What to do with a brand new whiteboard?
February 21, 2018 7:29 AM   Subscribe

How do you like to use your whiteboard?

I just installed a huge, 6'x4' whiteboard in my office. I work from home, as a Program Manager for a software company if that's important. I did see this question, but I suspect there's enough of a difference to warrant another shot here. No one can see this board but my wife and kid (and the letter carrier if she peeks in the window) so I can put my deepest, darkest secrets here!

The board awesome, but I feel like there's all kinds of stuff that I could be doing with it that I'm not - I'm not using the white board's true potential! So far, I've just been jotting down my goals for the day.

Other than the normal brainstorming type stuff, what else could I be doing with my whiteboard?
posted by Geckwoistmeinauto to Work & Money (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Four boxes.

-long term projects/goals
-daily projects/goals/tasks (list begun as part of ending your previous day)
-notes to yourself during each day (call Amy back, reference for project B is on pg. 147)
-random doodles and notes not about work
posted by Night_owl at 8:00 AM on February 21, 2018 [3 favorites]

I use mine as a personal kanban board with post its - to do (backlog), doing (current work), and done. At the end of the week/day, it's easy to see what progress is being made and what I need to adjust to get things flowing across. You can get fancy with the post-its if you want, using color or size for difficulty of task (little ones are easy one and done, medium are more involved, large are time-consuming or complex) so it's easier to fill whatever time you have available appropriately (e.g. not starting difficult tasks when you only have 20 mins before another meeting).
posted by OneSmartMonkey at 8:01 AM on February 21, 2018 [2 favorites]

It's best for things that change quickly, because the best thing about whiteboards is that they are erasable and visible (unlike an electronic document). Also good for brainstorming, so you can draw diagrams and outlines easily.

At my work, I use it to track assignments I make to other people, which change daily. I also have a dry-erase two-month wall calendar, so I can see what workload looks like at a glance. If you have a lot of deadlines you might consider a calendar setup of some kind.

I use wet-erase markers for things that don't change as often, and dry erase for things that do.
posted by emjaybee at 8:22 AM on February 21, 2018

Mine aren't productivity related except in the "a happy worker is a productive worker" sense:

Countdown to things you're looking forward to. Write "12 days till $fun thing" and change the number of days remaining when you first start work for the day.

Fun whiteboard art, or better still, evolving communal art with your wife and kid if they're into that sort of thing. Start off with a theme and everybody can add to it when it takes their fancy. Eg draw a big top and clowns, then someone adds in jugglers, another adds in a trapeze artist swinging down to grab a ball from the jugglers and so on. Keep going until the space allocated for art is filled then wipe it and start something else.

Humourous, inspirational or thought provoking quotes or song lyrics.
posted by pianissimo at 8:30 AM on February 21, 2018

I work in software development too.

Keep a running list of work accomplishments and milestones reached in your projects. So often in development it feels like nothing is being accomplished and no progress is being made because [reasons], so having a visual reminder of how far you have come can be super helpful.

Similarly, keeping a list of the major milestones for the project, crossing them off as you hit them, is very helpful.

There is a lot of frustration and ridiculousness that goes on in software development. Keep a tally of various ridiculous things such as:
- how many meetings you definitely didn't need to be part of but were included anyway for some odd reason
- how many times you face palmed during a meeting
- how many times the client got grumpy over you failing to deliver something they never asked for

I am always a fan of maintaining some sort of funny quote board, so that the whiteboard isn't just "work work work", it also includes something that makes you smile.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 9:36 AM on February 21, 2018

On the vein of a 'X days since last accident' tracker you'd see in a warehouse, maybe count something fun, like X Hugs from #child. Or depending on kid's age, you could do a contest with them of Books Read or something like that.
posted by hydra77 at 9:58 AM on February 21, 2018

I have a whiteboard at home and we used whiteboard tape to create a calendar. It's great for tracking the different things we have going on different days.
posted by Apoch at 10:17 AM on February 21, 2018

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