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Miro alternatives » The best online whiteboard tools (2024)

Anyone who uses online whiteboards in a professional or school environment quickly realizes that simple tools such as Word or Pages are not well suited for this. Many people then switch to the online whiteboard tool Miro, but realize over time that Miro is not ideal either. In this article, we will therefore introduce you to good Miro alternatives. We explain what an online whiteboard needs to be able to do and point out Miro's weaknesses. We also present Collaboard as the ideal Miro alternative.

 

What is important for an (online) whiteboard?

An effective online whiteboard is characterized by several important features. From an intuitive user interface and extensive tools and functions to versatile templates and efficient team collaboration options - all of these aspects help to optimize your work processes and facilitate collaboration.

Intuitive user interface

To make your experience of using a Miro alternative as positive as possible, you should be able to open the whiteboard easily and use it straight away. Intuitive navigation between different boards and areas is extremely important for this. This requires clearly structured menus with logically arranged and easily accessible functions. Combined with a clear and visually appealing design, your distractions will be minimized, and your productivity increased.

At best, the design is consistent across all functions. If the insertion of shapes and lines works by drag-and-drop, the insertion of text modules must also work in the same way. There are a few other important aspects regarding the UX. For example, if you are unsure whether a Miro open source alternative will provide a positive user experience, the following questions are particularly relevant:

  • Can I design my own work interface and adapt it to my workflows and preferences?
  • Are there tooltips, help and explanations in places where I don't know what to do?
  • Does the tool respond to my inputs without delays?
  • Can I use the online whiteboard not only on my PC, but also on my tablet or smartphone?

Tools and functions

A Miro alternative should have a variety of functions and tools. For example, classic drawing tools such as various pens, markers, brushes and paints are essential to be able to design the online whiteboard creatively. The simple insertion of text blocks in different fonts and sizes is also an important standard for online digital whiteboards.
 
The presence of geometric shapes and illustrative diagrams also contributes to visual support, as does the option of inserting external images and files into the online whiteboard. Other media such as videos or audio can also be embedded in good alternatives to Miro. It should also be possible to connect all these elements in a meaningful way, for example using lines or arrows.
 
Other important functions for online whiteboards are an undo or redo function as an easy way to undo or redo changes. For smooth team collaboration, many tools have a comment function so that comments can be added and answered directly on the whiteboard. If you are satisfied with your work, exporting your whiteboard in various formats (PDF, JPG, etc.) should not be a problem.

Templates and templates for your ideas

Good Miro alternatives should offer an extensive selection of templates for various applications, be it brainstorming, project management or other purposes. These templates make it easier to get started and speed up work processes.
 
A professional design of the templates is essential to achieve high-quality and appealing results. The templates should be visually appealing and functional so that they are also convincing in professional contexts. A clear categorization of the templates according to use cases or industries facilitates the selection and saves time.
 
Regular updates ensure that new and up-to-date templates are always available. This guarantees that users are always up to date and can benefit from the best available solutions. Integrated instructions and tips within the templates help to make the best use of them and provide valuable support.

Opportunities for Team Collaboration

Efficient team collaboration is a key aspect of using an online whiteboard. Real-time collaboration allows multiple users to work on the whiteboard at the same time, which significantly increases productivity. User administration should allow roles and authorizations for team members to be managed flexibly and in a targeted manner. This ensures that each user only has access to the areas relevant to them.
 
Communication tools such as built-in chat or comment areas promote exchange and discussion directly on the whiteboard. The ability to assign tasks is another important feature that enables tasks to be assigned and managed within the whiteboard. This creates clarity about responsibilities and helps with the organization of projects.
 
With good Miro alternatives, sharing options make it easy to share the whiteboard with internal and external partners. Different access levels guarantee that sensitive information is only accessible to the intended user groups. 
 
In meetings, a voting mode offers you an easy way to collect opinions and feedback. Additional functions such as integrated timers or voting modes make your calls more interactive and productive.
 
Automatic synchronization of changes ensures that all team members are always up to date. Notifications about changes and comments keep everyone involved up to date and support smooth communication. Version control for tracking and restoring previous versions of the online whiteboard is also standard with many Miro alternatives.

 

What are the weaknesses of the Miro collaboration tool?

Although Miro is a popular and powerful online whiteboard software, there are some weaknesses that users repeatedly criticize. The most frequent points of criticism regarding user-friendliness, CPU load, user support, data protection transparency and costs are highlighted below.

Need for improvement in the user experience

Many users complain about Miro's learning curve, especially for the more advanced functions. While simple tasks can be learned quickly, the use of complex processes and functions requires more intensive training. Some users find the multitude of functions overwhelming and difficult to access, which impairs user-friendliness.

High CPU load

Miro tends to cause a high CPU load, especially when the whiteboard is filled with many elements. This can lead to considerable performance losses, especially if other resource-intensive programs such as design software are used at the same time. The long loading times for large boards are also a frequently mentioned point of criticism.

Backlog in user support

The experiences of Miro users show that customer service could be improved. Many users report slow response times and inadequate support in the event of problems. In the Free plan, there is no email support at all, only the help center without customer contact. Premium support is only available with the most expensive subscription.

Transparency in data protection

Many users complain about the lack of transparency with regard to data protection at Miro. GDPR compliance is particularly important for customers in Europe, and there is often uncertainty here. The lack of guarantee for data security leads to concerns when using the platform for sensitive information. Although Miro claims to be GDPR-compliant, it transfers data to the USA through trackers such as Google Analytics.

