What Is an Online Whiteboard?
Most individuals who have received a public education have experience with traditional chalkboards or whiteboards, as they provide practical learning opportunities and are commonly found in academic settings.
Online whiteboards are based on the same concept but allow for more people to collaborate simultaneously and view shared whiteboard content.
Team members can write, draw, highlight, annotate documents, and use other features of online whiteboards to present their ideas. Because online whiteboards are a shared space with unlimited canvas, no one needs to worry about running out of space for notes, allowing them to focus more on the task at hand.
Online whiteboards enable teams that blend offline and online collaboration methods to make better strategic plans. When used correctly, online whiteboards can even be more effective than in-person brainstorming sessions.
Why Does Online Collaboration Need Online Whiteboards?
Enhanced Communication: In face-to-face meetings, we don't just use language to express ourselves; we often employ tools like presentations, notepads, sticky notes, and whiteboards. Furthermore, we utilize body language, facial expressions, gestures, and other non-verbal forms of communication, which can play a crucial role in the success of a meeting. All these tools contribute to a personal and authentic interaction between people.
For introverted individuals, sticky notes or chat tools are often an effective way to express themselves and have their voices heard. On the other hand, extroverted individuals might find it challenging not to be able to illustrate their ideas with sketches on a whiteboard.
Real-Time Collaboration: With online whiteboards, everyone can participate and collaborate on a task or project in real-time. Gone are the days of a single person leading a presentation while others passively listen — your participants can truly be part of the meeting. Create, collaborate, and brainstorm together. This is how you achieve outstanding results from meetings.
When it comes to collaboration, digital tools bring a lot to the table. An online whiteboard with an array of functions can assist you and your meeting participants to:
- React to sticky note content, e.g., giving a thumbs-up or adding comments.
- Aggregate all information on one whiteboard for later reference or to continue the meeting where it left off.
- Add notes to images, documents, tables, presentation slides, and more.
- Infuse the personal touch and authenticity of offline meetings into digital meeting rooms, thanks to integrated real-time audio and video tools.
Facilitating Idea Evaluation: In business presentations, when your team and clients attempt to process multiple pieces of information simultaneously, it can lead to unnecessary confusion. The ability to visualize our ideas through images, charts, or visual graphics helps eliminate ambiguities and fosters greater team cohesion.
More Time for Brainstorming: The real-time save feature of online whiteboards allows meeting participants to free up time spent on note-taking. With the aid of images and illustrations to comprehend meeting topics or content, your team can dedicate more time to focusing on tasks at hand.
Most brainstorming sessions take place on a single page, ensuring that everyone has the information they need when assignments are distributed. Allowing everyone to consolidate their ideas in one place enables each participant to keep up with progress more quickly.
Online Whiteboard 1 - Miro
Miro is your go-to online whiteboard for daily use. Miro also has a web version called "web whiteboard." But Miro is not your average online whiteboard; it's a collaboration powerhouse designed to revolutionize the way we work remotely and brainstorm together. Think of it as a digital canvas where teams from around the world can gather and work together just like in a physical meeting room. However, Miro offers much more.
Using Miro is simple. Start by creating a digital board, like a blank canvas. Then, you and your team can add sticky notes, doodles, or use pre-made shapes and templates to brainstorm, plan projects, or tackle challenges. If you need extra help, you can easily invite external collaborators to join the board.
What sets Miro apart is its simplicity and versatility. It's designed for everyone, regardless of their technical prowess. You don't need to be an artist to use it. Plus, it's not just for drawing; it's also for diagramming. Miro lets you create charts, mind maps, flowcharts, and more. It's like a creative playground for your team.
Miro allows for real-time collaboration. No matter where you are in the world, your entire team can work on the same board simultaneously. This is a game-changer for remote teams and those who value seamless teamwork.
Miro also provides you with an extensive library of templates to kickstart various projects, from project management to design sprints. These templates are like shortcuts to boosting productivity.
Miro offers four different versions for users: Free, Starter, Business, and Enterprise.
Free: Includes a single workspace with 3 editable boards, high-quality resolution board exports, unlimited visitors on public boards, and more.
Starter: Includes all Free features plus unlimited boards, 1-click collaborator access with unlimited visitors on public boards (no sign-in required), advanced features for efficient meetings, and more.
Business: Includes all Starter features plus unlimited private and secure workspaces with unlimited boards for every team and client, advanced diagramming shapes, enhanced meeting and workshop tools, Single Sign-On (SSO) support, and more.
Enterprise: Includes all Business features plus automation of license management with SCIM, enhanced security, organization-wide controls, SIEM integrations, premium 24/7 support, and more.
Miro provides a flexible licensing program for scaling across the entire organization risk-free.
Online Whiteboard 2 - Whiteboard Fox
Whiteboard Fox is entirely web-based, meaning you don't need to download or install anything. Just open your web browser, visit the Whiteboard Fox website, and start creating.
