The Best Online Whiteboards in 2021
With work going remote, we’ve all seen a seismic shift from the days we’d sit in conference rooms spitballing ideas. Now, we have had to adjust to virtual meetings. The same applies to schools. Virtual classes are now becoming the norm. Educators are looking for top-notch whiteboard applications to take education to the next level.
What are online whiteboards?
While so many tools have become digitalized over the years, physical whiteboards and blackboards have remained a staple in offices and schools. Whiteboards are an ideal solution for remote teams to collaborate on ideas.
So in walks online whiteboards. They provide a solution for teams to collaborate virtually. They are used in strategy planning, brainstorming, design collaboration, and agile project management. Online whiteboards can either be synchronous or asynchronous.
Synchronous whiteboards allow teams to collaborate on the same board at the same time. You get to see real-time changes and additions made by team members.
Asynchronous whiteboards allow you to log in and see the changes made on the whiteboard while you were offline. It lets you contribute to an idea at your own pace and time. You can also add notes or comments to other ideas and team members will respond at their own time.
What features make the best online whiteboards?
Well, you don’t want a whiteboard that runs out of space. You don’t want to keep rubbing your board once it’s full. Look for platforms that allow your whiteboard to expand with your ideas. It’s the only way you can keep all your thoughts on track and monitor the progress. You need your ideas and thoughts to be safe forever. Or until you no longer need them.
Digital sticky notes
When transitioning to online whiteboards, familiar tools help make the team adapt to the new changes. Post-it-on notes or sticky notes are a great way for them to share their ideas during brainstorming meetings. You can assign each team member a specific color so as to keep track of their comments and contributions.
Importing/ attaching content
When words don’t work, the ability to attach videos, images, document files, or screenshots is an added advantage. They enhance a whiteboard’s visualizations and come in handy to further illustrate ideas. Additionally, look for tools that allow you to annotate images, comment on files, and other imported content. This way you don’t have to move from one app to another reducing app fatigue.
Have you ever attended a meeting that had you wondering if everyone else is asleep? Or taught students and you can’t read the mood in the classroom? Well, live cursors can help you with that. You can have yes/no checks for attendees to contribute and move their cursors. You’ll see their attentiveness in the whiteboard panel and follow up with cursors that haven’t moved.
Comments and annotations
In-built collaboration features are key to any great whiteboard. Prof-style annotations, chats, mentions, etc. are some of the must-haves when looking for an online whiteboard. If you want to get fancy you can look for a whiteboard with polls, surveys, timers, and dot voting to increase your team’s engagement levels.
5 best online whiteboards
The best whiteboards are cloud-based applications that can be accessed anywhere in the globe. They should also provide high security owing to the sensitive nature of most business meetings. You should also get scalable platforms that grow with your team in terms of storage space, access roles, and board sizes.
Here is a list of our top five tools.
Miro: Best collaboration tool for presentations
It is one of the best whiteboards in the world that makes take your team's communication and coordination to the next level.
When it comes to collaboration, Miro does it best. It comes with an infinite canvas that lets you showcase your creativity as you want. They are also equipped with multiple features to enhance team management and coordination to the max. You can easily make collective decisions using their enhanced collaborative tools for brainstorming, meetings, or workshops. Also, their privacy controls ensure your meeting and projects remain safe.
- It has ready-to-use whiteboard templates, widgets, and canvas that saves you time while working on projects.
- It allows live-cursor collaborations, screen sharing, video chat, conferencing options, and presentations.
- You get access to 20+ app integrations that make it easy to manage your projects.
- It offers easy project organization using folders.
- One can explain even complex ideas using online mapping and diagramming.
- You can export the whiteboards as PDF files for your presentations.
- The enterprise plan provides upgraded security features like SSL encryption audit logs and compliance to GDPR.
- You can access it on Android and IOS phones.
They have a forever free plan for 3 editable boards, unlimited board viewers, among other great features.
The paid plan starts at $8 per month.
Ayoa: All-in-one online whiteboard
Ayoa has seamlessly combined their online whiteboard with task management, idea generation, and team collaboration features. One can drive an entire team success journey under one dashboard. It comes loaded with everything you need to boost your team’s productivity and creativity. From sticky notes to freehand annotations, flowcharts, images, lists, and attachments.
- A huge template library with brainstorming canvases, meeting agenda templates, SWOT analysis templates, Design brief, among others.
- You can export whiteboard frames in PNG or JPG image formats for presentation.
- It comes loaded with video conferencing and instant chat features.
- It allows you to have real-time collaboration with colleagues anywhere and at any time.
- It has a robust mind mapping capability that allows you to showcase groundbreaking ideas.
- It is mobile-friendly and accessible on both Android and IOS.
It comes with a freemium plat that allows real-time collaboration, 5 boards with 50 elements per board, task management, mind mapping, and template library.
The paid plans start at $10 per month.
Conceptboard: Powerful whiteboard for agile teams
If you’re looking for a smooth and continuous collaborative platform for your team, clients, and other stakeholders, Conceptboard is amazing.
This all-in-one virtual whiteboard gives you unlimited canvases to align all your ideas in one space. Whether you have a large or small team, Conceptboard allows the collaboration and organization of both.
- It offers an unlimited whiteboard canvas so you’ll never run out of space.
- It is a private and secure cloud-based tool that ensures all your entries are safe.
- It allows you to create, share screen, video chat, and real-time collaboration with team members. You can also assign mentions so as to run the project smoothly.
- One gets access to multiple visual artistic tools including sticky notes, sketching and drawing tools, images, and much more.
- It allows you to export whiteboards as PDF or image files (JPG and PNG).
It has a free plan for unlimited boards, 100 board objects, live moderation, and 500 MB storage.
The paid plan starts at $6 per month.
Stormboard: Best online whiteboard templates
Stormboard is a very easy-to-use platform that makes your brainstorming or strategy planning meeting more collaborative. It comes in a sticky-note style and each sticky note can be a whiteboard.
It stands out because of its huge library of inbuilt professional whiteboard templates. They help you save time as you can instantly work on projects, generate instant reports, and have online video conferencing with no hassle.
- Huge library of ready-to-use templates and widgets. There are templates for standups, affinity mapping, brainstorming, agile scrum, presentations, etc.
- It comes equipped with a certified 256 bit SSL connection to protect your data and entries.
- Gives you smooth collaborative tools including sticky notes, free-form drawing, screen-share functionality, chat, video, and so much more.
- It allows you to generate instant meeting notes that help you produce progressive reports quickly.
- It is available for both Android and IOS.
It has a free personal plan that offers up to 5 boards, Slack, Flows, and Teams integration, basic reporting, and 5 collaborators.
The paid plans start at $10 per month.
Limnu: Best teaching collaborative online whiteboard
If you’re looking for canvas with no boundaries for tutors, freelancers, business analysts, or design teams, Limnu won’t disappoint. The interface is user-friendly and easy to navigate so no learning curve.
Developed in 2015, Limnu acquired ZipSocket a meeting app in 2018, giving it a competitive edge among other tools. It provides you with more remote working tools for team collaboration.
- It provides a large storage space ensuring you never run out of space.
- It comes with a robust API feature that allows you to create white-labeled presentations with A1 tracking and reporting features for your users.
- It allows screen-sharing functionality while guaranteeing the privacy and security of your data. With team admin control, you get to choose who can access what data and board enhancing security and privacy.
- It allows you to add as many team members as you see fit.
- It comes loaded with good searching and sorting tools as well as bulk editing features.
- You can export your whiteboard as screenshot images.
No free plan but it gives you a 14-day free trial period.
Paying plans start at $ 5 per month.