Whiteboard Notebook

Introduction: Whiteboard Notebook

In order to practice for engineering interviews, I bought myself a small whiteboard for my apartment. As I got more comfortable using it, I've come to find it indispensable. Now, I prefer it to pencil and paper as writing and erasing the old fashioned way seems too laborious. I like the effortless flow and removal of dry erase ink even better.

So, to support this new affection, I took to carrying a small whiteboard around with me in my backpack. But even though it is small, it takes up a significant chunk of space in there. What I really wanted was some sort of 'whiteboard notebook' with whiteboard pages. Maybe it exists out there, but I decided to try and make one in the spirit of instructables.

I tried some approaches which failed. First I went looking for some vinyl fabric thinking that that glossy white patent leather plastic stuff would be the perfect whiteboard surface. Not finding any at the fabric store, I tried a cheap $2 shower curtain liner from Target. To my dismay, the whiteboard ink would not erase from it! I guess it has a very fine texture which was enough to grab and hold the ink. Then I tried ironing some clear vinyl which had the desirable whiteboard-like surface effect over the white vinyl. The two vinyl sheets stuck together well enough, but after ironing, the clear vinyl no longer had the whiteboard property and I couldn't erase the ink off it!

I tried another approach of recycling the hard flat plastic shell that came with some packaging. I cut it into squares as evenly as I could, poked holes with a hole punch in that and separated the plastic pages by sheets of plain white paper. I joined the holes together with links removed from a chain. It worked, but turning the pages was awkward and the holes kept breaking free.

Then I had a duh moment and realized I was trying too hard. There is a much simpler answer and here it is. As it happens, some other great minds here have had similar ideas. https://www.instructables.com/id/Low_Cost_Lettersize_Office_Whiteboard/. And this one: https://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Homemade-Whiteboard-on-the-cheap!/. And here: https://www.instructables.com/id/Recycled-Mini-Dry-Erase-Board/

I guess I've taken it a little farther and made it into a notebook.

Now all we need is someone to invent a DIY dry erase marker ink in a refillable pen. I wonder how that could be accomplished?

Hope you find this idea useful.



Step 1: Parts

Transparancies (the write-on type for overhead projection)
Notebook cover
binder rings
hole punch
plain white paper (not pictured)

assembly is pretty easy. Just punch the holes in the transparencies and the white paper, then alternate transparency with sheet of paper. that's it!

Note that one side of the transparencies is slicker than the other and easily erased, while the other side isn't. So, before assembling, make note of which side is the good one and face that side up.

Also, it's kind of hard to separate the pages with your fingers, so it helps to add a post it tab to each page to help turn and access the pages.

Step 2: Caveats

Be careful how you erase the ink. I used my sleeve and it made fine scratches in the transparency so that the ink could not be removed! So, just use a kleenex or something soft like that.

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    41 Comments

    0
    karossii
    karossii

    12 years ago on Introduction

    I have been using sheet protectors for years as re-usable 'whiteboard' surfaces while gaming... simply buy a pack of protectors, slip in a sheet of paper (I usually use graph paper for maps, or character sheets for whichever roleplaying game I am playing), and use wet-erase or (preferably) dry-erase markers on them. Not as cheap as transparencies, but easier, I think...they come pre-punched for you, and you can slip in sheets of paper without holes in them.

    0
    the_sandypants
    the_sandypants

    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    this is an awesome idea. I actually had some sheet protectors laying around and plenty of plain white paper (and graph paper if I need it) and badabing! instant whiteboard. I have since put one in the kitchen for weekly menus and grocery list, and one in my notebook for my constant doodling. Awesome idea.

    0
    BFISHER02
    BFISHER02

    Reply 1 year ago

    I have been looking for an easy way to make a menu planner. This is a great idea. I'll have to make one to keep in my kitchen! Thanks!

    0
    BFISHER02
    BFISHER02

    Reply 1 year ago

    I was wondering about this. I use sheet protectors a lot for pictures and genealogy info. and certificates.

    0
    BFISHER02
    BFISHER02

    1 year ago

    This would make such cute Christmas gifts for the little aspiring artists in our family. Thanks for posting!!!!

    0
    HLightning11
    HLightning11

    5 years ago

    or you could use those little sleeves that already have the holes, or you could laminate the paper.the first thing you could also put printed paper in, like logic puzzles!

    0
    HLightning11
    HLightning11

    Reply 5 years ago

    * with the first thing...

    0
    pcarney
    pcarney

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Hey I've made something similar: theinfinitybinder.com

    ALL-page-001.jpg20140103_143041.jpg
    0
    foobear
    foobear

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    That's really nice. I saw something also similar at Barnes and Noble recently. I like to imagine that I was an influence! =)

    0
    bostoneight
    bostoneight

    9 years ago on Introduction

    Refillable markers are available, these are terrific.
    http://mywhiteboards.com/auspen-refillable-markers.html

    0
    Abbey_Lad
    Abbey_Lad

    12 years ago on Step 1

    Just to say I've laminated a few pages and yes they can be used as whiteboards. They don't clean as easily as whiteboards and after a while there is some residue build up. So far I've been lazy and laminated a few other pages than actually try and clean up the dirty ones. There probably is a cleaning product but so far I've not found one in a small compact "carry with you" size.

    0
    moneydoc
    moneydoc

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    You can probably buy a travel size pump hair spray at Walmart or a dollar store and after you finish the product you have a small spray bottle to carry some glass cleaner or white board cleaner in.

    0
    sgsidekick
    sgsidekick

    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    My regular whiteboard has a buildup from all the messages, and I read that regular rubbing alcohol will cut thru the buildup. It worked!

    0
    threecheersfornick
    threecheersfornick

    Reply 12 years ago on Step 1

    Generally, if you draw over the "permanent" marks with a dry erase pen and quickly wipe it away, the marks will disappear. This works with permanent pens, too.

    0
    rpjamess1
    rpjamess1

    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    Try acetone/fingernail polish remover. Should remove any of the ghosting effect that you're seeing.

    0
    foobear
    foobear

    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    I could be wrong, but I would think that the acetone would cause the finish to come off the surface, making it rough and therefore harder to clean later. Dunno, haven't tried it though. Maybe whiteboard cleaner. That stuff is great, did you know, it will clean sharpie ink off of surfaces (if you use it right away).

    0
    WickedFabala
    WickedFabala

    11 years ago on Step 1

    whiteboards will last longer if you don't erase with your fingers/hands, the oil ruins them

    0
    zerrodach
    zerrodach

    11 years ago on Introduction

    Instead of having a transparency and piece of paper separate, you could just laminate several sheets of plain white paper. There would be more pages to use before you had to erase, plus it would be more durable and waterproof (the pages, not the ink on it). Food for thought.