Unlikely Marketing Tools: Personal Whiteboard

July 24, 2018

By Chris Franks

Personal Whiteboard

Today’s topic: the personal whiteboard. It seems like people want need to stay inside the digital ecosystem these days. You get messages, you create to-do lists, you write blogs, and edit html files in a text editor, share files on Google Drive or something similar… we’re always online.

I’m not that person. Sometimes, I have to write things down in a more tangible, tactile way. I’m not talking about some notebook with hundreds of pages of notes, although that can work. No, I want something I can share with my colleague next to me, then 5 seconds later erase it and start over. I like being able to draw out my ideas and without having to fire up some application like Gimp or Inkscape.

What I want is a personal whiteboard. More specifically, I want a whiteboard I can keep on my desk next to this computer.

personal whiteboard list

My whiteboard to-do list

A Portable Whiteboard

A whiteboard doesn’t seem like all that of an unlikely marketing tool. However, a personal, portable whiteboard is. The traditional whiteboard is large, barely mobile and usually in use only during meetings and brainstorms. This is fine, but it’s not what I was looking for. Until…

The boss lady brought in something that at first seemed like a kids toy: a set of small square whiteboards. I thought we were going to be doing nothing but drawing cartoon characters and writing fake news on them. What it turned out to be is something quite different.

The Unlikely Marketing Tool

You may be asking yourself, “How this could possibly be an unlikely marketing tool? I mean, every marketer uses a whiteboard. It’s common sense!” While that may be true, marketers don’t all use a portable whiteboard like the ones we’ve been using. I’m talking about one that can be at your desk or on your arm while you’re presenting your latest ‘Got Milk?’ ripoff ad for that new client you just signed. Or one that can be placed on a wall with other squares and be used as a rearrangeable workflow setup. One that can be used as a weapon if need be.

Or just one that can be your own personal whiteboard, to be used for anything and everything.

Only Time Has Told

It’s been several months since we got these portable whiteboards at our office. In this time, they have become an indispensable tool for us and for me. It has become very easy and fun to use the boards for all types of marketing activities. Alternatively, they’re good to use as fans in the summer or makeshift hats or ways to plot our world domination ideas.

personal whiteboard project I.C.E

My devious Project I.C.E

Yes, we still draw cartoons on them, but for the most part, my office mates and I use them to help us keep track of things we need to do, want to do and our usual rotation of drive-by tasks. I use them to get thoughts and ideas out of my head. This is going to sound weird, but the very act of writing with a utensil instead of a keyboard is very satisfying to me. It’s probably due to the fact that I wrote everything by hand most of my childhood and in my adult life, most of my writing is done almost exclusively done on a computer. I feel like physically writing things down even helps me be more creative.

At times, I find myself staring at them, imagining all the rotten ways I could be using them. For example: reflecting the sun onto someone else’s eyes. Or I could be writing fake news on someone else’s board. Or, when the devil has me in his grasps, I will write the name of other marketing agencies on them and leave them out in the open just to see what the reaction around the office is like (you know, normal stuff).

I came up with an interesting use for these portable whiteboards. It turns out I can stack the clear layers on top of each other, much like transparent sheets. I can then draw on each layer individually, kinda like using layers in Gimp or (god forbid) Photoshop.

Now, It’s about high time I take my personal whiteboard, and ride off into the sunset.