Committed to accomplishing 2 goals is mentally heavy, come to think of it. There’s one advantage though: the 2 circles are in the same WOL-week, so preparation time is minimized.

But as far as the start is concerned, these are my experiences:

Circle 1 was a major adventure to me. It was the first time I was in outer space (I mean beyond my comfortable VDAB-zone) and I happened to be the only non-English native in this group. We were 5 circle members, facilitated by Nicola Waterworth, one of the 4 British ladies joining the circle

I was nervous, really. Reaching out to complete strangers, in a completely new format… it felt creepy. For everyone, it turned out. But we felt at ease within the first hour really, thanks to initiator Nicola Waterworth who already had some WOL-experience, fortunately. The other ones were completely new to the concept.

Unfortunately, the circle died after 3 weeks. Reasons?

  • We started in June, just before the summer holidays.
  • Members didn’t show up.
  • Preparation time was nearly non-existent because of external factors.
  • I mainly think we didn’t have goals which we really, really cared for. And this is essential for a WOL-success.

Circle 2 started a few months later, at the end of August with two consultants from Cologne and 3 Belgians. To make a  beautifully long story short: this was a terrific experience. Why?

  • We all had a reachable goal, which we really cared about.
  • We prepared each week: sometimes more, sometimes less.  In this respect the circle guides are handy: they provide both time-intensive AND very short exercises.
  • Most of the 12 weeks everybody showed up and if not, members notified the other circle members.

After 12 weeks we had ample reason for celebration, which we did in Cologne. First an evaluation meeting at Detecom, which Maike Kueper organised for us, followed by a visit to the Christmas market. We have become loyal friends – helping each other out with questions and talks about work performance. Normally Frederik and I are organising a barbecue in summer… We do hope everyone can be there, also Geert Nijs and Sven Lakner.

In Circle 3 we used the very useful blogpost of Julia Weber about Week 0. It was a strong beginning, but we missed two circle members from the beginning. I still feel very sorry about that, actually. And our 4th member, Shalinni, who I dedicate this article to, lives in America, which proved to be another intricacy as far as the difference in time zones is concerned.  So we had to quit the circle. Pia Seppelfricke and I were left on our own, somewhere in outer space, feeling sad.

In the meantime I was preparing a first circle with VDAB-colleagues. This started at the end of May, also with week 0. We’re in the sixth week now and I must say: we have strong goals, strong personalities and I enjoy the growth I notice in my colleagues and again in myself. Success factors?

  • A beautiful openness from the beginning.
  • Deep empathy for every colleague.
  • Thorough preparation, dependent on the time we can spend.
  • No. Judgement. At. All…

Pia and I kept in contact and decided to start a new circle at the end of May. Bull’s eye! Beautiful experience, already for 5 weeks. Learning a lot from each other! Looking forward to meeting each other at Zukunft Personal in Cologne on 11 September – where we will be meeting John Stepper – creator of Working Out Loud.

Hope you enjoyed reading this post. Let me know! And don’t worry about starting a circle. It will change your work performance, your career – and indeed, your life…