Life & much, much more

I love whiteboards.

Although it might seem like an awkward title (perhaps even shit-worthy), but I have felt the need to profess how amazing they are.

A long time back when I was still in Malaysia, I owned a little corkboard panel which I used to pin up those important forms I would always lose, and occasionally use it to map out ideas for projects. After moving to Australia, where their customs wasn’t too happy about bringing over wood, it was a while until I used such a board again. When I did, however, it had taken up a newer purpose – as a pin-up of my half-finished, terrible works that were going to be binned. I called it the “motivation-board” – something I would look at and realise which projects had potential and which didn’t, and drive myself towards completing the ones that did. I added stuff quite frequently to that board – which shows a little bit about the easy come, easy go nature of some of my micro projects.

After an academic year was over, I spent the winter in Shanghai where I again lost access to such a board. As I slowly found time to slip into my “work on my projects” groove, I picked up a slightly distorted square A4 book which served as a journal to jot down ideas and work out design problems. It was better than nothing, but lacked the “overview” quality that boards have.

However after moving again early this year back in Australia, I decided to get my board back. I walked over to an Officeworks, right past the chipboards and into the whiteboards section. I bought a decently large one and took it home.

That was when I realised the differences between these boards.

  • The pin-up board is good as a consumption device – a long-term overview of your work.
  • The journal is an on-the-go device, but divides your ideas into very linear and isolated chunks.
  • The whiteboard, at least when I use it, is a absolute gold device for short-term brain-dribble visualisation which makes it a dedicated creation device. There is no consume on a whiteboard. It’s a develop and iterate tool. It’s what I really needed from the very beginning.

So much for noteslate and courier.

Dion Moult

I've been developing software for well over 10 years, work as an architect (not the computer kind, the regular sort), and am classically trained as a pianist. I try to do the right thing when I get the chance in my field, such as through contributing to open-source communities and promoting sustainable living.

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  1. But how do you preserve the whiteboard ideas visualizations – especially the good ones? Do you copy them down on a piece of paper or on to the computer, or maybe even photograph them?

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