Since this pandemic began in 2020, many professional teams have had to figure out effective ways to collaborate while working remotely and being apart from one another. One way of accomplishing this includes relying on different online tools and services — such as Zoom, Spike, and many others.
However, what about the experience of carrying out team meetings that consist of everyone contributing their thoughts, displaying all ideas on a single whiteboard, and effectively discussing everything? Well, it seems like Miro aims to replicate all of that, as it serves as a digital whiteboard that all team members can access anytime, anywhere, and all in real-time. This is important for project management, team collaboration, and really everything that involves productivity and development.
Recreating the usual teamwork environment
Miro is a free and easy-to-navigate collaboration hub that’s designed to support and facilitate effective team workflow. This cloud-based service enables everyone to access and work on the same board at the same time. Much like how a team would carry out discussions and collate their budding ideas at an office, team members are able to recreate their usual collaborative sessions using Miro.
This digital whiteboard’s real-time collaboration experience is similar to those offered by other cloud-based group tools, such as Google Docs — where team members can see any additions or changes made by others instantaneously. However, Miro includes many other boards that go beyond shared documents.
Use cases, templates, and attachments
If there’s one thing that sets Miro apart from other similar services, it’s their seemingly endless list of use cases. While it’s usually typical of team collaboration services to rely on and offer a specific type of template — for example, Trello works with a Kanban template — Miro offers seven different types of use cases, and each leads to 40 or more innovative templates. There are many different templates that you can choose from to form the basis of your board. But if those don’t meet your criteria, Miro also offers custom templates when you upgrade to a Team ($8 per user monthly) or Business ($16 per user monthly) plan.
Each board allows users to incorporate mind maps and charts, as well as a huge variety of documents. Much like a real whiteboard, this digital one allows users to attach sticky notes. If team members already have existing physical sticky notes containing their thoughts and ideas, they can easily take a photo of them, and Miro will scan them to include them on the team board. Miro’s boards really allow team members to share everything for maximum team workflow. Not only can users attach and share videos, screenshots, and images, but they can also add in any document (Word documents, PDFs, spreadsheets, and more), as well as Jira cards. With everything in one place, team members are able to share and access everything at all times.
Also interesting: Huddly Canvas to Enhance and Digitally Capture Whiteboards
Application and benefits
Miro is available on multiple platforms, as it currently works on Android, iOS devices, and it’s free to download on all Windows and macOS systems. Some users may prefer the app versions, especially if they love working with touch screens. The app also supports the general use of styluses (S Pens, Apple Pencils, and so on), but it doesn’t appear to have a great palm rejection feature in place yet. With that being said, the mobile version accomplishes basically everything that the desktop version offers. It also allows for extra convenience, as it’s great for saving or adding new notes or elements to team boards when you’re on the go. In short, it’s quick and easy, and it works great in conjunction with the Miro desktop app.
Speaking of things being ‘quick and easy,’ Miro’s real-time group updates serve as a real timesaver. Not only is it incredibly satisfying to see changes being made by other team members in the present time, but it completely gets rid of the horrifying wait-time that comes with working remotely. All of us are incredibly familiar with the negative experience of having to wait for team members to make changes to a document — or add a quick new element to it — before you finally receive it and make your own contributions. However, with this digital whiteboard, everyone can work on the same thing at the same time. And since all team members can observe new changes as they happen, everybody can stay up to date on the project at hand.
Pricing and alternatives
As mentioned before, while Miro has a free plan, it also has three other paid plans. Maybe this could even be an alternative to Smartsheet for some depending on how your requirements look like. The plans include Team, Business, and Enterprise. The Team plan costs $8 for each member per month, and it’s recommended for groups that consist of more than 2 members. While the free plan is still a great option (as it allows for chat messaging, leaving sticky notes and centralized notes, plus screen sharing), upgrading to a paid plan unlocks access to Miro’s remote meetings toolkit. This toolkit consists of features like a built-in timer, video calls, and a voting system for democratic decision-making.
With all of this in mind, it is important to note that Miro isn’t the only online whiteboard service out there. There are many different available options to choose from — for example, Stormboard is great for brainstorming, and Limnu delivers a simple (but accurate) whiteboard experience. The important thing is to try out as many options as possible and to determine which service works the best for you and your team.
YouTube: Board Basics – Making Your First Miro Board