As everybody knows, whiteboards are an ephemeral medium. (Do the words Do Not Erase mean anything to you?) And clients can't take them off-site and read them over.

Electronic whiteboards that record what you write and print out, one board at a time, have been around for years, but they're cumbersome, slow, and expensive, and they use Flintstones-era thermal paper.

One day last spring on a flight to St. Louis, lawyer Dennis Brislawn read in Popular Mechanics about Mimio (from Virtual Ink Corp.;; 877-696-4646). Mimio, which sells for $499 at the company's online store, is a device that attaches to a regular whiteboard with suction cups and records a kind of animated movie of everything you write. Plug Mimio's cord into a PC with Windows, and the computer saves the movie; you can play it back, rewind it, and fast-forward it. When Brislawn's plane landed, he called Virtual Ink and had the folks there ship one of the units to the conference he was attending. He successfully used Mimio for his presentation to 300 lawyers.

He is now hooked. Instead of saving his scribbling as one big graphic, Mimio's software translates Brislawn's words into a text file. He can shrink or enlarge individual elements as well as cut and paste them into other Windows documents.