This week I was in a meeting with Myron Campbell, an MAA student at Emily Carr. Myron runs Draw by Night, a drawing party that happens every other month in Vancouver (and now, Calgary). Myron had an awesome DBN sticker on his laptop that looked like a dry erase board surrounded by a groovy border; I thought it was for drawing and erasing. I was only half right: since it wasn’t a laminated surface, it was a 1-time-only drawing opportunity.
But that got me to thinking. As a whiteboard addict who is rendered virtually mute in the absence of an erasable drawing surface, what if I could take the surface with me. So here’s what I came up with as a first try:
Aesthetically, it’s no triumph. For one thing, I write like a monkey. And for another, the sticker itself is a bit rough around the edges (literally) because I made it by cutting the border off a very flowery dry erase wall decal. Some better options:
- Something that comes pre-cut, like these 9″ x 12″sheets or 7 x 5.75 sheets.
- Creating dry erase stickers with groovy borders by printing onto a high-gloss, self-adhesive paper like:
- A custom-printed sticker from gelaskins. I’m pretty sure they’d be shiny enough to erase, and you could leave the center part blank and just put something interesting around the edge.
- Replacing my red translucent Macbook shell with a clear shell, and just writing directly on that….though I’m not sure black-on-silver will be readable.
Of course the biggest drawback will be smudging. I don’t think I’ll be able to stick this in my briefcase unless I’ve snapped and erased it first. (My blog post for tomorrow, on 12 awesome dry erase products and tips, will offer a few hints on digitizing whiteboards.)
I plan on using my laptop whiteboard to:
- Doing quick mind maps as a brainstorming technique while writing in a café.
- Letting my fellow café-dwellers know that I don’t
want to be interrupted.
- Jotting down a phone number or reminder when I can’t find a piece of paper.
- Quick and very rough wireframing: mapping out a web site’s major sections and pages.
- Diagramming an idea I’m discussing with a colleague.
- Making a quick note on the airplane when we’re still in “no electronics” mode.
- Promoting the SIM Centre (if we create branded
dry erase stickers).
- Telling people how to find the links I’m sharing in a powerpoint presentation.
But the very best use is what my daughter did while I wrote this post:
First posted on November 8,2010