Quick capture solution for whiteboarders…

Your typical white board after some intense planning.

Your typical white board after some intense planning.

What did we do before whiteboards?  It’s hard to imagine some days.  Despite us supposedly entering an era of technology and the (eventual) paperless office – it seems that we always wind up going back to our most fundamental roots and start making the cave-drawings on the walls again.  The problem, of course, is after the meeting – and whatever poor schmuck is stuck with capturing the minutes after the fact.

Many of us try to capture the drawings as they are developed; or stay afterwards to draw what was left on the board (and hopefully make sense of it as well).
Embarrassingly enough a tech writer pointed out an ingenious (and admittedly obvious) solution; just use my digital camera.

At the time, digital cameras were still stand-alone items… but today with these cameras being incorporated into a variety of devices (including that cell phone that is probably permanently attached to your ear) – there is little excuse for not rapidly capturing your meeting cave-drawings.

Keep in mind the following however:

  • the flash may obscure some parts of your diagram; so take multiple shots (this is also good if you have a shaky hand)
  • you may need to take different shots – up close and some all encompassing – in order to get a clear picture of the work
  • don’t forget to erase the board when done – but only after checking to ensure your pictures are clear and usable

The extra advantage to this approach is that you only need attach the pictures to your meeting minutes/records of decisions you send out after – and may just get away without having to spend hours recreating diagrams in whatever presentation software your office uses.

Happy whiteboarding.

Author: Stephen Holton, PMP, CISSP, SSGB, ITIL, CD

After completing over twelve years service in the Canadian Armed Forces, Stephen moved to private industry where he was employed as a Director of Information Technology, Director of Operations and CIO for a number of private sector companies before finally electing to become an independent consultant in 2000. Since then he’s served as a management consultant, project/program manager and business analyst/solution architect in a number of industries and organizations - including a big-5 consulting firm. These industries and organizations have included the airline, railway, telecommunications and banking industries, the Canadian and US Governments, as well as mandates in Brazil and Bermuda. Presently Steve lives in Ottawa, Canada.

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