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    There's no shortage of whiteboarding apps and tools that give teams a simple online space to collaborate and share documents in real time, but few of them provide screenshot and comment tools, multi-user editing, and iPad optimization the way that Conceptboard does. More »

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    Chrome: Google just launched its new Google+ Hangout extensions in beta, including its drawing app, Sketchpad, but Conceptboard takes it a considerable step further and adds full whiteboarding support. More »

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    Last week a whiteboard saved a conference. Or, at least, a whiteboard saved me from myself and my dramatically underdeveloped delegation skills. By forcing myself to fill every inch of space, to act like a misbehaved child facing a freshly-painted wall, I turned dozens of draft-only emails into realistic goals. More »

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    If you don't have space near your desk to hang a whiteboard, why not turn your entire desk surface into one? Frank Denneman did, and the results are impressive. Best of all, he didn't have to do a lot of work—all he needed was the right table-top and legs for the desk and he was all done. More »

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    Conceptboard Offers Whiteboarding and Collaboration Features For The Desktop and The iPad

    There's no shortage of whiteboarding apps and tools that give teams a simple online space to collaborate and share documents in real time, but few of them provide screenshot and comment tools, multi-user editing, and iPad optimization the way that Conceptboard does.

    Conceptboard allows you to upload files directly to the board, invite others to view and work on a document or image with you in real time, and lets those other users comment and share their thoughts while working. You can also use the service as a workshop and turn on "presentation mode," which will disable editing features until the leader turns them back on. The service also works perfectly on the iPad, so even workers on the go can chime in and participate.

    Conceptboard is free for up to 25 boards. Pro accounts ($8/month) offer unlimited boards, password protection, and SSL encryption. Enterprise accounts ($25/user per month) includes both extended features and adds corporate messaging support.

    Conceptboard Offers Whiteboarding and Collaboration Features For The Desktop and The iPad

    Conceptboard | via GigaOm


    You can reach Alan Henry, the author of this post, at alan@lifehacker.com, or better yet, follow him on Twitter.


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    Conceptboard for Chrome Adds Google+ Enabled Whiteboards

    Chrome: Google just launched its new Google+ Hangout extensions in beta, including its drawing app, Sketchpad, but Conceptboard takes it a considerable step further and adds full whiteboarding support.

    The extension sits invisible in Chrome until you start a hangout in Google+, after which you'll be able to hit the Conceptboard button to start collaborating with others. We rather liked the webapp and iPad versions of Conceptboard, and the Google+ integration makes it easier to work with friends and coworkers.

    Better still, you don't need a Google+ account to join and work on the board. When you're finished, your work will be saved over on Conceptboard's main site. It's still in beta, but its a free download and didn't pose any major issues for us.

    Conceptboard for Google+ | Chrome Web Store via TechCrunch


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    How a Whiteboard Helped a Terrible Delegator Keep a Team On-Task

    Last week a whiteboard saved a conference. Or, at least, a whiteboard saved me from myself and my dramatically underdeveloped delegation skills. By forcing myself to fill every inch of space, to act like a misbehaved child facing a freshly-painted wall, I turned dozens of draft-only emails into realistic goals.

    There are a lot of posts about whiteboards at Lifehacker. Tips on markers, on DIY whiteboards, on turning your desk into a whiteboard; the list goes on and on. But I think it might have been some time since we reconsidered why they work so well. So I'm going relay a short story about how a whiteboard turned approximately 110 nervous thoughts into a conference that actually happened.

    In organizing TEDxBuffalo, I held bi-monthly meetings in classroom spaces at a local college. There was a projector, there were plenty of seats, and it felt like a democratic kind of meeting of the minds. But when you're talking and meeting, you're not necessarily getting a lot of things done. As it got closer to the launch date (Oct. 9), I realized I had a problem (and, by extension, we all had a problem). In many crucial ways, I had set myself up as the only person who really knew every task that every department had to get done for this thing to happen the right way. And it felt like no amount of caffeine, no amount of Magic Email Comprehension, could get it all explained to a group of about a dozen volunteers. Volunteers that had patiently put up with my "creative" leadership style, but now just needed some answers.

