Do you also enjoy working with that incredible tool called whiteboard?
Do you also enjoy working with that incredible tool called whiteboard?

Something missing in my life is that huge blank canvas and a marker in my hand. And a team around it to draft ideas and be creative. A tiny love letter to whiteboards. ๐Ÿ’Œ

Recently I stumbled upon this quite long list of thoughts of someone on Reddit:

Drunk Post: Things I've learned as a Sr Engineer

I find it quite interesting, many items resonate with me. Of course, there are also things I disagree with, and when you read it you will probably, too.

But I think there are some items worth spending more than just a second or two.

And one of them was something I felt and feel too hard right now: the lack of whiteboards and the collaborative effects which come with them. Yet as most reasonable companies should do, I work from home and see my coworkers only virtually.

Now people mentioned it in the comments of that reddit post, and we also do in our team and organization: there are tools like Miro, which are basically digital whiteboards and canvases to brainstorm, create, think, draft, work together. But to be fair I feel the same as the author, it is simply not the same for me.

  • Using a computer, a mouse, a keyboard is not the same as standing in front of a whiteboard with a pen in your hand.
  • Collaborating virtually via video conferencing and a swarm of cursors on a digital board is not the same as standing in front of a whiteboard with your coworkers.

Miro is a great tool and it helps me to digitalize my brain dump, but it cannot 100 % replace the look and feel I want, I need for the first step of my creative process. I still use pen and paper to scribble and write things down before they enter a computer, I have plenty of sticky notes around my monitor. I even have tiny, portable whiteboard plates, though I don't use them as often as I'd like to.

And being in the same room with my colleagues, scribbling, connecting, erasing, and throw around ideas is something no digital tool has satisfiably replicated for me.

So yes, I miss office life, and one of the reasons is this kind of collaboration. And no, I am not asking anyone to even try to reproduce this digitally and virtually, I simply want to go to a physical place, stand in front of this physical board, hold a real marker in my in hand, smell the chemicals from it, embrace the haptics and the feels โ€ฆ and most importantly enjoy this moment with my team mates.

I'm looking forward to a world, where all of this is possible again.

I hope, nobody asks me how I feel about whiteboard interviews โ€ฆ