Cities and suburbs, real and imaginary.

Monday, March 21, 2011

on white boards

one day, desiring a larger presence of organization in my life, I walked over to the store and bought the largest white board I could carry home with two hands.

My life spins around it, now. I list progress on projects. I list the household chores I want to accomplish, and important phone numbers and dates. It's like outsourcing the part of my brain that keeps track of all the proverbial things and putting it up on the wall.

The biggest one you can get is what you need. List out your pending projects, and your progress on them. List out the daily to-do list. Put it all up there. Put the board next to the kitchen where you get your coffee. While the coffee is brewing you can look at it, adjust it, and plan your day.

I started doing this while I had a day job and it was an immediate and dramatic improvement to my writing life. Now that I'm just freelancing it is an indispensable tool. It's more than just having a to-do list, because it integrates into your entire list of obligations and projects. It keeps it all out in one spot where you can easily visually digest everything.

If I had J.K. rowling money, I'd line all the walls of the house with whiteboard material, and litter all the walls with magnetic pens. Who decided that our walls were to be wooden and incapable of being writ-upon except in permanence? I don't recall anyone asking me what kind of wall we should make everyone have. If we all had whiteboard walls, we could draw on them. Our kids could draw on them. We could leave notes for each other, and ourselves. We could make lists everywhere. We could throw our confusion onto the walls of our home, so we don't have to carry it with us anymore, in our heads. We can unload it upon a space and review it at the appropriate times to keep the rest of our life on track.

Build me a house out of whiteboard.


Anonymous said...

You should just paint your walls with chalkbard paint! Then you could list to your hearts content. This would be terrible for me because I would spend all my time listing what I need to get done, get overwhelmed and then cry myself to sleep but I admit that I may take listing to the extreme lol.

Terra LeMay said...

4' x 8' sheets of whiteboard cost about $10 at home depot. (I happened to buy a couple yesterday, for a project.) It's the cheapest sort of paneling short of unpainted low-grade plywood or chipboard, and it's possible it's cheaper than drywall, when you figure in the cost of tape, paint, and joint compound.

Now that I've discovered the price is so reasonable, I'm wondering if I could buy more sheets and laminate it to both sides of all my interior doors (which were damaged when we bought the house, and we've never replaced them).