    So we moved the meetings to a space that had desks, Wi-Fi, and, most importantly, a big ol' whiteboard. And that's how we got more things done, in two workshop sessions, than we had probably accomplished in the last six or eight Standard Meetings.

    How a Whiteboard Helped a Terrible Delegator Keep a Team On-Task

    Writing things down on paper is always helpful. What makes a whiteboard more helpful than paper are a few things. Some are obvious. Some are less obvious, but something we all forget when we start working with others.

    • Whiteboards are big enough for everybody to see
    • Whiteboards make you want to fill the space, and therefore expand and branch your thoughts
    • Whiteboards inspire you to keep writing, to keep pushing on what's in your head, because it feels awesome to swing your arms that widely.
    • Whiteboards feel less like you're committing to an idea than throwing it out for consideration.
    • Whiteboards are nearly impossible to lose inside your backpack.

    In particular, for a guy who's not very good at explaining what needs to get done, and why it needs to get done in a certain fashion, whiteboards give others the chance to give you funny looks when you forget to include entire sections of a project. They save you precious mental willpower by cutting the cost of making decisions—you write something, add a question mark, and people in the room can decide on it right then, instead of across days in an email thread. And if you can't draw out what it is you're worried about on a whiteboard, you probably don't understand why it's causing you problems, so you know you have to ask somebody. Hopefully, that somebody is in the room.

    We talk a lot about technology and fancy collaboration software here at Lifehacker, but it's worth remembering that sometimes, a simple, cheap "analog" option is just the best way to go. I just wanted to thank whiteboards for being available, being relatively cheap, and for helping to make a goofy not-for-profit conference much less painful. You should consider whiteboards, too, the next time it feels like you're spinning your wheels very fast, but still coming up short of the goal line.


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    This DIY Whiteboard Desk Makes for Quick Notes and Brainstorming

    If you don't have space near your desk to hang a whiteboard, why not turn your entire desk surface into one? Frank Denneman did, and the results are impressive. Best of all, he didn't have to do a lot of work—all he needed was the right table-top and legs for the desk and he was all done.

    Frank's whiteboard desk is essentially a cut-to-order IKEA PERSONLIG table or countertop with stainless steel trim. You can walk into the kitchen department of your closest IKEA and ask for it in almost any finish, thickness, and size, so it gave him the opportunity to get a desk that was the peprfect size for him, and the perfect thickness to support his computers and peripherals. He added a glass table top to his order, and supports the whole thing on a pair of VIKA MOLIDEN legs.

    The end result is a desk that looks great from any angle, and a glass surface that he can grab a dry erase marker and write on, anywhere, anytime. Of course, it helps that Frank's desk surface is generally pretty clean and his peripherals don't take up much space. If you decide to do the same thing, just make sure you don't smudge your to-do list the next time you reach for your coffee. Check out more beautiful shots of the whiteboard desk at the link below.

    Whiteboard Desk | frankdenneman.nl via IKEA Hackers


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    How to Be Productive When Everything's Blocked at Work

    There are a ton of killer productivity apps out there, but if you work somewhere with strict IT policies, you might be left out of the party. It can be hard to convince your IT department to let you install Evernote or a Chrome app to help you get things done. Here's how to stay productive with the tools you likely have, and even sneak in some of your favorites on the side.

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    Unwhiteboard Cleans Whiteboard Photos With an Email

    Web: You can avoid taking notes in the meeting by simply taking a photo of the whiteboard at the end. But those photos might not be perfectly legible. Unwhiteboard cleans them up if you just send the photo to this email:

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    Adam Steltzner is on a hunt for the truth. The engineer led the Entry, Descent, and Landing team on the Mars Curiosity Rover project, and tasked with delivering a rover the size of a small car safely to the Martian surface, decided that the best solution for final descent was a flying rocket crane. It seems crazy, but…

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    When you’re brainstorming on your laptop and plain text just won’t cut it to express your ideas, you might need an extra workspace you can actually draw on. Why not add a quick, erasable surface to your laptop for an added level of expression?

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    No virtual whiteboard is perfect for everyone—and every virtual whiteboard service seems to shut down after a few years. While we’ve recommended several over the years, the only one still around is Twiddla, which is so feature-rich that it might feel too complicated (and ugly) for some projects. If so, try the simpler…

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