How to Get the Most from a Whiteboard in Your Office
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I am a huge fan of whiteboards because I’ve found it too easy to jot down ideas in a word/text file and easily forget them a week (or less) later. A whiteboard (I actually have one right next to me at my desk) keeps things flowing because it’s always in your face (so you can’t ignore it).
Whiteboards can be bought for about $20 (new) and found for pennies on the dollar if you are able to snag one from a thrift store (mine is massive and cost less than $3).
I know there are plenty of apps out there that work as to-do lists and for everything else scheduling but there’s something about having to physically jot down ideas, concepts, and lists that help it stick to your memory (there’s plenty of information on this).
Anyway, if you are the whiteboard-type (or have been thinking about grabbing one), I’d like to share some of the different ways to get the most out of the item:
- Scheduling – Most whiteboards you’ll find (the bigger ones) come with a monthly schedule you can write in at will. The schedule works perfect for keeping track of items like content creation, follow-ups for customer service, invoicing, and more. I recommend this form of scheduling over other types (like Google Calendar) because you need to make an effort to fill it out versus copy & pasting routines (then getting spammed to do them even if your schedule is slightly off).
- Brainstorming – What I used to do when I had a new idea was to boot up a word processor and start writing out everything I could think about the particular topic. Writing it all down is great and all but half the time we never get around to seeing those projects to launch. With a whiteboard you can quickly jot down ideas from a brainstorm session and by later in the day you could swipe it off so that you’re not stuck with the “fat”.
- The Daily To-Do – Apps are convenient to create to-do lists but what I’ve always noticed is that once you get behind on one you tend to either “roll it over” or just cut it from the list. With a whiteboard you have limited space so you maximize the efforts. The whiteboard area forces you to write down the most important tasks and by having them presented right there as you’re doing work I feel you will be farm more likely to do them versus needing to check the app throughout the day.
- Conversations – Email, texting, video calls, and all that is fine for talking with team members or fellow employees but how many times have you immediately forgotten a request the moment you move onto the next interest? White boards are great for getting down ideas, tasks, and concepts that everyone can see and know needs to be done. The items don’t come off until they are reached so it creates a better accountability around the office. Alternatively, it’s always a good way to keep others informed if you’re not around each other frequently.
What I do with my whiteboard will be different than yours. For me it’s about keeping up with a content schedule, knowing the dates for bills, setting (and viewing) big goals, and keeping up with support that I may have forgotten if I buried it into a text file or app.
For $5 – $20 it really does come in handy for keeping everything in check while you’re doing your work. The fact that you need to wipe it frequently means that you won’t keep tacking on additional tasks and projects that deter you from your main goals (and this is well worth it in itself).
How do you use whiteboards in your business?
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