Comparing the Best Whiteboard Software

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Klaxoon enhances visual representation of projects, suitable for various teams. Offers demo, free, and premium versions starting at €16/month.
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LiveWebinar offers cloud-based solutions for screen sharing, live streaming, participant analytics, and social media broadcasting.
Shorter Loop
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Shorter Loop enhances product management with roadmap planning, discovery features, and analytics dashboard. Offers plans from $15 per user.
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Magma is a collaborative art platform offering live canvas, feedback tools, project management, and artist training. Suitable for individual artists, teams, and studios.
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Midlap is a project management tool for various industries, offering customizable boards, progress tracking, file management, real-time updates, and a built-in image library.
Digital Samba
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Digital Samba offers GDPR-compliant, encrypted video conferencing with premium features. Designed with flexible pricing for various needs.
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FigJam is an online tool for teams to brainstorm, plan, provide feedback visually. Geared for creative collaboration with drawing/diagram tools, templates.
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Creately is a visual work management platform with diagram creation, whiteboarding, and custom databases. Suitable for teams and businesses.
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Vani offers a visual collaboration platform with features like live cursors, emojis, voice notes, and templates. It's free and ideal for team collaboration.
Productivity Lab
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Productivity Lab offers a digital workspace, combining an online whiteboard and time tracker for efficient team collaboration, with pricing from €4.99.
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Stormboard offers real-time idea organization for teams. It includes Kanban and SWOT boards, is compatible with Office 365 and is available across devices.

More about Best Whiteboard Software & Tools

Whiteboard Software Definition: What are whiteboard programs?

Whiteboard software brings the good old whiteboard into the digital realm. In its most common form, it allows employees to work together on a board from various devices and potentially from different locations in their company.

Different tools can be used for collaboration, which represent typical whiteboarding processes. Key features include freehand drawing and text options. It is also common for specific structuring templates, such as circles, boxes, etc., to be integrated.

Using these functions, ideas can be displayed or improved on the digital board, or presentations and seminars can be supported. Basically, wherever a whiteboard is usually used, there is an opportunity to use digital whiteboard software instead.

Whiteboard programs are particularly common in the following areas.

Creative Teams: Within a company, the most obvious use case for a collaborative whiteboard is work in creative teams. Creative departments, such as product design, those responsible for user experience, or marketing teams, are usually tasked with many visually creative tasks. Digital whiteboards can be an effective tool for project planning, creating mock-ups, user story maps, and/or for visual brainstorming.

Remote Teams: More and more work is being done at different company locations or from home. Unfortunately, organic collaboration between team members is significantly hampered under such conditions. Virtual whiteboards provide an effective solution here. They support cooperation in remote teams by transferring typical processes into the digital space. Ideally, important brainstorming sessions, project management steps, etc., can be worked on from any location and with any device.

Schools or Universities: Digital whiteboards can replace a real blackboard both in physical and in virtual classrooms. A computer and monitor with whiteboard software positioned in a real classroom offer diverse teaching options beyond the standard. In addition to familiar written teaching supplements and calculation formulas, images, videos, and other digital assets can also be integrated. Virtual whiteboards can help make lessons much more interesting and significantly improve student engagement.

Why Should Companies Use Whiteboarding Software?

The whiteboard has always been a very important medium for collaboration in creative work areas, general organizational purposes, and last but not least in education.

In the business environment, the whiteboard has often been found in digital form for some time. The main reasons for this are:

  • The opportunities for digitization that have steadily increased over the past decades.
  • Correspondingly shifted expectations of those involved towards a world where an increasing amount has to function digitally.
  • The potential for increased efficiency associated with this.
  • Globalization, which strongly contributes to the increased need to work from different locations or with teams located in different places.
  • Digital whiteboards are often simply far more practical than conventional ones. With the pandemic, this trend received an enormous boost. More and more people are now working remotely. They still need to remain productive and creative. Whiteboards in the digital realm or whiteboard tools are thus moving further into focus.

Even "after" Corona, such solutions remain highly relevant. After all, many creatives and other professionals who typically work at a whiteboard are not going to return to the office in the future. Companies that have recognized this trend are planning with hybrid work models: Some employees may occasionally come to the office, but for the most part, remote work cannot be "turned off" again. Physical meetings around a physical whiteboard are thus becoming increasingly rare.

