A whiteboard is an essential component of brainstorming sessions in a multitude of places such as schools, offices, and businesses. They’re extremely helpful for groups as well as for individuals to keep a track of tasks and progress in fast-paced environments. The way you can change things rapidly on the board reflects the pace of work in the modern world and never hinders progress on important tasks.
Modern businesses greatly encourage team participation and push employees to come up with their own ideas. A whiteboard can help bring a sense of personalization and tangibility to the task as we write on the board with our own hands. It gives a greater sense of ownership to the idea, similar to how we care more about a handwritten letter from someone rather than an email.
Whiteboards have been a staple of the office environment for a long time now and for good reason. The simplicity of use removes any barrier for entry completely, allowing anyone to start using it without a second thought. It is an extension of what we have been doing since we were a child, but more ephemeral in nature. It is more forgiving than paper and handier than notes on a computer.
So, now that we’ve established the benefits of having a whiteboard, it is essential to consider a few very important factors before buying one. These factors will help you determine the kind of whiteboard you would need for you to accomplish your specific tasks, for a long time to come.
The Important Factors
The very first thing you should be considering when buying a whiteboard is the surface. There is a huge variety of surfaces available in the market. The most common are melamine dry wipe, magnetic and vitreous enamel steel.
The most basic variant of the whiteboard surface is the melamine surface. It offers a simple, smooth surface that can be wiped. It serves most basic purposes and should be sufficient for most applications.
The next best option is the magnetic surface. It is similar to the melamine surface with the obvious difference being that you can use magnets to stick notes and reminders on the board itself. This improves visibility and also makes it easier to store a magnetic duster. Thus, the magnetic duster doubles your whiteboard into a notice board.
Now comes the vitreous enamel steel surface which can be considered the best in the class of whiteboard surfaces. It offers everything the magnetic surface offers with the addition of it being able to withstand extreme wear and tear. These surfaces usually come with a 25 year guarantee, ensuring you won’t have to look for another whiteboard for a very long time.
The next important consideration on your list should be the size of the whiteboard. This is determined by where you intend to place the whiteboard and what purpose it would be used for.
Schools generally place whiteboards in classrooms and therefore require a smaller size whereas offices prefer larger sizes to ensure there is enough room to work with during brainstorming sessions. Home usage also usually requires smaller sizes unless for a specific purpose.
Thus, it is important to decide on a size that fits the purpose as well as the location for the board.
The factor of mobility comes into play usually when you intend to use the whiteboard for presentation purposes. Now, the trade-off for mobility in most cases is durability. In order to make the whiteboard more mobile, manufacturers typically cut corners with the frame and overall sturdiness of the board.
Keep these factors in mind when purchasing a mobile whiteboard and pick the one that suits your overall needs.
The frame of the whiteboard may not be as important a factor to consider when compared to the surface or the size, but is an essential factor in determining the longevity of the whiteboard in usage.
An aluminium frame is the best and also the most common frame you can find in the market. But some manufacturers, in order to reduce prices, provide a plastic frame with an aluminium finish. These are cheaply made and do not last anywhere near as long.
There is also an aesthetic element to be considered. Try looking for a whiteboard with a colored or wooden frame to match the decor or look of the room it is to be placed in if necessary.
The last but definitely not the least important factor to be considered is how you would want to fix the whiteboard in its place of use. This is most crucial in the cases where the whiteboard is going to be mounted on a wall. It is essential to fix it properly to avoid any untoward accidents.
Fixing the board in the corners is the best way to go, but there are other methods depending on your specifications, like rail and hanging systems.
It is generally accepted though that hanging it like a picture frame with a single point of suspension is a bad idea as there is a high risk of accidents.
Whiteboards are still an essential part of home, office, and educational use. They give us a place to note down reminders and things of interest quickly and in a fun manner. They provide unique benefits that offer a sense of reality and tangibility in a world that is quickly moving towards becoming one of an ephemeral and digital nature. We all enjoy doodling away the random thoughts that enter into our minds. Whiteboards provide the biggest and easiest medium to express those thoughts that have no particular form or shape.
Whiteboards have stood the test of time and will continue to do so, as long as there are people who take joy in writing down their ideas on a blank, white surface, and seeing the ideas in their own handwriting transform into something more than delirious scribbles from a burst of creativity.