Whiteboards and Post-Its are great for organizing thoughts, capturing ideas, and getting everyone on the same page, but in public spaces (like makerspaces) they frequently get erased or tampered with, despite any "Don't Erase!" warnings. For project teams working week-to-week, losing the spatial positioning of post-its and notes can hurt productivity. Students often take photos of whiteboards at the end of each work session to ensure that their work isn't completely lost, but zooming in on that image on a tiny phone screen later isn't ideal either.

This Thinkboard idea is an attempt to create a flexible, portable, and private whiteboard that can be stored safely in makerspaces without fear of tampering. When a project team is done for the day, they should be able to fold up their board (post-its, taped pictures, and sketches included) and store it safely elsewhere in the space. Ideally, the board should also facilitate better organization and allow for material storage.

Possible components

Jacob's ladder wall

Think Board is a film you can place on walls or tables to turn them into whiteboards.

IdeaPaint is a paint coating that can be applied to walls or other surfaces to turn them into whiteboards. They also make a "Pivot" dry erase board that can be flipped vertically or horizontally like a table.

Some people have created tri-fold dry erase boards using shower board from Lowes. It seems as though covering a lightweight foam board in either IdeaPaint or film would be similar, but much lighter. There's a wiki page on the topic here.

Design requirements

  • The ability to "close", protecting the board's info from being rubbed off or tampered with
  • Storage for at least 4 markers and an eraser, and possibly extra Post-Its, paper, and pens/pencils
  • Lightweight enough to carry comfortably around a room
  • Placeable on a table or flat against a wall