Custom Whiteboard Magnets

This week I’ve created some custom magnets to improve my whiteboard infrastructure diagrams.

I refurbished my home office over the Easter Weekend and a long overdue addition to my working environment was a new magnetic whiteboard. I love using a whiteboard, both for designing and working things out on my own and also as a tool when communicating with others. The only problem is that sometimes my drawing skills are not that great. My old school reports back this up, Art teachers carefully summing up my artistic abilities more as “enthusiastic” rather than “skilful”.

To make my presentations more presentable, and to save time when repeatedly drawing the same components on every diagram, I’ve put together some magnets of common Azure resources. Now I can quickly slap down a VM, disk, or firewall, and spend the time on the important bits of the design- how these all plumb together.

To do this I printed off some appropriate Visio symbols onto sticker sheets, applied them to some magnetic sheets and then cut out the shapes. The magnetic sheets were offcuts of a roll of “White Magnetic Easy Wipe Racking Strip” from a previous project- similar products are available from most warehouse/shelving suppliers, or sheets can be found on Amazon. Just make sure the strip or sheet is wide enough to hold your sticker.

Of course, stickers can be platform agnostic so I’m looking to expand my range beyond Azure resources in the future. Magnets are also cross-platform, so next time I’m in the kitchen I can present using the fridge.