My Ideal Whiteboard Layout for Creative Projects
I love whiteboards. I imagine every surface in heaven is a whiteboard. But here in this fallen world, we only have a limited amount of whiteboard space, and so we must use it somewhat intentionally. After years and years of heavy whiteboard use and experimentation, I settled on a layout that works incredibly well for managing my creative projects.
I used to make a to-do list with checkboxes every morning when I came into work. Some items would take a few minutes to complete, and others might take several days or even several weeks. The problem, for me, came in those long term projects. I could work all day on an iPhone app and it still wouldn't be complete. No check in the box because the project was not finished. Of course, I had actually made progress! But this checkbox system didn't reflect that.
Checkboxes aren't very good indicators of a project's progress. They're binary. Completed or uncompleted. And no creative project is that simple.
So around August of last year, I set out to design a whiteboard layout that displayed progress as exactly that, a progression. I wanted to know the completed percentage of each project, which step the project was on, and about how much longer it had to go. The layout I designed consisted of a percentage bar, a status box, a backburner box, and space for idea development. It was exactly what I needed.
I ordered this 1/8 inch graph tape to add a bit of permanence to my layout. It made these beautiful straight lines that I can write and erase around without any smudging. I've used the tape on my glass whiteboard for about 6 months and it hasn't pealed off. Really good stuff!
This layout has been perfect. I'm able to closely keep track of each project's status and anyone else on our staff can come in my office and take a look as well. It has helped ensure that fewer details fall through the cracks and that I stay on task.
In fact, when I designed our online task management system for our creative team, my whiteboard layout was the basis. It's super simple and very helpful.