Hello, I’m Mike Rohde. I’m a designer, author, illustrator and sketchnoter, living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I have a passion for simple and usable design solutions.

I believe it’s important to share thoughts, ideas and process, so others can draw insight from my experiences.

I’ve been writing here since February, 2003, covering design, sketching, drawing, sketchnotes, technology, travel, cycling, books and coffee.


I’m a interface and experience designer, working for Gomoll Research + Design, a human-centered research and design firm, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

I’m an author, having written two books on sketchnoting: The Sketchnote Handbook and The Sketchnote Workbook. I speak at events and present workshops that teach people sketchnoting techniques.

Conference organizers hire me to capture real-time sketchnotes at live events. Past commissioned events include Leadercast, An Event Apart, SXSW Interactive and Storyline Conference.

I’m the illustrator of the New York Times bestseller, REWORK and REMOTE by 37signals, The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau and The Little Book of Talent by New York Times bestselling author Daniel Coyle.

I also create custom illustrations for companies, agencies and design firms. View samples of my design process in the design archives or see my sketchnote work in the sketchnotes archives.


I’m fascinated by mobile technology, in particular iPhones, iPads and Macintosh mobile computers. My interest in mobile technology goes back a long way. I was a Macintosh Powerbook Duo 230 user, Powerbook G3 Wallstreet user, and Powerbook Titanium G4 user. I currently use a Space Gray 13” MacBook Pro (2017).

I was an early (1996) Palm 1000 user, which led me into the world of Palm OS handhelds. I founded The Palm Tipsheet, a free e-zine of practical tips for Palm handheld users.

The Tipsheet started with emails of interesting Palm tidbits, sent to a few friends and family in the fall of 1997. By the spring of 2003, it had grown to over 10,000 subscribers, when I sold it to BargainPDA.

My involvement in The Tipsheet and the Palm OS community, earned me an invitation from PalmSource to join the Palm OS User Council. We provided feedback to PalmSource from a real-world, personal perspective.

However, by late 2002, I felt the need to expand my writing horizons to more than handhelds. I sold the Palm Tipsheet and I began this site.

In 2006 I joined 9rules, a collection of people on the web who write, design, think and share their passions with others.

Mike Rohde @rohdesign