As a patent attorney for the Boston law firm of Banner & Witcoff, Charlie Call spent hours in meetings watching his clients scribble technical mumbo-jumbo on whiteboards. The excited company CEOs would struggle to note all their important points, while Call and his colleagues tried to keep up on their legal pads. To make sure he didn't miss anything, Call often had his secretary snap a Polaroid of the board before it was erased, or he'd ask her to spend her lunch hour transcribing and typing the chicken scratchings.
Now, Call relies on an electronic whiteboard called Ibid (MicroTouch, 888-388-4243). He simply hooks the Ibid whiteboard to his computer using a parallel port, and everything written on the whiteboard is saved automatically in a computer file. After the meeting, Call can E-mail the information to clients and coworkers, print it out, or cut and paste it into, say, a Microsoft Word document. "I keep the system running all the time," says Call, who gets a kick out of capturing his visitors' doodlings.
Call, who works at home every other day, says the system is great for keeping him up to date on meetings that are held while he's out of the office. And he's not the only one who's thrilled with Ibid. Banner & Witcoff's secretarial staff no longer spends hours trying to decode whiteboard arcana, and Call says, "They really appreciate being able to go to lunch instead."