With the end of COVID-19 restrictions remaining unclear, working from home continues for many individuals and businesses for an undefined time ahead, putting stress on team collaboration and workshop facilitation. From planning product launches, mocking up page layouts, designing interfaces, and debugging customer flows, all teams need that common working space to brainstorm together. Flying in to rescue us are online whiteboards that have evolved into intuitive, feature-rich platforms that imbue their users with collaboration superpowers. With features such as infinite-sized whiteboards, virtual sticky notes, and real-time commenting, these five useful platforms below will keep you and your teams connected and productive.

Miro

Simple to use, but rich in features, Miro feels like you and your team are in the same room working on a physical board. Packed with remote working resources, Miro also offers ready-to-use templates and many tools to design your own. It’s excellent for design projects, agile workflows, brainstorming, mapping projects, running scrums, capturing design and document feedback, and much more. There’s also a handy voting feature, to help your team make decisions together. Miro is flexible and easy to learn, and its clean interface will help keep all collaborators focused on the workshop’s goals.

 

Milanote

What appears at first to be an ideation tool much like Miro, Milanote surprises with the ability to create boards within boards to group projects. Milanote also offers templates for many industries to organise things visually, from TV & Media to design, writing, game design, interior design, management and strategy, student projects, and much more. When you first sign up and enter your interests, Milanote prioritises relevant templates offered to you to keep things streamlined.  And just like Miro, Milanote allows multiple users to edit and comment in real-time.

 

Whimsical

A simpler version of Miro and Milanote, Whimsical is particularly good for flow charts and diagrams, but it also offers management facilitation like Kanban boards and prioritisation matrixes. Designers will find the web interface templates useful for mocking up wireframes in a flash. The simplicity of Whimsical’s many smart features feel almost magical.

 

Mural

Another digital workspace for visual collaboration, Mural welcomes new users with a smooth guided journey to set up your workspace according to your needs. While its interface is well designed and uncluttered, Mural’s templates are some of the most detailed, and their well-ordered menu makes choosing what you need easy and intuitive.

 

Stormboard

Like Milanote’s Inception-style functionality to create boards within boards, Stormboard is more than just another sticky note collaboration platform. The digital whiteboards—or ‘storms’—allow your team to collaborate visually on any device to capture, organise, discuss, prioritise, and standardise business processes. Pre-meeting templates also make it easy for you to provide context to your team and collaborators ahead of time, reducing time spent in meetings and possibly avoiding more.

You can trial each of the platforms above with a free account to test which one suits your specific needs and budget. With all five offering features like multiple users editing at once, exporting and shareability, image uploading, and real-time commenting, online collaboration is one aspect of our working lives that has improved during the COVID-19 crisis. No longer do you have to waste valuable time taking photos of walls covered in sticky notes to rewrite everything into a digital document—everything is captured as its created. So, while some aspects of the future of work remain uncertain, innovative digital tools like Miro, Milanote, Whimisical, Mural and Stormboard will help you and your team save time, stay connected, and ideate like superheroes now and into the future.

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Damien Lutz

Senior UX/UI Designer at Vodafone

Damien Lutz,
Senior UX/UI Designer at Vodafone

Damien Lutz is a Senior UX Designer for Vodafone and a contributor to Red Wire. He has published two science fiction novels, and his short stories have been included in several anthologies. Damien writes about future tech to explore its potential and pitfalls, and so he might design better human-machine experiences today.

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