I really can’t get enough. Even as I sit here typing away on a blank white page, I can’t help but look over to the 4×8 panel of potential to my right. I encourage everyone that needs to convey a big idea to go out and purchase a whiteboard today. Let me explain why whiteboards are my soft spot.
They force active participation. If the small gesture of pushing a pen across paper can sketch out a short idea, imagine what you can do by dragging a big marker across a giant slate. Standing and moving get the blood flowing. More muscles make bigger movements, so why can’t that logic apply to making bigger, more fluid ideas?
They hold temporary thoughts. I will always have anywhere from two to a trillion ideas bouncing in the dome at any given time. Each leads to its own set of distractions. I’ll go from comparing retention to a wad of gum to remembering the flavor of Juicy Fruit to its big yellow packaging to my old yellow Tonka truck to a real live dump truck and how I don’t much like all this road construction outside. Honestly, in Fargo you get nine months of snow and three months of cones. I think there are only two weeks when you actually can drive the speed limit in this town. See what I mean? Once I put an idea on the board, its safe from being pulled away by the next shiny object I see or personal anecdote I can drum up.
They encourage participation. When each team member has an 8.5×11 pad of notebook paper, the creative activity tends to get internalized. Inspiration can come from anywhere, but visuals seem to help inspiration flourish the most. Whiteboards are great for allowing everyone to visualize the same organic concept at once. Providing everyone with a marker allows the opportunity to physically and simultaneously sculpt an idea.
They are green. Just kidding, I hate that term. Sure whiteboards save paper, but sniffing those markers can’t be good for you.
They beg for destructive editing. A good whiteboard doesn’t leave a trace of bad ideas behind allowing the evolution of superior concepts to formulate bit by bit. You don’t need to cross out, redraw or think backwards. Move forward and work on the fly.
Finally, they dwarf anything else in the office. Personally, I like the fact that every morning when I show up to the shop, I see a giant wall of endless possibilities. It’s my job to fill that space. In essence, my office is decorated with the dynamics of human imagination. Take that wishing trolls!
There you have it, my man crush for the plain and simple. It feels pretty cathartic to get that out in the open, shout it from the rooftops and let it be known that I have an almost creepy infatuation with ink that doesn’t stain. Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to Picasso some headlines on that sexy white slab of thought.