Chalkboard vs Dry Erase Board

After using my Kanban board for a couple of weeks, I decided I needed to go ahead and invest in a larger board so I could do a monthly overview. So, Mountain Man and I headed off to Hobby Lobby. I found a nice white board and was just about to pick it up when I noticed a nice, framed chalkboard. Now, I don’t know if it’s because I’m a school teacher or what, but I love chalkboards. I could picture how beautiful it would look with the brightly colored sticky notes shining against the black background. Hubby agreed, so we purchased it and a few more items and headed home.

I do not have an office in my home and have done most of my writing at the kitchen table or sitting on my bed or couch using a dining tray to hold my laptop. We have a desk in the corner of the living room for Mountain Man’s desktop computer, but the area became a ‘catch all’ and was not a place where I’d want to sit and write.

I’ve been on a mission since the New Year to declutter and organize my life. I told hubby it was time for him to clean his junky desk and let me have a designated place to write. So, we set about cleaning and organizing the area. Once we were finished, I dug out washi tape and divided the areas of my new Kanban board. Then Hubby hung my shiny, new board on the wall. At this point it was late and time for bed.

The next morning, I gathered all my sticky notes and set about doing my planning for the month. I got everything hung on the board, and we headed out to church. Imagine my surprise when we returned home and half of my sticky notes lay on the floor. Apparently, sticky notes do not adhere as well to a chalkboard as they do to a dry erase board. Lesson learned.

Now, what to do with my beautiful new chalkboard. That’s easy. Since I’m determined to become a better plotter and stop being so much of a pantser when it comes to writing, I’ve decided to make the chalkboard my Story Idea Board. I’ve divided out sections on the top for story ideas and  notes, and I’ve divided out sections on the bottom for my current WiP (work in progress). I specifically struggle with overall goal, motivation, and conflict for each character, so I added space for GMC points for each character, including the villain(s) in my stories.

IMG_5219Why, yes, those are sticky notes on my chalkboard! 😀 I did discover that the larger, lined, sticky notes adhere better than the regular sized sticky notes. I’m going to try using them, so I can assign a specific color to each character and change the GMC for each chapter as needed. If the sticky notes start giving me too much trouble, I’ll just use colored chalk and keep a notebook of changes as I go.

I didn’t take a before picture of the desk area (honestly, I would have been too embarrassed for you to have seen it), but here’s an after photo.

IMG_5231It’s still cluttered, but it’s a more organized clutter. I’m also not real happy with the placement of the shelf (another purchase from Hobby Lobby), but I think we’re going to add a second shelf that’s lower on the wall and  a little off center to try and improve the look. We’ll see how that goes. I’m definitely not a decorator, so it could end up looking worse.

So, for what it’s worth, if you’re looking for a board to use as a Kanban board (or anything that requires the use of a lot of sticky notes), you’d be better suited to stick 😉 with a dry erase board. If like me, you love the look of a chalkboard, be ready to make adjustments or use it for something other than a Kanban board.

8 thoughts on “Chalkboard vs Dry Erase Board

    • Haha. He was ready to throw the shelf out of the window. It was so much harder to hang than it should have been. I just can’t ask him to lower it now. That’s the main reason I’m going to look for a second shelf (one that’s easier to hang).

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  1. Rhonda, You Are Brilliant. I’m going to try something like this. BTW and FYI, I don’t have an office either. My husband and I share a desktop in the living room, where I do my newspaper work and my fiction. He doesn’t have a lot of stuff, so most of the desk is mine. But I can only use it when he’s not in the living room watching TV etc. Fortunately I’m old-school and like to line-edit on hard copy (with a red Pilot G2 pen), so I do a lot of my editing and rewriting off-line. I love your idea. I love office supplies, there is nothing like a new Pilot G2 or a fresh stack of legal pads, and I’ve been using PostIt notes since they came out. Hey, if we’re ever in the same place at the same time, let’s go to Staples!!!
    Kathy Bailey

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    • I always print out a hard copy for editing. Uses a lot of paper and ink when you’re talking about a 60k word novel, but I find it’s easier to catch mistakes. It also keeps my eyes from hurting as much as they would staring at a screen. Would love to go shopping at Staples with you! Buying office supplies is always fun.

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