The collaboration processes that are concerned must therefore be increasingly converted into a continuous digital format. Ideally, all participants – whether on-site or remote - should then be equipped with equally good collaboration conditions. Whiteboard software plays an important role in creating such conditions with its chat and storage functions for time-delayed additions.

How Do Whiteboarding Tools Work?

The operation of a whiteboard tool depends primarily on its delivery model or its technical foundation.

Most systems today are designed as online whiteboard software (Whiteboard SaaS). This means that a provider makes the application available in the desired scope in the cloud, and users can then (hopefully) access it with any internet-enabled devices.

However, there are still on-premise solutions. These are then installed on-site on individual computers or the servers of a company so that all relevant persons have access.

In the context of collaboration, a whiteboard session proceeds as follows: Those involved usually have to first log into the jointly used whiteboard software. There often is a leader who organizes the session. As soon as this person gives the starting signal, the participants can add their own contributions to the virtual whiteboard. They also see in real time what the others are doing.

The specific features of each application and the way they function or what they can do of course primarily depends on the integrated features. The following tools and focal points of application are typical.

Freehand Drawing: The main feature of collaborative whiteboards is the ability to draw freehand. Most whiteboard tools give their users the opportunity to use various drawing tools or brush widths, textures and colors. This allows teams to create attractive and practical plans, brainstormings, functional models, etc.

Text Options: In addition to freehand drawing, whiteboard programs often offer tools for text input via the keyboard of the device used. Such features are practical, among other things, to save space in brainstormings. If everything is recorded using a drawing function, it can quickly become confusing.

Pre-made Assets: Most collaborative whiteboard solutions offer preset elements that users can use on the board to make the respective "construct" more attractive and practical. These include shapes, images, and/or emojis.

Real-Time Chat: Specific whiteboard software is primarily intended for simultaneous collaboration from a distance, not for collaboration at one location. Such remote work solutions often offer a real-time live chat. With this, the team members involved can communicate over the same board and work together efficiently.

Commenting and Storing: Many teams use collaborative whiteboard software to facilitate asynchronous collaboration. If whiteboards are edited by multiple users at different times, ideal conditions for collaboration should also be assured in such instances. A feature that many digital whiteboards offer to support this use case is the commentary function. Participants can use it to leave remarks on parts of the canvas that their team colleagues can read later. Appropriate actions are stored long-term - a keyword here is "whiteboard management".

Templates: Some collaborative whiteboards come with pre-made templates for certain types of tables or diagrams. These include mind maps, Kanban boards, and user story maps. Such and similar samples are helpful for quickly creating the optimal frame for certain brainstormings or project planning techniques.

Screen sharing: Some digital whiteboards also offer the possibility of screen sharing. Users can use this function to share information from an app or a browser with their team colleague without leaving the whiteboard.

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Digital Whiteboard Software?

A digital whiteboard does not only offer many advantages for collaboration. Under the ongoing development towards digital processes and remote work, it is actually already indispensable for many companies or teams. With good whiteboard software, various collaboration processes can be effectively visually supported across different locations and devices. The following advantages are particularly important in this respect.

Flexible Real-Time Collaboration: Of course, special collaboration programs are always equipped with specific tools for real-time collaboration. However, these solutions are sometimes offered for certain industries or areas of application. Virtual whiteboards offer similar collaboration functions, but can be used more flexibly and without a predetermined outcome. There is no strict application case. Users can decide completely freely, depending on the type of meeting, planning, design, or even lecture, education context, etc., how they want to use the whiteboard.

Asynchronous Collaboration: An essential feature of digital whiteboards is the ability to make changes or updates at different times. The opportunity for effective asynchronous collaboration is helpful for teams with different schedules or those spread across multiple time zones.

Visual Support of Collaboration: Only a few collaboration tools offer opportunities for visual collaboration to an extent provided by digital whiteboards. Collaborative whiteboards essentially enable those involved to immediately visually represent their ideas and thoughts using a wide variety of features. But like any software, there are disadvantages – or rather challenges – associated with whiteboard programs. The following point stands out particularly.

