There's something valuable about physically writing something down—or drawing it on a whiteboard. In fact, a study from Indiana University indicates that writing things down can help our brains function better in a whole host of ways, including "idea composition and expression."
It's one reason why you might find you think best when you're writing something out, why writing seems to improve memory, and why the best collaboration often happens around a whiteboard.
As more of our daily tasks move from physical to digital spaces, everything you'd normally do on a whiteboard has taken the digital leap, so you can pair the benefits of visual thinking and collaboration with the convenience of technology.
We tested dozens of online whiteboards, and here we'll present the 11 best for a variety of use cases, so you can pick the one that's right for you.
The 11 best online whiteboards
- Miro (Web, Mac, Windows, iOS, Android) for formal presentation of your whiteboard
- Stormboard (Web) for creating multiple whiteboards in a single brainstorming session
- IPEVO Annotator (macOS, iOS, Windows, Android) for annotating live presentations
- Limnu (Web, Android, iOS) for a realistic whiteboard experience
- InVision Freehand (Web, Android, iOS) for annotating design files with a team
- AWW (Web) for embedding a live whiteboard on a web page
- Sketchboard (Web) for saving and organizing multiple, unrelated whiteboards
- Conceptboard (Web) for large, complex whiteboards
- Explain Everything (Web, iOS, Android, ChromeOS) for creating whiteboard videos
- Whiteboard Fox (Web) for quick, informal whiteboard sessions
- MURAL (Web) for remote, multi-member team meetings
What makes a great online whiteboard?
While any sketch or doodle app could technically be turned into a digital whiteboard, there are a few features that we consider integral to giving you the best digital whiteboarding experience:
- Unlimited canvas. While physical whiteboards certainly have size restrictions, going digital should mean that you're no longer limited in how big or complex your visualizations are.
- Collaboration features. Cloud apps should allow easy collaboration (real-time preferred) and comments by users. Desktop apps should allow adequate cloud file sharing/syncing across devices.
- Ability to attach files: You should be able to attach links, images, and other files to your whiteboard for easy reference.
- Presentation options. Because whiteboards are so often at the core of a collaborative process, you should be able to share your digital whiteboard online or export it.