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Low Tech Paperless Solution - Whiteboards


Just an example that your paperless tools don’t ALL have to be high tech, For over two years now I’ve employed the services of a simple whiteboard in my home office as a paperless capture device for anything from on-the-fly personal reminders to capturing ‘need to know’ information given over the phone (you know the information that is preceded by the question ‘have you got a pen handy?’).

I also use the whiteboard to temporarily capture information that, for whatever reason, I cannot quickly or conveniently add to my electronic devices i.e. I’m just on the way out of the door.  I also do a lot of brainstorming while I’m in the bath (it’s one of the best places for me to do so). Unfortunately the bathroom is of course a place where our electronic devices aren’t too much at home and prone to mishaps so I use a small metal whiteboard (from Ikea’s BITS range) which is big enough to mindmap on. I guess if you have white (or light coloured) ceramic tiles around your bath or shower then you could use this as a temporary whiteboard (not sure your wife/mother would approve though).

What I’m still looking for though is a more portable lightweight whiteboard solution (than my metal one) that comes in some kind of case/folder and would be suitable for carrying around for use in places where my TabletPC or PDA aren’t practical i.e. on the bus. Any suggestions?

Of course from an eco-friendly point of view the use of chemically laden whiteboard markers is a problem but thankfully there ARE loads of eco-friendly whiteboard markers available out there (I use eco-friendly whiteboard markers from The Natural Collection here in the UK)

As a consequence of whiteboard use I (and my family) have successfully omitted the ubiquitous use of Post-It notes, scraps of paper left on the fridge door, notes written on the back of envelopes and a myriad of other paper based practises. So as you see paperless tools don’t all have to be cutting edge pieces of technology.


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How do you handle shopping lists and such - data that needs to be portable? I just can't see myself whipping out my (soon-to-be) precious tablet in the midst of the grocery store to remind myself that we need eggs...

~emily, an aspiring-to-be-paperless environmental journalism student in the states

Hey Emily,
Your absolutely right - 'whipping out' a tablet in the middle of a bustling grocery store is asking for trouble (funny you should mention this because only yesterday over at the Buzz forums a guy recommended this as a use for a TabletPC..cue horrified look :-0 ). For Tablet unfriendly scenarios like these I switch over to my Palm PDA. It's a bit long in the tooth now (Zire 71) but it still performs the task well (pics of it in Pt. 2 of my tour of Bagus Gadgetus). Especially for shopping I make use a great (free) piece of software for the Palm too called HandyShopper.
Anyway thanks for asking the question. I'm impressed that your aspiring for paperless nirvana too AND even more importantly that your an aspiring environmental journalist. It's great connecting with people who can make a REAL difference.
Take Care

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