Solid Implementation Plan: As mentioned earlier, collaborative whiteboards are open in terms of their possible uses. As a result, although they can be used in many contexts and by different types of teams. However, companies that proceed without a concrete implementation plan for such a tool can quickly waste a lot of capital. Good, functionally strong whiteboard software costs money. If there is no regular, clearly defined benefit for such a solution in a company, it might be better to stick to a classic blackboard. To avoid corresponding problems, companies should check early on how they can integrate the use of a digital whiteboard into their processes and workflows.

How to Find the Best Whiteboard Software: How Do You Choose the Right Whiteboard Program?

Now that central functions, areas of application, and advantages of whiteboard software have been discussed, we are already well-prepared to determine the perfect tool. We can now deal with what interested parties should pay particular attention to when researching a solution. With the knowledge we have, we can actually make the choice in four fairly simple steps.

1. List the features that are needed most urgently First and foremost, those responsible should think about what features they expect most from their future whiteboard software.

The following questions need to be answered:

  • Which devices will the teams use to employ the solution - mobile, desktop, or both?
  • Is a native app required that works equally well on both Android and iOS (and on tablets like the iPad)?
  • Will the software be needed more for presentation or collaboration purposes?
  • Are the users located in the same time zones, or is time-shifted work generally desired?
  • Which of the core functions mentioned above are absolutely necessary to derive maximum benefits from the whiteboard software?
  • Are there other tools for collaboration in digital space that should be integrated with the whiteboard tool (collaboration software, messengers, etc.)?

2. Check Support Options: It is always beneficial if a whiteboard app (or any other software) or its provider has detailed instructions or a good help center. In this way, users can conveniently find answers to important questions about proper use and learn how to use the tool optimally.

In this context, of course, a well-accessible support at a personal level is also important. Especially here, however, it can often be an additional cost factor.

Many responsible parties skip this consideration because they only have a limited budget. This is not advisable, however. After all, only a solution that its users can use securely, completely and reliably on an ongoing basis is really worth its money. Even with the best whiteboard software, questions and problems may arise that interfere with corresponding processes. In such cases, it is crucial to be able to get quick and effective help from a professional.

3. The Price Decision: Why should those responsible consider the features before the budget? Very simply: Because the price does not determine the actual utility of such an application.

Today, there are countless whiteboard tools available at different prices. The range of functions often has a significant influence on how expensive one or the other solution is. However, if those responsible follow the budget first - let's say there is a generous budget - it can be tempting to choose a more expensive tool, even if all the functions are not actually needed.

On the other hand, if they start with the functions, it is easier to make the selection precise. They then know what is really needed and what is not.

This precise selection, in turn, is crucial for the overall efficiency of such a system. Because if you just integrate as many features as possible, some of which you don't even need, this not only means wasted money. If the program thus becomes very complex, this can even seriously hamper its usability, and ultimately its effectiveness.

4. How much training will future users need? When having to decide on a whiteboard tool, it should be emphasized that it should ideally be easy for all involved to operate. This has a direct influence - analogous to the above-mentioned overflow of functions - on how effective a solution is. Also, it is, of course, an important factor for how much time and training a team needs to use the program to its full advantage.

The Good News: Most whiteboard tools on the market are generally very simple in structure. A good digital whiteboard should assist users with creative brainstorming, conceptualizing advertising measures, product designs or similar use cases. Participants should ideally spend as little time as possible learning the technology.

What Do Whiteboard Tools Cost?

The cost of whiteboard software is derived centrally from the integrated functions, the delivery model, and the number of users. If you want to use digital whiteboards via software from the cloud, you can do so with standard functions for ten to 20 euros per month. However, for extended requirements, prices between 50 and 100 euros per month are also possible.

Aside of Hardware and Software for Local Whiteboards: Of course, when setting up a digital whiteboard on-site for presentation or education purposes, prices are entirely different.

Here, not only software but simultaneously required hardware must be purchased. Corresponding monitors are typically large-format and equipped with touch functions and other specific features. The appropriate operating system plus typical whiteboarding tools can mostly be included.

Investors always have to anticipate acquisition costs of several thousand euros. In addition, regular license fees for the software used and expenses for the maintenance of the hardware can arise.