When I became a principal, the first thing I did to my office was take down the giant whiteboard behind my desk.
I’m an iPad guy, no doubt about it. No one wants school leaders to take advantage of cutting-edge technology more than yours truly.
So you might be surprised to see my Tech Tuesday recommendation: The Noteboard.
As great as the iPad is, it’s not perfect for everything. I have mind-mapping apps, and whiteboard apps, and even then great new Drafts app for when I want to quickly jot down some ideas, then decide where to send them.
But sometimes, you just want to write.
Notes during phone calls.
A whiteboard is great for all of this, except…whiteboards are huge. They’re not very portable. And everyone who comes in your office can see what you’ve written.
I have a medium-sized whiteboard that I can pull out for brainstorming, but I don’t like using it because it takes up so much space on my desk. And I’m certainly not going to carry it with me around the building.
The Noteboard isn’t much more than a 7 x 5 grid of index cards, laminated together, but it’s amazing how useful it is. I can keep it mostly folded on my desk next to my computer, so only a 2 x 5 grid of cards shows at once.
This gives me plenty of space to write on, and I can easily flip to a different set of cards for more space or to hide something private.
And if I want to take it with me, it folds down to about 1″x3″x5″ and has its own cloth bag, which doubles as an eraser. Not bad for $12 (available from Amazon).
If you’re interested in a bunch of them, you can contact the creator directly for much cheaper bulk purchases. I would recommend this over making your own, even if you have a laminator, because the Noteboard is actually cut from a single large sheet of cardstock, with little “hinges” left between the panels, so it’s very durable.
From a productivity standpoint, I like that the Noteboard is big enough to get me through a day of messages and thinking (with a total of 70 3″x5″ spaces to write in), but the fact that I need to erase it periodically keeps me from just accumulating a bunch of stuff that I’m never going to act on. I have a bit of time to let stuff accumulate, but not so much that I fall too far behind on adding things to my electronic to-do list or notes.
What apps or tools do you use to quickly jot notes or brainstorm?