My origin story is a bit long and involved (whose isn’t?), but I do remember discovering the importance of whiteboards to my thinking processes when I started building websites in the mid 1990s.
Early days back then (anyone here remember being called a ‘webmaster’?), so we didn’t have concepts like information architecture or content strategy to help us understand what we were learning, or blogs and YouTube videos to help us learn them from.
What we had were whiteboards, essentially a larger and improved version of the most creativity-enhancing technology duo known to Humanity: pencils and paper.
The blank sheet. Something you can invent on which won’t get in your way.
Sure, tools exist to help you refine ideas you’ve learnt from someone else. But if you want to truly be creative, get the largest whiteboard you can find and stick it to your wall. Splash your problems and ideas across it every day. And never wipe it entirely clean.
Because you’ll never know when two ideas will collide on it, reproduce and give birth to a solution — or a new problem — that you would never have even considered otherwise.
PS. If you don’t know him already, you’ll probably enjoy discovering the visual thinking work of John Caswell.