Using Whiteboard Fox is as simple as picking up a marker and drawing on a physical whiteboard. You begin with a blank canvas and can add text, draw shapes, or even import images to express your ideas. It's like having a digital whiteboard ready for your next great idea. It serves as your virtual canvas where you and your team can brainstorm, plan, and create, just like on a physical whiteboard in the office.
One significant advantage of Whiteboard Fox is its user-friendliness. You don't need any special technical skills to use it. It's designed for everyone, whether you're tech-savvy or not.
Whiteboard Fox offers three different versions for users: Personal, Professional, and Enterprise.
Personal: Free. You can draw with 7 colors, but keep in mind that your whiteboard will expire after 14 days.
Professional: $7 per month. You can draw with 67 colors and choose the expiration time for your whiteboards. In this version, you can also opt for dark mode, and there are no ads during use.
Enterprise: $15 per user per month. You get all the features of the Professional plan. Additionally, you can create a self-hosted whiteboard database and select the "No anonymous participants" option. There's also a flexible billing option for you to choose from.
Online Whiteboard 3 - Google Jamboard
Google Jamboard is an online whiteboard. It's a vibrant creative space designed to change the way you collaborate and brainstorm with your team. It offers more features than traditional whiteboards, allowing you to sketch, draw, add text, and visualize your ideas using various digital tools and templates. It's an ideal choice for remote teams, virtual meetings, and collaborative projects.
Integration with other Google Workspace apps like Google Meet and Google Drive makes Google Jamboard even more convenient for team collaboration. You can easily start Jamboard sessions during Google Meet calls, turning your ideas into visuals in virtual meeting rooms. Google Jamboard allows you to save your boards and access them anytime.
Online Whiteboard 4 - Microsoft Whiteboard
Microsoft Whiteboard is your digital canvas where you and your team can collaborate, brainstorm, and ideate, just like in a physical meeting room.
Using Microsoft Whiteboard is incredibly straightforward. It provides you with a blank canvas ready for your creativity. You can draw, sketch, add text, and use various digital tools and templates to intuitively express your ideas.
Seamless integration with other Microsoft 365 applications like Teams makes team collaboration more convenient. You can start whiteboard sessions directly from Teams chats, making it easy to visualize ideas and concepts during meetings. Microsoft Whiteboard also allows you to save boards, ensuring you can revisit and edit content when needed.
Microsoft Whiteboard offers two different versions: Personal and Enterprise.
Personal (Two subscription options):
For one to six people to share: Each person can use it on up to five devices simultaneously. Works on PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Android phones and tablets. Offers up to 6 TB of cloud storage (1 TB per person) and additional features in the Family Safety mobile app.
For one person: Use it on up to five devices simultaneously. Works on PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Android phones and tablets. Includes 1 TB of cloud storage.
Enterprise (Four subscription packages):
Start with web and mobile apps: Includes web and mobile versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. Chat, call, meet with up to 300 attendees. Provides 1 TB of cloud storage per user, business-class email, standard security, and anytime phone and web support.
Everything in Microsoft 365 Business Basic, plus: Desktop versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. Easily host webinars, attendee registration and reporting tools, and tools for creating personalized documents and professional layouts.
Everything in Microsoft 365 Business Standard, plus: Advanced security, access, and data control, as well as cyberthreat protection.
Online Whiteboard 5 - Mural
Mural redefines the way teams collaborate and innovate. The experience it offers goes far beyond your typical whiteboard. Imagine Mural as your limitless digital workspace. Mural provides users with various templates in different forms for quick access and enhanced collaboration efficiency.
Wide-ranging authentication interfaces (mandatory). Different companies use various SSO authentication services (such as the most common Okta, Google), but with the recent emergence of Auth0 and WorkOS, these development costs have been significantly reduced. Global settings (mandatory). Typically includes components such as usage, billing, permission control, and more. API interfaces (preferably available). Using APIs to access data and perform some automation is a common requirement. On-premises support (preferably available). Data-sensitive companies may require software deployment on their internal servers or private clouds, which can bring significant deployment and upgrade costs.
Whiteboard Fox offers four different versions for users: Personal, Team+, Business, and Enterprise.
Personal: Free, includes 3 murals and unlimited members, all visual collaboration and facilitation features, a full template library & member-built custom templates, unlimited visitors, infinite and resizable canvas options, quick diagramming features, and easy meeting outlines.
Team+: $9.99 per month, includes all the free features, plus unlimited murals in your workspace, privacy control for rooms and murals, overage allowance, in-app chat, and email support. Monthly billing is available.
Business: $17.99 per month, includes all Teams+ features, plus single sign-on (SSO) (SAML 2.0), unlimited guests, advanced integrations, priority support, and flexible payment options.
Enterprise: Offers enhanced privacy and control with multiple workspaces, advanced security and administrative controls, SCIM provisioning, requires 2FA (members & guests), data residency, an assigned Customer Success contact for ongoing collaboration success, premier support, and expert collaboration training and tools