My father loved to write crap down. He’d dream up some idea or another, and he’d jot it down in one of a half-dozen little notebooks he used to carry around with him. I remember one time as a kid when I asked him about something, and to answer me he produced one of his older notebooks. Hell, I can’t remember what it was I asked. But I clearly remember him ruffling through page after page of drawings and scribbles, trying to find the answer. He paused on one page, which contained a crude (but surprisingly precise) drawing of a suitcase with two different kinds of wheels on it. “I really should’ve done something about that,” he said, tacitly suggesting he’d scooped the originator’s patent.
I tried to emulate him over the years, carrying around various cheap ringed notebooks like the ones he always stuck in his back pocket. The first real success I had at keeping a notebook long enough to reference it for information over a couple weeks old was with Moleskines. Since 2008 or so, though, I’ve gone mostly digital, snapping phone pics and doodling in various versions of electronic note-keeping apps.
I’d love to tell you that one or the other of these methods is the complete awesome, but really they each offer some advantages — and significant disadvantages. One size definitely doesn’t fit all. So in classic Toolmonger form, I’m going to run down some of the options I’ve tried so far. If you find one that really works for you (or if you have better ideas than mine!) please share in comments. I’ll be watching.
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We have a big-ass whiteboard in the Toolmonger office, and it’s often a centerpiece for creative work. There’s nothing nicer than having lots of space to spread out a group’s ideas and kick them around visually. So when it comes to whiteboards, bigger is indeed better. But what if you want to turn an entire wall into a whiteboard? Sure, people have been doing this for a while now, but it’s been more the sort of thing you’d see a startup blow VC money on than something you could do at home or in a small business environment. Thankfully, that’s changed.
We found a couple of pretty good-looking options, which we present here from the most expensive to the least.
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