Enhance Your Home Office Using a Whiteboard

Thanks to technology, the comfort of working from home is not limited anymore to artists and writers. The Internet in combination with mobile communication technologies have made telecommuting possible even for jobs that we thought can’t be done if you don’t go to an office.

Instead, you have an office of your own, inside your home. But to ensure that you don’t get too relaxed that you’re being unproductive, you need to set up your home office in such a way that it’s conducive for work. One of the best tools you can get is a whiteboard.

Also called a magnetic whiteboard or wall dry erase board, it may not be a high-tech touchscreen, interactive interface but the white board has many uses that can enhance your home office. Here are some of them.

1) Listing Daily Tasks

Some people still do task management the classic, analog way – by writing to-do things down. A whiteboard is perfect for this purpose since it’s always visible from your workstation. Like your mom reminding you to do your chores. Admit it. That task manager app on your laptop or smartphone just doesn’t cut it because you can easily change your schedule at whim.

Having the tasks jotted down on a white board becomes a nagging, constant reminder of things you need to accomplish. Since your housemates also see the list on the magnetic dry erase board, it becomes a bit embarrassing if you’re leaving things undone in your list.

2) Pending List

A whiteboard is also a magnetic board. Well, at least most of them are. Using this magnetic feature of your white board, you can simply attach pending items like faxes, letters, receipts, and other paperwork. It’s a great way to declutter your desk while keeping those pending items within reach on your home office whiteboard. Just make sure that you get those knocked off as soon as possible. How? By making to-do lists on your whiteboard.

3) Message White Board

Not all members of the family are as tech-savvy as you’d want them to be. For them, Twitter is something birds do. Maximize the use of that white board by writing down little notes and reminders for them. You can allocate small sections on your whiteboard where family members can write down where they went and what time they’re coming back.

How about writing down grocery items you need on the white board? Each family member can even update the list when they get to buy some of the items or when the need for other items arises. This dynamic grocery list on your white board helps you save money and time.

4) Calendar

With Outlook and Google calendars easily accessible from mobile devices, many people ignore the simplicity and effectiveness of the whiteboard. It may not be as feature-rich as its digital counterparts but the magnetic dry erase board works well especially if you have housemates that are still analog-inclined.

Some people still prefer to do scheduling and note-taking using pen and planner. If you’re one of them, the white board will work perfectly for you. If you’re into blogging, you can use the whiteboard to schedule the release of your feature articles. Or you can plot vacations on your marker board with the family so that they don’t conflict with your regular work schedule.

5) Brainstorming

Mind-mapping applications are cool but most people still prefer to brainstorm using a more tactile medium like the white board. Designers will find the whiteboard handy during the drafting stage because they can make quick studies or sketches without wasting paper. Some may be intimidated by the thought of working directly on a blank piece of paper. Laying out the basic elements of the task on a white board makes starting the design project a bit less daunting.

Brainstorming with others? Using a whiteboard is actually better than doing it on an app because people are more familiar with using a dry-erase marker while providing their inputs. You also don’t have to figure out which button to press which is always a problem when you’re brainstorming using some software. You just write down your ideas on the magnetic whiteboard and erase them when you see fit.

6) Motivation Area

Visualization of any project or goal is important because you are constantly reminded of what you want to achieve. Some people work better with inspirational quotes and images surrounding them. Using a magnetic whiteboard, you can attach pictures of that dream car or that nice house, some witty inspirational quotes, or just a picture of your family to get you motivated and inspired.

The whiteboard is so versatile for this purpose because you can quickly write on it or just attach photos using magnetic buttons. You can even change these items on a regular basis so it doesn’t get boring.

7) Presentations

Creating a video or slideshow presentation using PowerPoint or any other presentation app requires skill and time to learn them. If you don’t have both or are just not inclined to digital presentations, you can do it on a whiteboard instead. It might even work better if you’re a good presenter. It’s all about the content and how it’s presented to the audience.

Having a whiteboard in your home office means you can lay out all the elements you need for your presentation and practice on how you should go about them. When the time comes to pitch your idea to a potential customer, it becomes more natural. This method of presentation isn’t limited to video blogs. You can also do this if you’re giving a video proposal or a quick presentation for an overseas customer, or while demonstrating a point in a video conference.

8) Contact List

Having a section on your white board dedicated to listing emergency numbers and for those people you constantly communicate with because of your work is a great idea. That way, you don’t need to go through the contacts list on your phone when you need to make that important call.

If you have a whiteboard that is big enough, you can do all of the above suggestions. While other people mock and laugh at old-school tools like the whiteboard, it still has its purpose in your home office if you just look hard enough and think out of the box.