Collaborating with your remote workers has become easier than ever. With the ever-growing number of telecommuters, today’s new software and collaboration tools make online collaboration even easier than in-person communication sometimes. One of these real-time collaboration features is an online whiteboard. As we’ve seen throughout the ages, chalkboards, and whiteboards during presentations and agile meetings help foster a new level of understanding and collaboration.
After checking out numerous different online whiteboards, we’ve found the best for you and your virtual team to achieve the most productivity and cohesion.
RealTimeBoard is an endless whiteboard that hosts many more features than a physical one ever could. Like most online whiteboards, everything is backed up to the cloud, and your team can communicate in real time.
Unlike some other options, though, RealTimeBoard lets you choose from over 30 different templates to load, for things like the product development process, Lean and Agile methodology f, or building a roadmap.
Many of these templates help to make the board highly interactive, encouraging the participation of everyone involved.
Some other great features of this web whiteboard are:
- Post-it notes that contributors can add without disrupting the original idea
- Online drawing options
- Simple navigation through an ‘infinite’ canvas
- Messaging among certain or all participants
- Real-time commenting options
After you’ve finished the whiteboard, it’s already backed up to the cloud, but you can also save it as an image, PDF, to Google Drive, Dropbox, or many other options.
Some negatives of this option include:
- Longer than average loading time
- Only three private, non-commercial boards and up to three team members allowed on the free plan
Even after considering the negatives, RealTimeBoard is one of the best available options because of its extra collaborative features and premade templates.
2. AWW app
AWW app is a much simpler option that is better to use if you or your team prefers to draw on the whiteboard a lot, such as web designers.
The free model gives you a bit more than RealTimeBoard’s free version with basic tools, board sharing, basic chat, and unlimited sharing to your board for viewing. As outlined on their pricing page, the other subscription options also offer some more competitive price points depending on your number of participants.
This online drawing app is very intuitive, with a grid outline that helps you draw, underline, or write more efficiently on it. Some of the features of this option include the ability to:
- Insert images
- Online drawing with different colors and sizes
- Simply erase or undo
- Download the board
- Have a voice chat
AWW app does give its users premade templates as well like “Question Ladder” or “Customer Journey Map,” but they don’t seem to be quite as developed as those from RealTimeBoard.
So, while this online board is ideal for its ease and simplicity of use, it is also less robust and doesn’t offer as many features or templates as some other options. This service is perfect if you’re more focused on a simple, straightforward whiteboard focused on interactive, online drawing.
3. Web Whiteboard
Web Whiteboard’s ultimate goal is to be quick and easy. There’s no need to download software or even create an account. Instead, all you have to do is visit the site and click “Create Free Whiteboard.” Then, share the link with anyone you’d like to participate. Really; that’s it.
Of course, if you’d like to create an account, you can. The site claims that your whiteboard will be saved for three weeks (can be extended with a paid plan). However, you can download your work with or without an account.
The use case for this is if you don’t regularly need a whiteboard, but it can sometimes come in handy. For example, say you’re on a Skype call with your web designers, and you can’t get across exactly how you’d like something to appear. Take the 5 seconds to click create a free online whiteboard, send them the link, and draw it out.
It also offers a built in text editor so you can write out anything you’d like and work on it collaboratively with your virtual team. You can also upload images or put some sticky notes up on the board.
This app is not the most secure option, and the developers of Web Whiteboard can access all of your data (although they claim they only do so if necessary for error-diagnostics). If you’re looking for a long-term, secure, stable software, this isn’t the right choice.
If instead, you’d like an occasional, fast whiteboard to help write out, draw, or organize something in real time with your team, this is a great option.
And the winner is… RealTimeBoard
You shouldn’t have to lose any amount of participation by working with telecommuters, and with the available software, you won’t. Whiteboards are a proven to aid in effective collaboration. It’s time to add this tool to your kit.
If you need a secure, regular way of interacting on a whiteboard but are more focused on a simplified whiteboard, AWW app could be the right choice. However, this app mostly shines when it comes to drawing and leaves other features by the wayside.
On the other hand, Web Whiteboard could be a good option for if you’re all about speed, but it significantly lacks in security and is relatively bare-bones.
We are left with RealTimeBoard as the top competitor for online whiteboards. This board is a bit pricier, but in this case, you get what you pay for – performance and security. RealTimeBoard offers some much-needed features for working with remote developers, like integrating with other popular collaboration software such as Google Drive, Dropbox, and Slack, or offering a mobile app so you can participate with a phone or tablet on-the-go as well.
RealTimeBoard is very well-structured with plenty of predefined templates and extra collaboration features that make it a clear winner when it comes to online collaboration tools.
Choosing the right software for your remote company to make them more collaborative and productive than ever before is essential, but so is hiring the best tech talent to use this software to help create or expand your projects.