Next-gen digital whiteboards: 7 shared canvas apps for visual collaboration

Online whiteboards were just the beginning. With hybrid workforces on the horizon, today’s visual collaboration tools are a key component to keep everyone on the same canvas when brainstorming, planning, and managing projects.

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Basic whiteboards such as those found in web conferencing apps can help get ideas on a page. Lucid Software’s Lucidspark is designed for teams to take action on those ideas. Use cases include engineering, project management, marketing, user experience, product management, executive teams, and cross-functional teams.

Features include:

  • Intelligent data synthesis, which lets users automatically group sticky notes, shapes, and cards based on themes without having to manually sort through contributions. The software automatically organizes ideas, highlights key takeaways, and assigns next steps.
  • Breakout boards, which let facilitators bring large groups together on a main Lucidspark board and then direct teams to breakout boards for smaller brainstorming and idea sessions.
  • Language support that includes Spanish, French, Portuguese, German, and Dutch, in addition to English.
  • Enhanced voting, which includes names-attached voting, anonymous voting, selection voting (where participants choose which content to vote on), and persistent voting (results remain on the board after a session).
visual collab tools lucidspark colors Lucidspark

Lucidspark lets you assign each collaborator a unique color for their cursor, sticky notes, and drawings. (Click image to enlarge it.)

Integrations include Slack, Jira, Microsoft Teams, and Google Drive, as well as Lucid’s intelligent diagramming application, Lucidchart, which allows teams to go from the brainstorming and initial idea phase through action plans, documentation, and execution, through one interface.

Noteworthy feature: Collaborator colors provides the ability to assign a color to each collaborator, making their cursor, sticky notes, and freehand drawings all one consistent color, to eliminate confusion around what each collaborator contributes.

Security: Data in transit is encrypted via TLS v1.2. At rest, data is secured with AES-256 encryption. Lucid also offers secure domain provisioning, user authentication, domain lockdown, and key management services; cryptographic keys are protected by Amazon’s Key Management Services. Lucid’s cloud provider is Amazon Web Services (AWS). The company is PCI, SOC 2, and EU-US Privacy Shield certified, and complies with CCPA and GDPR regulations.

Enterprise features: Centralized account management for users and administrators across the Lucid visual collaboration suite; centralized account and billing management; license management to easily provision, deprovision, and reallocate licenses; document management, including team folders, document tags, and statuses; ability to turn off anonymous guest functionality.

Pricing: Free for up to 3 editable boards with 300 objects per board; Individual plan is $8 per month with unlimited boards and objects; Team plan (3 user minimum) starts at $9 per user per month and includes advanced collaboration features and some management controls. Enterprise plan adds more integrations and advanced admin controls; contact sales for pricing.


Miro’s digital whiteboard was created with all company functions in mind, from product and engineering to marketing and sales. The app offers an infinite canvas that allows up to 1,000 people to collaborate at the same time. The result is a visual representation of a team’s end-to-end product design and developmental process, according to the company.

Hundreds of templates are available, with categories ranging from frameworks such as design thinking, agile, lean, and SAFe to team-based templates that support groups such as sales/marketing, development/engineering, product management, UX design, IT/TechOps, HR, and executive-level team members. It can be used asynchronously or in real time with embedded videoconferencing, chat, and screen sharing.

visual collab tools miro webex integration Miro

Miro can integrate with Cisco Webex and dozens of other apps and services. (Click image to enlarge it.)

Miro offers integrations with dozens of third-party apps and services, from Google Drive and Evernote to Slack and Azure Active Directory. The Live Embed API provides integrations with nearly 20 apps and tools, including Microsoft Teams, Asana, Trello, and Jira, embedding full-featured Miro boards into their existing interface. Miro users can also build their own apps with API, SDAK, and iframe embed, then share with teams or others by publishing in the Miro Marketplace.

Noteworthy feature: Stickies Capture lets you take a photo of a physical whiteboard or handwritten sticky notes and convert it into digital sticky notes that you can edit and organize in Miro, or export to CSV or Jira cards.

Security: Data in transit is secured with TLS 1.2 or higher, and data at rest is encrypted via AES-256. The Miro platform is hosted on AWS. All production data is hosted within the EU (Ireland) and the U.S. (Virginia). Miro is compliant with rules from the Cloud Security Alliance, SOC2, SOC3, CCPA, GDPR, and NIST.

Enterprise features: Flexible licensing program,insight and analytics tools, company dashboards, meeting and workshop summaries, and additional security features such as domain whitelisting, link access controls, and domain control options.

Pricing: Free plan includes three editable boards, premade templates, and anonymous board viewers; Team plan is $8 per member per month (billed annually) for unlimited boards, private board sharing, custom templates, and more; Business plan (for 20+ members) is $16 per member per month (billed annually) and adds single sign-on, day passes, and external editors. Enterprise plan adds advanced security and management features with flexible licensing options for larger deployments; contact sales for pricing.


