Black Dry Erase Board

As a writer, I use a whiteboard as a catch all. From important dates to writing targets, to witty lines that I’ll undoubtedly find less witty when I get around to adding them to my manuscript, a whiteboard is like flypaper for my scattered mind. I’ve written about my whiteboard before here. There’s just one problem. I’d grown sick of using it.

Before I dove into the land of writing, I was a teacher and as such, used a whiteboard daily. I love the dry erase format but my office whiteboard seemed to function as a constant work reminder rather than an inspiration board like I had intended. It was almost as if it was standing over my shoulder with a coffee cup asking for my TPS reports. I just couldn’t take it any more. I needed something different but something that could still serve the same function.

I’d seen black dry erase boards online and had been pining over them for months. There was something about the bright neon writing on the stark, black background that just seemed right. Each note, an idea shining through the aether rather than jotted down on dirty white page. Here in Switzerland black dry erase boards are very hard to come by and world wide, they’re stupidly expensive. I spent a couple of months trying to justify the expense until one day I decided to put on my MacGyver mullet (figuratively, of course) and get inventive. (more…)

Once upon a time in a land across the sea, I lived a different life and earned my bread as a teacher. There are many quick, useful, and above all cheap tricks of the trade that I gathered along the way but one that has translated well into my writery endeavours has been electrical tape.

And before you even ask. No, it’s not for researching a torture scene.

Electrical tape alone won’t do much for a writer outside of fixing a broken pencil or inspiring yourself by making a stick on Poe mustache. However, if you apply said electrical tape to every writer’s favorite office eyesore, the whiteboard, it’s a game changer. Well, really it’s a minor fix to a minor problem. But wait until you try it. At that point the skies will open and a T-Rex on a dirt bike will do a double backflip over the heavenly rays shining down on your new awesome whiteboard. Or you’ll just feel satisfied with your work. You know, either/or.

Big charts on whiteboards have endless uses. Easy to see, impossible to avoid, I use mine to track the hours spent doing various writing tasks. Also I use it to chart how often I work out. Please ignore the X below. Monday was a busy day. I really should have gone to the gym but I was cleaning up the house and rearranging some furniture and you know how hard life is.

ANYWAY, a chart made solely of dry erase marker ends up being redrawn over and over and over and over and… As a teacher, I’d die a little inside every time my eraser clipped the edge of a carefully drawn box.

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I discovered, while making a grid for my classroom schedule, that electrical tape makes awesome straight lines, it never erases, and unlike duck tape (look up the history you “duct” devotees) it doesn’t leave behind any of that ungodly ectoplasm. You can take it off, rearrange it, restick it. or start fresh and the white board will always be good as new.

This may be old news to some but if not, give it a shot. Electrical tape is cheap and can often be found collecting dust at your local dollar store.