Ink & Adventures

A blog about visual communication, digital nomad life, and blending logic and creativity together for impact

Digital Nomad Summit 2016

I went to Chiang Mai to check out digital nomad paradise. (It was beyond awesome. More on that in a later post.) The week I arrived, there just so happened to be a conference happening all about, guess what, digital nomadism. Didn't plan on it at all, and I'm pretty sure I managed to get the second-to-last ticket, but it was awesome. Here’s some notes from Nomad Summit 2016.

Why sketchnotes?

The sketchnotes below are just my attempt to keep focused during 5+ hours of talks planned on a Saturday afternoon in a dark room. The talks were fantastic, but I'm human, and my attention span in that sort of environment is barely functional. 

Contrary to what your teachers may have told you in school, doodling doesn't mean you're distracted. It can actually help you pay attention! I've found that for me, that's absolutely true for lectures, meetings, and long talks.

So these weren't meant to be anything frame-able, just a way to take in a lot of info without it leaking out my ear after a few hours. I hope they communicate a few insights to you (without the 6-hour time commitment-!). 


Liar, Cheat, Thief, Nomad // Taylor West

Liar, Cheat, Thief, Nomad - by Taylor West

The whole reason I had my notebook out was to try to pay attention. But that wasn't an issue with this talk. Taylor was such an awesome storyteller I barely took any notes.

Powerful talk about personal branding, told through personal stories. Taylor shared insights and tips about how to both shift and build a more authentic first impression. "Take control of your brand. Don't let someone else tell your story. 

Also, check out that awesome spelling job for "thief" in the title. A reminder to embrace your mistakes! Just turn them into art ;) 

Social Enterprise: Why Giving Back is Awesome //  Tree Tribe

Sketchnotes from Digital Nomad Summit 2016 by Kat Ingalls // Social Enterprise talk by Tree Tribe

Dylan and Joe started a social enterprise business right out of the coworking spaces that I'd been working from all week in Chiang Mai. This talk was all about the importance of doing work you love, and helping to make an impact. And how those goals aren't opposed, but actually work together. Since supporting a cause actually helps your marketing. There's no excuse not to.

This talk energized me the most, since a major reason I went solo is to do more work in social enterprise. 


Lessons Learned from 8 years Bootstrapping Businesses While Living Abroad  //  Cody McKibben

Sketchnotes from Digital Nomad Summit 2016 by Kat Ingalls // Talk by Cody McKibben

 Not gonna lie, my favorite part about this talk may have been that it was numbered. (I love me some numbered lists. Also: helps with page layout planning!) But seriously, Cody laid down some amazing bite-sized wisdom in this talk.


MVP Hacking //  Johnny FD


You know when you get excited about an idea, but then dive into the details... and the details seem so big and scary and, well, complicated? And so you usually either (a) stop before you've even begun or (b) get so caught up in the details it takes you ten times longer to launch than it really needs to. This was some real-talk about getting your work out there, and the importance of just testing ideas out.


3 Superpowers For Your Business //  Marcus Lukas

Sketchnotes from Digital Nomad Summit 2016 by Kat Ingalls // Talk by Marcus Lukas

Most of the tips shared in this talk were for nomads who sell products. So as a primarily service-based girlboss, this tips didn't resonate much with me. But there were some awesome personal stories at the end about two individuals with physical handicaps kicking ass in entrepreneurship around the world when they're each based in Brazil.

Takeaways two months later

For me, the lesson that has stuck with me is understanding and appreciating the insane growth that the "digital nomad" movement lifestyle has experienced in just a few short years. Working from anywhere on your own terms is slowly sinking in as not a far-fetched idea. More and more people are become location-independent. The biggest takeaway is that this remote lifestyle is the new world order. And I'm so excited for that to happen.

Over to you

  • Have you considered trading your 'traditional' job to for a location-independent one?
  • What advice from these notes could help you take a step to make that idea a reality?
  • Were these sketchnotes more helpful than a traditional blog post? How? 
  • What can you do to make your own communications more visual?