What to do with white space?

Have you ever finished your sketchnotes and your page was bigger than your notes ended up being, as in, you have a large area on your page of unused white space? 

Fear not! Here are a few ideas on how to utilize your white space: 

  1. Do nothing. White space is not the enemy! It can help your notes feel more spaced out and be easy on the reader. It’s not always something to “fix.” Also, there’s no rule saying you have to perfectly fill your page every time… why not just leave it? 
  2. Fill it with words. If you captured notes from a lecture-based event, did the speaker summarize their talk in a sentence or question? Was there a poignant quote you loved? Put this content in your white space and presto! You can also use color, interesting typography, or patterns to help fill space, too. 
  3. Fill it with a drawing. Was there an impactful story, scene,  character, or view? Filling white space with scenery is perfect for travel journal sketches. For lecture-based notes, think back to stories the speaker shared and see if you can weave in some of the visuals.
  4. Fill it with the speaker’s info. This obviously just works for lecture-based sketchnotes, but it can be a helpful tool to getting your work noticed! You can include social media handles, a portrait if there wasn’t one in the title, their website, you can sketch their latest book or podcast artwork, or even their pet or favorite activity. Sharing a speaker’s info is a great way to get their attention and get them to re-share your work. They’ll feel honored and happy to share!
  5. Block it out with a color, pattern or texture. White space isn’t the enemy, but if you’re using color and textures in your notes already, it can have a nice effect! 
  6. Sign it! You created the masterpiece… who’s to say you shouldn’t sign it, too? Give yourself credit where credit is due!