Mural says its platform is used by more than 50% of the Fortune 100, with members joining a global community that provides learning and transformation within the enterprise. While anyone in a company can use Mural, it’s aimed at product, consulting, leadership, sales, and customer success teams, as well as employee-facing teams such as those in innovation, IT, and operations.

The platform includes more than 180 customizable pre-built templates and frameworks, including brainstorming, mind maps, design sprints, sales discovery, and retrospectives. Additional features include customizable shapes and connectors, easy diagramming, and Quick Talk, powered by, which lets collaborators instantly start a voice call inside any mural for spontaneous collaborative sessions.

visual collab tools mural Mural

Mural’s visual interface helps teams with a variety of tasks, including prioritization. (Click image to enlarge it.)

Integrations include OneDrive, Google Drive, Slack, Microsoft Teams, Atlassian Jira, Adobe Creative Cloud, and Zapier. The Zapier integration allows Mural members to set up integrations with more than 2,000 third-party apps, including Airtable, Trello, Evernote, Salesforce, and Asana. A Mural Zoom app (due this year) will include videoconferencing support for Zoom.

Noteworthy feature: Facilitation Superpowers for meeting leaders include the ability to set timers for activities, summon others to follow you or to take control to engage everyone, invite others to anonymously vote on ideas, hide sections of a mural to focus participants and reveal them when ready, resize the canvas, assign facilitation permission to others, lock specific content, add key elements to a content library, celebrate positive moments with confetti or reactions, share to Jira or GitHub, and export the entire mural as a PDF or PNG.

Security: Data at rest resides only in the production environment, encrypted with AES-256. Data in transit uses TLS v1.2 and is encrypted and authenticated using AES_128_CGM, with ECDHE_RSA as the key exchange mechanism. Mural’s cloud provider is Microsoft Azure. The company is CCPA and GDPR compliant, holds SOC 2 Type 2 certification, and supports SSO via SAML 2.0.

Enterprise features: Company dashboard with overview of workspace activity to manage and monitor usage; billing groups; enterprise APIs for deprovisioning and audit logs; API key management; self-service single sign-on; and access to training and hands-on support.

Pricing: Starter plan (1-50 memberships) is $12 per member per month, billed annually; Plus plan (10-50 memberships) is $20 per member per month, billed annually. Both plans offer free trials. Enterprise plans also available; contact sales for pricing.


Stormboard is designed to solve bigger meeting problems than the average digital whiteboard can handle. Digital workspaces, called Storms, include advanced tools to help teams prioritize and organize ideas, assign tasks, and follow up after a meeting.

Features include real-time agile integrations; task management; report creation, and the ability to share all your content as sticky notes, whiteboards, files, images, and videos. Customizable templates let you resize or reconfigure sections on the go, and the ideas automatically and intelligently stay in the correct sections. Stormboard features more than 100 templates with interactive guides that walk you through the process.

visual collab tools stormboard Stormboard

Stormboard’s digital workspaces help teams plan and track projects. (Click image to enlarge it.)

The tool’s smart reports instantly generate meeting minutes so teams can start taking action immediately, through a built-in relationship between the template and the content in the workspace. Reports can then be edited in Word, PowerPoint, and Excel or in Google Docs, Slides, and Sheets.

Stormboard offers integrations with several third-party business platforms including Slack, Microsoft Teams, Jira, Zapier, and Azure DevOps. Jira integration includes two-way sync, which means that when changes are made in Jira, they are reflected back in Stormboard and vice versa; no double-entry or manual synchronization is required.

Noteworthy feature: Index Cards allow line-by-line entry of content, allowing users to create lists, organize and group content, and access a Substorm (a specific sub-workspace within a Storm) where teams can work on projects, brainstorm, and create timelines.

Security: All data transfer to and from Stormboard’s cloud services is encrypted with Transport Layer Security (TLS). Encryption for data at rest varies by subscription level. Data is hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Stormboard is SOC 2 certified. Two-factor authentication is available to all Stormboard users through the use of an authenticator app.

Enterprise features: Invoice billing, single sign-on, advanced user management, service level agreement (99.5% uptime), single tenant, corporate data retention, corporate branding, additional enterprise templates, concierge support, training programs, and volume pricing.

Pricing: Personal plan is free for individuals and teams of 5 or less; Business is $8.33 per user per month, billed annually; Enterprise is $16.67 per user per month, billed annually. Free trials are available for business and enterprise plans.

Other whiteboard tools

Still looking? Here are a number of other whiteboard-like emulations or online tools to consider. All offer free tiers or demos.

  • Allo: Remote workspace that combines simple project management with whiteboards
  • Ayoa: All-in-one online whiteboard and mind mapping app where you can brainstorm ideas, work together and get things done
  • Explain Everything: One-stop whiteboard for remote teaching
  • FlatFrog: Project visualization and task tracking tool for Agile, Lean, Pulse, or other projects, in-room or across remote sites
  • iObeya: Enterprise collaboration app with digital visual management designed on Lean and Agile principles
  • Milanote: Tool that organizes ideas and projects into visual boards
  • MindManager: Collaborative space for mind maps, flowcharts, diagrams, Kanban boards, and more

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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