What’s the most important piece of technology you can buy for your office? Outside of basic technology like a WiFi router, it’s tempting to think that it’s something extremely high tech.

Multiple-monitor setups for your sales and support reps sounds like a good idea, but are they the most important? Likewise, you may want the latest laptops, headsets, phones and devices for your whole team, and that’s great, but one of the best things you can buy costs a fraction of these technologies – the plain, old-fashioned, Expo-markers, dry-erase whiteboard.

Brandon Bruce, COO and co-founder of Cirrus Insight (they connect Salesforce with Google Apps) explains why the whiteboard is so important to business, and how it has helped his company:

  1. It’s collaborative. There’s a reason that the employment process is often called “talent acquisition” – we like smart people, and we like when smart people work for us. Encouraging interaction between the smart people that work for the company is top priority, and a whiteboard is a great place where people can gather around and talk about projects.
  2. It’s always on. Online to-do lists and project documentation are great and necessary. But sometimes they can get lost in the shuffle of folders, tabs, apps…it’s a complex world, and businesses sometimes have tons of productivity “aids.” A whiteboard is always on, always visible, and always there. We keep ours mounted in a central place on the wall so that there’s constant reminders for our team about what’s important.
  3. Simple visuals. What’s the reason Demetri Martin’s graphs bit is so funny? Simple visuals. Google Presentations, PowerPoint, and Keynote are great for organized presentations, but they’re not too great if you want to explain something quickly and visually. A marker and a whiteboard allows our team to explain ideas, concepts, and thoughts to each other quickly and painlessly, and that keeps productivity flowing.
  4. Android/iOS integration. Sharing what’s on the whiteboard can be easier than sharing a lot of other files. All you have to do is snap a picture of the whiteboard with your smartphone, and share it with a co-worker. Most Smartphone cameras nowadays have great quality, so sharing whiteboard photos is basically like having a really good drawing app on your phone.
  5. Projector-ready. We also use a whiteboard as a projector background. Given its central location, the whiteboard is a great place when we’re designing our app to be able to live-edit features, images, text, and object placement. Sure, we could huddle around a small screen, but why not make it a relaxed, team effort and encourage people to contribute their thoughts on the big board?