The Benefits of a Whiteboard Obsession


The Benefits of a Whiteboard Obsession

No app can fill that special place in my heart reserved for the whiteboard.

And as much as I love colour and all things that sparkle, I’ve often thought my ideal house would have simple whiteboard walls … In every room. I have six ‘preciouses’. Two are double-sided but don’t ask me to choose a favourite. They are like old friends who just ‘get’ me. Together, we have written books, planned businesses, and generally organised life.

These are my thoughts on why they’ve helped me achieve so much:

  • They’re forgiving.

Whiteboards don’t judge. If you make a mistake, just clean the slate and start again. You don’t press ‘save’ to keep a record of your error. Just make the adjustment and keep moving forward.

  • They’re deep.

Whiteboards do more than accommodate lists. They host the framework for complete projects with components that interact and interconnect. They help me see at a glance how a change to one small aspect of a plan, enables everything else to fall into place.

  • They keep me accountable.

My whiteboards keep my goals front of mind. I walk past them several times each day, and even though I might be working on something else, they remind me of ideas I need to let simmer in the background.

  • They provide peace of mind.

My mind is frequently flooded with ideas and writing them down allows me to let them go for the time being and take comfort in the fact that a basic plan is in place and I can develop it further when I have time.

  • They’re visual.

Whiteboards tick all the visual boxes for me. The use of colour, magnets and symbols, and freeform mind-mapping allows me to create lists, flowcharts and diagrams that make visual sense. And because I’m wired that way, I see them when I close my eyes.

  • They’re great company.

I’ll often just make a coffee and stand in front of a board to see which bit of the project inspires me to spend the day with them.

  • They’re tactile.

I like the convenience of shopping for some things online, but as a tactile person, I prefer to feel the fabric of clothing or the texture of items before purchasing. Working with a whiteboard meets the need to feel connected to what I’m writing. There is something about the physical act of writing something down that enables me to ‘feel’ what I’ve written.

  • They keep track.

Whiteboards track progress at a glance, and it’s very satisfying to place ticks next to items or cross them out completely. Even though the work for each item is on my computer and uses other apps or programs, the whiteboard framework is updated manually, and there is never a doubt of where a project is up to.

  • They’re rewarding.

Nothing beats the sense of accomplishment that comes with putting a line through the very last item. Acknowledging the completion of a project and reflecting briefly on the achievement is incredibly rewarding.

  • They’re encouraging.

I think we’ve established that I’m obsessed, so it will come as no surprise to learn that the very act of wiping a whiteboard clean, prompts and inspires a whole new range of projects I could fill it with again.

  • They think big.

Whiteboards allow me to see the big picture at a glance. Unlike a screen where you have to scroll around to see parts of a large project, whiteboards lay it all out right in front of me. It not only allows me to see what I’m looking for but highlights things I may have missed if I couldn’t see certain connections. When I’ve used apps to achieve a similar outcome, I’ve needed to print them out to see the whole thing. And as soon as I’ve seen it, there is always something I need to change.

My whiteboards and I have planned holidays, tracked the budget of certain products, created the structure for books and content plans. We’ve developed products and packages, tracked business plans and events, and mapped critical intersections between multiple projects.

They have proved their worth time and again for me, and if you aren’t getting this from the apps you’re using, take a step back in time and pick up a whiteboard marker. It could be the beginning of very a successful partnership.

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