5 Basic Visual Elements

If you are ready to learn to create 5 Basic Visual Elements to level up your note taking or flip charts, then grab a paper and pen and follow along with the video below to help enhance your learning and group work.

In this video you’ll learn to create:

  • FRAMES: grouping/separating ideas or highlighting a set of ideas
  • ARROWS: shows a process or how ideas are connected
  • PEOPLE: brings life or reflects emotions
  • ICONS: helps compress and identify ideas quickly
  • TYPE: creative type highlighting certain ideas

Have fun and share your learnings.

Visual Goal Canvas

A chance meeting with Clinical Psychologist, Dr. David Pearson sparked an idea. He explained the approach behind the design of an assessment tool (DLSAS) he had co-authored – 5 questions to help teachers assess students’ core life skills. Impressed with the simple approach, it inspired the design of a learning tool. I was looking for a creative way to introduce my students to some visual thinking concepts. After many iterations, I came up with the Visual Goal Canvas

There are at least 7 components to consider when setting any goal:

What, Why, Who, Where, How, How Much and When.

It’s not sufficient to focus on only one of the components. Mapping all components on a pre-structured canvas offers a quick overview of the entire journey of your goal.

This is the Visual Goal Canvas – a tool to help visually map a goal across 7 components in a single image.

Let’s take a closer look at each of the 7 components: 

  • WHAT is your goal? What do you hope to achieve? What are you aiming for? What is your one hope?
  • WHY do you wish to achieve your goal? What is the purpose? Why is it worth your time and energy? Why do this one thing and not something else?
  • WHO do you need to achieve your goal? Who manages the journey? Who else might you need on board?
  • WHERE will you start? What resources/skills/network/partnerships do you have in place? 
  • HOW will you reach your goal? What are some of the activities/tasks that will help you get there? How will you stay on track?
  • HOW MUCH: What is the size of your goal? How many parts is your goal made up of? How might you prioritise these parts?
  • WHEN do you hope to achieve your goal? What is your time-frame? What might be some of the important checkpoints along your journey?

By exercising visual thinking with storytelling strategies and tools the Visual Goal Canvas can be used to help motivate and guide you or a group towards a goal. 

I can easily feel overwhelmed when I try to get new projects off the ground. I get lots of ideas but I can easily lose sight of the big picture. The Visual Goal Canvas helps me organise my ideas and map out the steps to meet my goals. It helped me launch my newsletter. And now I am using it to plan out my next steps for a book!

Gwyn Wansbrough

Breakthrough Facilitation


Some questions to ask when developing your Visual Goal Canvas for personal use or for a group:

  • What challenges might we come across on our journey?
  • What might we need to support our journey?
  • What is missing in our journey?
  • What habits might we need to create/adjust/let go of?
  • How do we make sure we are learning along our journey?
  • How might you celebrate your wins?


Click on the image to download the VISUAL GOAL CANVAS