Costs

Miro's cost structure can quickly become confusing and expensive for larger teams. While the pricing is understandable for small groups or individuals, the price rises quickly as the number of users increases. It is difficult to understand the scalability of the costs and to integrate them into your budget planning. Compared to many Miro alternatives, which only have three cost models, Miro has four. This can cause confusion.

 

4 tools: These are the best Miro Board Alternatives

There are many Miro alternatives on the Internet. We present four well-known and good online whiteboard tools in more detail below:

Apple Freeform

Overview: Apple Freeform is a creative collaboration tool. It allows you to capture ideas visually and work together in a flexible, digital space.
 
Advantages: Freeform impresses with its user-friendly interface, which is particularly appealing to creative professionals. It allows you to easily insert and arrange photos, shapes and pictograms, making it ideal for visually-oriented projects. In addition, FaceTime is directly integrated, which facilitates real-time collaboration and communication.
 
Disadvantages: Apple Freeform offers fewer structuring options than other note-taking apps and leaves a lot to be desired in terms of text display and pen selection. Another major disadvantage is its platform dependency: Freeform is only available on Apple devices, which limits its use for mixed teams with Windows or Android devices.

Canva

Overview: Canva is an online design platform. It allows users to create graphics, presentations, social media posts and more.
 
Advantages: As a design platform, Canva offers significantly more opportunities for creative expression compared to the competition. A large number of templates and the option of cross-platform collaboration are among the advantages of the tool. What's more, the user interface is very intuitive and you can even create brand kits for your brand identity.
 
Disadvantages: Customization options are limited in some areas, especially for complex designs. As a web-based platform, Canva also requires a stable internet connection, which can affect its use on weak networks. In addition, many advanced features and resources are only available in the paid version Canva Pro. These include, for example, AI tools, a variety of templates and elements as well as cloud storage beyond 5 GB.

Google Jamboard

Overview: Google Jamboard is a digital whiteboard with real-time collaboration. It is compatible with the Google Workspace apps.
 
Benefits: Jamboard is especially beneficial for organizations that are already heavy users of Google Suite. Its ease of use and user-friendliness make it easily accessible, even for users with no prior technical knowledge. Jamboard enables real-time collaboration where multiple participants can work on the board simultaneously. It offers basic drawing and writing tools and the ability to insert images, which encourages visual collaboration. The autosave feature and the ability to export boards as PDFs or image files make it easy to share and archive content.
 
Disadvantages: Compared to competitors like Collaboard, Jamboard offers fewer customization options for colors and tool sizes. The integrations are mainly designed for Google Workspace and the tool is also primarily designed for use with Google hardware, which limits device compatibility. Jamboard also offers comparatively few access controls and permission settings, making it difficult to manage team access and ensure data security. 

Collaboard: your ideal alternative to Miro

 Collaboard offers a wide range of functions, that go beyond the classic whiteboard tools. With Collaboard, you can use sticky notes, digital pens, shapes and lines to visualize your ideas. Collaboard also allows you to import documents and upload and record images and videos, turning the whiteboard into a multimedia workspace. With over 100 templates in different languages and the option to create your own templates, Collaboard supports efficient and creative work in every project.

Collaboard offers special functions for moderating digital meetings and workshops that make this task much easier. With tools such as a timer, presentation mode and quick links, you as the moderator can control the session efficiently and involve the participants in the best possible way. The integrated voting and evaluation function makes it possible to obtain feedback from participants quickly and easily.

Collaboard also attaches great importance to data protection and data security and meets the strict requirements of the GDPR. The platform offers Various hosting options in European countries such as Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and the Netherlands to meet country-specific requirements. Companies and organizations that do not wish to store their data in the cloud have the option of using Collaboard On-Premises to operate. Developed by an experienced Swiss software company, Collaboard guarantees maximum data security and European data sovereignty, making it a trustworthy solution for sensitive data.

 

Conclusion: Free Miro Alternatives Are Not Completely Convincing

Miro has some weaknesses, especially when it comes to intuitiveness for new users. Free online whiteboards such as Apple Freeform and Google Jamboard have many useful features and can be easily used by small businesses. However, if you want to use a professional and GDPR-compliant service, Collaboard is the place to go. Collaboard impresses with its many templates and can be used in many contexts.

Miro-Alternative - Frequently asked questions and answers

What is a collaboration tool?

Collaboration tool definition: software that enables teams, to collaborate and exchange information in real time, regardless of their location. These tools offer functions such as shared document editing, communication platforms and project management.

Is there a Miro alternative from Germany?

Many online whiteboards such as Miro have their servers and headquarters in the USA. This means that data protection regulations such as the GDPR is often only superficially complied with, Data still flows abroad. Collaboard is based in Switzerland and is therefore closer to Germany.

Are there online whiteboards without registration?

There are a large number of online whiteboards on the Internet that are free of charge, where you can neither register nor log in for use must. However, the functions of these free Miro alternatives are usually very limited.

Which Miro-Board alternatives are free?

Many Miro alternatives have a freemium version with a limited range of functions. Collaboard offers a 14-day free version, which has the full range of functions. So you don't have to do without important tools during this time and can test everything.

How can I cancel Miro?

Go to the settings of your Miro account and click on "Billing". At the bottom of the page you can then click on "Cancel subscription". Now all you have to do is confirm the cancellation in a pop-up and you can then complete your Collaboard subscription.

 

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