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Anyone still use a Whiteboard? If so how do you use it and is it actually that useful? Or do you prefer paper instead?

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closed as not constructive by Robert Harvey, Yannis Rizos Feb 29 '12 at 5:43

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It depends - brainstorming with colleagues, yes. Thinking on your own, probably not. –  ChrisF Feb 13 '11 at 15:18
I just noticed I have the accepted answer on both of those. Odd. Anyways, yes a duplicate of one or the other. –  Josh K Feb 13 '11 at 15:25
I have several whiteboards at home. I love my whiteboards. –  Spoike Mar 5 '12 at 21:25

6 Answers 6

up vote 12 down vote accepted

Depends. Definitely the whiteboard for brainstorming with others, or for explaining stuff to a group. Even for thinking on your own, the whiteboard can be useful, because it is easy to erase. Paper is better if you want to make notes to look over later.

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Whiteboard can be large. Where I work, we have a whole conference room painted with "whiteboard paint". I can always take a picture of it with my 8MP phone's camera. –  Job Feb 13 '11 at 16:43
I have a folder named "whitebaord" in "my pictures" for just this reason. –  Chris Nava Feb 14 '11 at 5:35

Like Dima said, it really depends on longetivity. But I very much prefer having a whiteboard and a camera (for capturing things for long-term storage and reference).

I feel the biggest advantage of a whiteboard is that it is easy to change things that you've written down repeatedly. Eventually, paper gets "worn out" by erasure marks and becomes hard to read. Whiteboards are easier to clean during a single session of use. Plus, if you have a larger whiteboard, multiple people can be writing at the same time (kind of hard to do that with standard sheets of paper).

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I find that I remember what I was thinking when creating a drawing better if I store pictures of hand drawn ideas vs. finished Visio drawings. –  Chris Nava Feb 14 '11 at 5:37

I dont know what you consider old but i'm 25 and i dont change my whiteborad for anything. Generally is useful when brainsortming but, i've come to realize that using diagrams (like graphs or bend) to splash my ideas about a problem and looking at the big picture (in both senses) make it easy for me to understand it.

This is my persona experience and i dont mean that it could help others but nevertheless, its worth trying.

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Yes and Yes

also: napkins, the back of envelopes, post-it notes, chalkboards, sidewalks, and any other handy writing surface, when necessary

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I love whiteboards. They're good for fast idea writing, flow charts, block diagrams.

They're great for reminding me of things when seeing them every moment. They're also nice for reminding others what you are in to, so that they deliver what may be stopping you for continuing with a piece of work. And then they look smart :D

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I can't do without my whiteboard! –  Andrew Nov 2 '12 at 19:00

It really depends on what you like. Sometimes a paper is better (writing at a wall can be tedious) but sketching something out can be great on a whiteboard.

However, I can agree with one sentiment: there is a place for analog notes, simply as it is easier to sketch around on them, connect things with arrows, etc. Things that would take an aweful lot of time on a computer. Also helps you to get your mind away from the computer and doing something with your hands which can also help imagine the problem better.

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