Online whiteboards have become increasingly popular over the past few years. In 2024, lots of different programs offer online whiteboards, from dedicated collaboration apps like Miro to powerful project management software tools like ClickUp and video conferencing apps like Zoom.
Online whiteboards provide a central space for teams to discuss ideas in a more interactive and visually appealing way than simply listing them down in a document or spreadsheet. With online whiteboards like Miro's, remote team members won’t miss out on the spontaneous, multi-faceted discussions that usually take place around whiteboards in offices. Meeting-focused features like anonymous voting and activity templates are on hand to enrich the experience too.
In this guide, we’ll go through the best online whiteboards currently available. Some of them are provided by large software companies you’ll recognize – but there are cheaper, more straightforward options available too, as well as whiteboards tailored to teachers, students, and designers. In this guide, we cover:
- What Counts as an Online Whiteboard?
- The Best Online Whiteboards for 2024 [Table]
- The Best Online Whiteboards: Reviews
- How to Choose an Online Whiteboard
- Verdict: Why Miro is The Best Whiteboard
- Online Whiteboard FAQs
What Counts as an Online Whiteboard, and What Do They Do?
An online whiteboard is a digital canvas that businesses, school classes, and other groups can use as a platform to collaborate, discuss ideas, provide feedback, and host interactive sessions of other kinds.
Online whiteboards have special features designed to help move the ideation process along and make meetings more engaging and accessible.
For example, for a feedback session, you could anonymize a board, split it into different areas for different types of feedback, and then get a visual representation of how people feel based on the information they provide.
In 2024, a lot of project management tools have online whiteboard, as do business communications platforms like Microsoft Teams and videoconferencing software like Zoom. If you already use one of these tools, we’d suggest checking out whether their native whiteboards will satisfy your needs before paying extra for an extra application.
Best Online Whiteboards for 2024: Comparison Table
If you don't have time to read all the reviews in this article, here's a whistlestop tour of the best online whiteboards you can currently access. While their paid plan prices vary, all six of the online whiteboards featured in this article have some sort of free plan.
Best for Projects
Best for Quick Collab Sessions
Best for Remote Video Calls
Best for Teachers
Best for Design Teams
The best online whiteboard currently available, with unique in-meeting features and hundreds of useful integrations.
The best online whiteboard for project planning, which lets you import project information from other areas of ClickUp for a seamless experience.
A simple, straightforward but basic online whiteboard suitable for quick collaboration and feedback sessions.
An easy-to-master whiteboard tool with detailed templates that can be accessed directly from within Zoom calls.
A great whiteboard tool for teachers, with colorful templates and engaging session plans.
A powerful online whiteboard that connects to the Figma platform, which is ideal for UI/tech design teams.
The Best Online Whiteboards for 2024: Reviews
Below, we’ve reviewed the best online whiteboards currently available, and made a judgment on the use case they’d best suit:
1. Miro: Best Online Whiteboard Overall
Miro is a huge popular online collaboration platform with over 60 million users and over 200,000 sign-up organizations worldwide. Miro's whiteboard is more feature-rich than any other platform on this list, integrates with a huge range of software programs, and has over 2,500 board templates available.
Miro’s first paid plan will allow your team to create unlimited boards, to which you can add a range of different templates. This is a huge upgrade on the 3 editable boards available on the free plan, and it also includes board version history for tracking changes.
From my experience, Miro’s advanced features make it genuinely more useful as a collaboration tool. It’s very easy to get carried away in meetings if the ideas are flowing – but Miro’s built-in timers aid with meeting management. Board version history, on the other hand, ensures you can recover lost content.
A zoomed-out look at a full Miro board – you can simply scroll to different areas of the board if you want to view the information there. Image: Tech.co
On all of Miro’s paid plans, the Talktracks feature can provide interactive video walkthroughs of your boards for those who weren’t in meetings, saving everyone time. I’ve found this really useful when I’ve missed a session and instead of scrolling around the Miro board, I’ve been able to just sit back and relax.
I also like the presentation templates on offer – especially the interactive sessions. You'll be able to pan around a large Miro board, hopping between different areas and ideas and get your team involved at whatever stage you choose, and there are features like breakout rooms to facilitate mid-session discussions.
Additionally to all of this, Miro’s raft of integrations makes hopping onto the app for a session quick and simple. All of Miro’s plans – including the free plan – sync with 100 other popular apps, including Zoom, Slack, Webex, Confluence, Jira, Google Meet, Google Drive, and monday.com.
As we’ve covered, Miro has a free plan available, but you’ll only be able to make 3 editable boards. There’s a starter plan available for $8 per member, per month with unlimited boards. The Business plan costs $16 per member, per month, but you’ll have to contact Miro’s sales team for a custom quote if you want to purchase the Enterprise plan.
