August 10, 2021 | 7-minute read (1379 words)
Whiteboards are a quintessential staple of office meetings around the world. They allow staff to brainstorm ideas and contribute during team talks while also providing a visual aid for presentations.
With remote and hybrid working solutions becoming the norm, businesses have virtualized this whiteboard method of collaborative work. Online whiteboards are a perfect way to keep staff both in-the-office and at home engaged during team meetings and create a more inclusive working environment.
This article will introduce some of the best online collaborative whiteboard services for your team to consider, and ultimately, help determine which is the best to level up your business's productivity.
Our first service on this list is Ayoa, billing itself as a complete all-in-one solution for online whiteboards. This service aims to allow your colleagues to easily brainstorm ideas in the form of mind maps and unlock creative ways of showcasing information to their team.
We particularly like the use of easy-to-place sticky notes, which allows for multiple participants to add their thoughts to a shared board. These sticky notes can be formatted into different colors and styles, allowing for your team to express their creativity during meetings.
It’s incredibly easy to divide your whiteboard into sections, allowing for visually pleasing and useful slides. These sections act as their own containers, meaning that whiteboards can feel fluid and information can be easily re-arranged. Ayoa include templates for common slides like SWOT tables and meeting agendas.
Users can add content to your whiteboard by attaching files and documents from their computers, Dropbox or Google Drive. Participants can easily add text and a variety of shapes for easy organisation.
Ayoa has a keen interest in inclusivity and designed its online tool to match neurodivergent learning styles. It provides a flexible approach to learning and working that helps inspire creative thinking. We find that even for neurotypical people, Ayoa offers an incredibly liberating work style.
Pricing: Ayoa is free to try, and users can make a free account and create up to five whiteboards. Businesses will want to upgrade to their paid tiers to unlock unlimited boards and other collaborative features.
The Pro tier comes at $10 per user per month, and this unlocks file storage, task assignment and priority user support from the Ayoa team. The Ultimate tier is great for large teams and enterprises and clocks in at $13 per user per month. This tier includes Google Calendar integration alongside Zoom integration.
Ayoa is a fantastic whiteboard tool for crafting a creative and collaborative working environment and is well worth checking out for teams of any size.
Stormboard is an excellent shared workspace and online collaboration tool for your business. This is advertised as a way to help your team generate more ideas, facilitate light-bulb moments and make your meetings more engaging.
With a powerful whiteboard system complete with sticky notes and text boxes, your team can easily splash their ideas onto slides and mind maps. Whiteboards can be shared and edited in real-time, allowing for seamless collaboration during meetings and team talks.
Users can access their whiteboards, known as “Storms,” concurrently with colleagues. Stormboard allows users to attach images, files and set tasks and reminders straight from a Storm’s dashboard. Ideas can also be added as videos or free-form drawings.
If you're unsure how to start with Stormboard, managers can pick from hundreds of pre-set smart templates for applications like SWOT boards or PI planning slides. Once you're done with the meeting, you can export the information gathered to a perfectly formatted report; no more blurry screenshots or handwritten scribbles. Stormboard instead allows you to generate professional reports.
We especially like Stormboard’s focus on security, including 256-bit SSL (bank-grade) encryption. You can have the confidence to conduct meetings on sensitive topics without worrying about malicious agents intercepting your Stormboard traffic.
Pricing: For teams of five or less, you can get started with the Free tier. It includes up to five Storms, five users per Storm and basic reporting.
For small-to-medium businesses, the Business plan is billed at $10 per user per month. This unlocks unlimited Storms, with up to 10 users per board. We especially like the deep integrations with services like Google Drive, Slack, Teams, and Flow included in this tier.
The Enterprise tier sets your team back $16.67 per user, per month billed annually. With this tier, your business can use its SSO to handle accounts, have unlimited Storm viewers and includes Agile Integrations for Jira, Azure DevOps, Rally. This tier is great for highly collaborative large businesses, while most teams will prefer the Business plan.
Miro is a modern and powerful collaborative whiteboard platform that gives your team a great blank canvas to showcase your ideas. Miro is designed for teams to run productive and engaging meetings and workshops and is great for design and brainstorming ideas.
The service’s main attraction is its fantastic built-in video communication and screen-sharing tools, elevating Miro to an excellent general collaboration tool.
Users can use pre-built templates to get started and use their smart frameworks and flowchart tools to format their slides quickly. Participants can add text boxes and sticky boxes, alongside smart drawings and shapes.
Managers can use Miro’s mouseover collaboration features to see their team members' cursors and track their movements and thought processes. Participants can share their screen straight from the web app and even embed video files for meetings.
Pricing: Small teams can use the Free tier for up to 3 editable boards. We like that even with the Free tier, there are no limits on the number of contributors.
For $8 per member/month billed annually, the Team tier unlocks unlimited boards, advanced attention management, High-resolution exports, and unlocks remote meetings features like video chat, timers and voting.
The Business plan clocks in at $16 per member per month, allowing businesses to use their single-sign-on (SSO) for Miro. As with most services, the Team tier is the most suitable for most teams.
Miro is a well-polished service, and we like its design and implementation of remote working tools like video chat. While we would have liked it to have more integrations with services like Zoom, Miro is an impressive and feature-rich whiteboard tool.
Our final service today is Google Jamboard. This free web app provided by Google as part of their Google Workspace (for business) and Google Apps (for personal use) is a simple and easy to use whiteboard tool.
Based on up to 20 slides per Jamboard, these are great visual aids for meetings and work extremely well when paired with Google Meet. Users can add sticky notes, insert images, draw basic shapes and add text boxes to these slides.
Jamboard is the web application version of Google’s physical interactive whiteboard. As a whiteboard app, we find Jamboard to lack features like templates, collaboration tools and tasks that other services on this list enjoy.
Though, Jamboard isn’t designed as an all-in-one collaboration solution per-se. It’s clear Google want their users to use this service as a pure whiteboard, and the rest of Google Workspace for other actions. That is Google Calendar for tasks, Google Meet for video conferencing and Google Drive for file sharing. If a simple whiteboard is what you’re looking for, Jamboard is a great option.
Pricing: Jamboard is completely free to use for anyone with a Google account.
There are four excellent options for those looking for online whiteboards for collaborative working. Ayoa and Google Jamboard are easy-to-use and simple no-frills options for whiteboard collaboration. We find that Jamboard can be too limiting for serious collaboration but will absolutely do for quick meetings.
Miro is incredibly impressive with its set of features on offer and how well the tool is designed. We find Miro is the most mature and developed out of all solutions on the list.
We like that video chat and instant messaging in bundled into the service, and features like screen sharing make for a great collaborative experience. At $7 per user per month for the Team tier, Miro is also surprisingly affordable.
For teams that want to mimic the inclusive and creative workflow of in-person whiteboard meetings, Miro is a fantastic choice for your collaborative whiteboard needs.