I love whiteboards. They are perfect for getting down ideas quickly and sharing them with others. Here are two easy whiteboard solutions I use to sketch out ideas.
Clear Whiteboard ($15–$30)
Who said whiteboards have to be white? With a clear whiteboard, you can sketch in books without harming them or layer several sketches together. I had one made out of a durable sheet of polycarbonate plastic (11 x 14”, 3/8” thick with 1/2” radius corners). It has a nice weight to it like glass but it won’t shatter. I personally love using it with wet-erase chalk markers. They come in bright colors and you can draw sketches that don’t wipe away as soon as you put the board in your bag.
Whiteboard Table ($10)
Having a full table of sketch space is really freeing and it’s easy to make. Cheap 2’ x 4’ whiteboard stock can be cut to fit any desk giving you a full table to sketch on. Or you can divide the stock into several mini-boards that are cheap (under $1 each) and great for teaching.
/*UPDATE Nov 2016*/
I baked a batch of cookies recently. It seems disconnected. The recipe was from The Food Lab, in which J. Kenji López-Alt tests many parameters to come up with the “best” chocolate chip cookie recipe of all time.
Having made a batch of these cookies myself, I can confirm that they are quite good. Specifically, they are much better than my standby recipe, Toll House. However, they involve some effort: browning butter, chopping chocolate, chilling dough, weighing ingredients, cycling trays, etc. I found that while this process creates an exceptional cookie, I could eliminate some steps and make a batch that’s very good with less effort.
The same goes for these whiteboards. After spending several months tweaking the parameters, (like J. Kenji López-Alt, I may never be finished) I have found the writing surface matters far less to me compared to the writing implement. So, I would say spending the time getting a nice plastic slab to write on is less important than a nice pen. If the pen is lousy, the surface you write on isn’t going to matter.
That said, I still endorse getting a stock whiteboard sheet from the hardware store. It will change your desk experience. And go out and get some good pens. I would recommend the BIQ Magic Marker if you have a classic whiteboard or the EXPO Neon pens if you like drawing on any surface (they pop nicely on windows and mirrors, but some of the colors don’t work well on classic boards).
If you are curious, I like to modify the Toll House recipe only slightly. It’s easy, but it makes a world of difference.
(1) Refrigerate the dough overnight if you can. No big deal.
(2) Use dark brown sugar. Dark. Always. Did you try it? You're welcome.