2. ClickUp: Best Online Whiteboard for Project Planning
ClickUp – which came third on our last round of project management testing – provides the best whiteboard for project planning. ClickUp’s online whiteboard is integrated into its project management platform really well. When testing ClickUp, I was able to quickly import tasks directly into the whiteboard that were relevant to my discussion.
You can also drag website previews and other types of visual content you may want to discuss directly onto your board, such as a Google Doc you can edit within the board. What’s more, I found the range of diagrams on offer and the way you could customize them with just a click of your mouse very impressive.
Importing tasks for a discussion supported by ClickUp's whiteboard. Image: Tech.co
Along with the interactive online whiteboard, ClickUp also provides a raft of other useful collaboration tools like a project message board and task comments. However, actually using the whiteboard isn't quite as smooth as smooth of an experience as it is with Miro or Zoom. In this sense, it's slightly more functionally restrictive.
Of course, that’s the long and short of it with ClickUp’s online whiteboard. If you’re about to start managing a collaboration-heavy project, you’ll appreciate the platform’s task management and data visualization capabilities when you’re not ideating or brainstorming, among many other useful project management features.
But if you want an all-purpose collaboration app that can be used by your team outside of the context of a project, I think Miro is the better option.
ClickUp Whiteboard pricing
ClickUp pricing starts with a free plan, with which you can make up to three whiteboards. However, if you upgrade to the Unlimited plan ($7 per user, per month) you'll be able to create up to 10 whiteboards, while the Business plan ($12 per user, per month) and Enterprise plan (contact sales) have no limit on how many whiteboards you can create with a single account.
3. Google Jamboard: Best for Quick Collab Sessions
If you’re looking at providers like ClickUp and Miro and thinking to yourself “I just need something a bit more lightweight for quick brainstorming sessions”, then look no further than Google's Jamboard.
While it doesn’t have as many features as the likes of Miro, I’ve found that for a lot of workplace meetings, you don’t need much more than a basic sticky notes function, plus text boxes and shapes. In these situations, an app like Miro is unnecessarily complex.
A short, end-of-session feedback session hosted on a Google Jamboard. Image: Tech.co
Of course, one of the key advantages is how easy it is to download videos and images from other Google apps like Docs. It’s also very easy to share information from your Jamboard session via Google platforms.
But there is a big downside – Google is planning to shut down its Jamboard app at the end of 2024, so you’ll have to migrate your data across to another tool before that date if you don’t want it to be permanently deleted. Until that time, you can use it to your heart’s content!
Google Jamboard pricing
While many will be sad to hear that they’ll only be able to use the online whiteboard for another year, the upside to Google Jamboard is that it’s accessible to anyone with a Google account. There’s no hidden “pro” or “plus” plan with more features.
4. Zoom: Best for Remote Zoom Calls
In the new age of remote work, millions of workers across the globe rely on Zoom for video meetings. So, it’s only natural that the provider has an online whiteboard integrated into its video conferencing technology that you can use to keep a remote team engaged. For this job, it's a lot better than Google Jamboard, FigJam, and ClickUp.
In fact, there’s no better option if you’re already a Zoom user. Instead of having to switch to another app, all you have to do while on call is open the Zoom whiteboard if you want to start writing down ideas or collating feedback. This makes it perfect for turning your board into a presentation straight away, too.
A Zoom whiteboard template being used for a website design review activity. Image: Tech.co
While Zoom’s whiteboard is a little bit basic compared to the likes of Miro, it’s still got hundreds of board templates on offer and everything you need to run a session, from icebreakers to mapping and diagramming. Plus, I quite liked the fact it felt simpler and familiar.
I found Zoom easier to use than Miro and the actual editing/drawing mechanism is a lot smoother than Explain Everything and FigJam. Editing feels really smooth and I think it could be easily mastered by an online whiteboard newbie. Uploading images and resizing them was much easier than it was in ClickUp.
I also like the way that extensive instructions are provided alongside each template showing you precisely how to run the sessions. This makes the templates useful and means you don’t have to spend time trying to figure out how to use them.
You’ll need to create a Zoom account to use it – but for those of you who already have a Zoom Basic subscription, you can start using Zoom’s Whiteboard free of charge. The whiteboard included in the free Zoom Basic plan is limited to 3 boards, however.
If you want more powerful features, you'll have to purchase the Whiteboard plan ($24.80 per user, per year), which can be added to Zoom One or Zoom Basic plans, or the Whiteboard Plus plan ($70 per user, per year), which includes advanced features like custom and organizational templates, as well as third-party integrations. Visit our Zoom pricing page for more information.
