What are the Different Types of Clipboards?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

While many people are not aware of the fact, there are a number of different kinds of clipboards on the market today. Along with the basic pressboard model equipped with the large metal clip, other boards are designed for use in specific situations and provide functions other than holding paper in a secure position. Here are a few examples of clipboard types that are used in various business and educational situations.

Man with hands on his hips
Man with hands on his hips

One of the most recent innovations in clipboards is known as the dry erase clipboard. This model has a body that is constructed with the same materials as the dry erase boards that have largely replaced the old blackboards. While still equipped with a clip to hold papers in place, this type of board also makes it possible to quickly make notes or sketch out information that is required for only a moment, without using a piece of paper for the task. Clipboards of this type are helpful in both work and educational settings.

Timer and calculator clipboards are popular options in manufacturing plants where there is a need to check efficiency of employees and equipment. These boards usually have the timer or calculator attached to the clip at the top of the board, making it possible to secure the forms used to record the data below the display area. By starting the timer, it is possible to determine how many tasks a worker routinely completes within a given time frame, helping to set reasonable production rates. At the same time, the calculator can take the basic figures and create data that helps determine production over an eight-hour shift or even longer periods of time.

The storage clipboard is another innovation that is often helpful in a business setting. Functioning as both a clipboard and a notebook, the body of the device contains a storage pocket that makes it possible to keep various forms handy for use. Some designs position this storage pocket on the back of the body of the clipboard, while others utilize a body that contains a front flap with a storage pocket, giving the boards an appearance that is very similar to notebooks used in schools and offices.

Along with variations in the appearance and function, there are also clipboards designed with a variety of materials today. Some are constructed with metal bodies as well as metal clips, providing the device with extra durability. Others are composed of hard plastic that resists cracking or other wear and tear that is common for the traditional pressed wood clipboard. There are also custom clipboards that are designed according to the specifications of the client and may be larger or smaller than the standard clipboard or feature additional elements that are not normally associated with any type of mass-produced clipboard product.

Many types of clipboards can be purchase at stores that carry office supplies. The multifunctional designs are much more likely to be found at retail establishments that focus on office products, while the more basic designs can be found at most general retail stores that include an office and supply department.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Discussion Comments


@Sultank- I think doctors use a manila folder and hang it outside the patient's door at the hospital. I do remember doctors hanging charts at the foot of the patient bed, but I'm not sure if they were clipboards or some other type of device to hold all the paperwork in place. I could be wrong, and they may have have been a metal clipboard.


Don't doctors use clipboards in hospitals to hold patient information? I know I've seen them used on television shows, hanging at the foot of the bed. I might be wrong though.

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