5. Explain Everything: Best for Teaching
Explain Everything is the must-have Jamboard app for teachers, with loads of options for different classroom activities and sessions.
When I signed up for Explain Everything, it gave me the option to start with a blank canvas or a preset template. The other option is attaching a file, which you can use if you already have some information you’d like to place on your jam board.
Explain Everything has a wide range of education-focused templates. The class activities section includes templates that will suit younger students, such as the one pictured below, while other templates in the planning area are more suitable for older students, such as the “author's purpose” template for English classes.
Running a session with Explain Everything. Image: Tech.co
While Explain Everything is great for teachers, it really won’t be suitable for any other teams that need a Jamboard or online whiteboard. Although you can start with a blank canvas, the tools are quite simple and what’s on offer is similar to Google’s Jamboard.
Explain Everything pricing
Explain Everything offers a free plan, which has more than enough features for the average teacher in charge of a remote class, but sets restrictions on recording limits, and you can only create three projects at a time.
However, The Advanced plan that retails at $69 per year offers unlimited projects and includes unrestricted recording. There’s also a “school” plan which can be used school or district-wide and offers up to 10GB of cloud storage per teacher, although you’ll have to contact the company for a quote.
6. FigJam: Best for Design Teams
Figma is a collaborative platform designed for digital design teams, who make things like user interfaces for websites and apps – and it has an online whiteboard available called FigJam, which is ideal for design teams who need a space to collaborate.
“I like that I can copy elements between Figma and FigJam, and don’t have to jump between windows or software. Instead, I can keep my designs and boards in the same place,” explains Senior UI designer Bart Dabrowski, who uses FigJam and Figma side-by-side.
FigJam has some really useful templates for sprints and other Agile ways of working that are typically utilized by design teams. Plus, if you’re already using Figma – as design teams like Bart's are – it’ll slot seamlessly into your workflow.
Using FigJam's whiteboard to host a feedback session. Image: Tech.co
However, unlike ClickUp’s online whiteboard, you can actually access FigJam separately if you’re on a tight budget. Plus, it includes more whiteboard-specific collaboration tools like a feature that will let you take votes from users.
FigJam also has an AI tool that will generate maps and diagrams for your online whiteboard, such as the org chart I got it to generate when I was testing the platform. Although it didn’t auto-populate it with my board’s information, it saved me from building it from scratch.
Using FigJam's AI tool to generate an org chart on our whiteboard. Image: Tech.co
FigJam has a free plan that includes 3 collaborative design files, unlimited personal drafts, and basic file inspections.
There’s a Professional plan available for just $3 per month, while the Organization and Enterprise level plans cost $5 per month.
How to Choose an Online Whiteboard
Choosing an online whiteboard isn’t easy. There are lots of things to consider before you buy one, and not all whiteboards will be suitable for all use cases. For instance, we wouldn’t recommend Explain Everything for business collaboration, but it’s great for teachers.
Here are a few factors to consider before you make a final decision on the online whiteboard tool you’re going to go for:
- How much you’ll use it: If you’re going to be using your online whiteboard every day, it might be worth going for a more powerful paid version than if you’re only going to use it once a month – in which case, you’ll probably be able to make do with a basic, free alternative.
- Visual appearance: Every online whiteboard looks a little different, and no two whiteboards deploy the same style. While this will be largely down to personal choice, it’s important to select an interface that won’t detract from or overcomplicate the visual collaboration process.
- Wider Program: Some online whiteboards are standalone tools, like Explain Everything. Others are available within larger software tools, like ClickUp. The latter will be perfect if you also need a tool to manage a project, but not everyone needs a comprehensive workspace tool.
- Presentation Options: It’s important to consider whether you’ll be able to use your whiteboard to present your ideas back to your wider team/company, and whether non-meeting participants can view the board online whiteboard afterward.
- Board limits: The bigger the team, the more boards you’ll need, and some online whiteboard providers will allow you to create and save more boards than others.
- Pricing: If you’re looking for an online whiteboard and don’t have much of a budget to spend, the good news is that there are loads of free online whiteboards. However, if you’re about to take part in a collaboration-heavy project with lots of team members involved, you may want to pay a little bit extra for advanced features.
Verdict: Why Miro Really is The Best Whiteboard
On top of this, advanced features like a built-in timer, voting, and optional anonymity mean that it can be appropriately used to facilitate a wide range of interactive sessions, from content ideation meetings to feedback forums, and provide resources other employees can watch again.
However, some people – namely teachers – might not need all these business-focused features for their remote interactive discussions with their pupils, so will prefer an education-focused online whiteboard like Explain Everything.