How to whiteboard online with your team

Take an inside look at online whiteboarding

You might be wondering “What’s an online whiteboard? Why should I use one? How does it work?” Suffice it to say, a lot has changed since the advent of the physical whiteboard in the late 50’s to early 60’s. Six decades later, modern technology has transformed whiteboarding into a powerful and flexible online tool for collaboration on projects; communication of thoughts and feedback; and an efficient way to move from rough ideas to final consensus. This guide is designed to help answer all your questions and give you an overview of online whiteboards.

What’s an online whiteboard?

An online whiteboard isn’t a static canvas, but a flexible, fluid digital canvas—a place where people, content, and ideas all come together. It’s both a team whiteboard and a remote whiteboard. It helps enable visual and verbal collaboration that lets people participate from anywhere in real-time and at different times. Online whiteboards also integrate with other video conferencing and screen sharing platforms to allow collaboration even when you’re not in the same room.

Why use an online whiteboard?

There are many reasons why an online team whiteboard session makes sense when you want to help foster collaboration in a group and have more productive meetings. Here are just a few of the features and benefits of an online whiteboard.

Online whiteboard features and benefits

A few important features and benefits to consider when looking for an online whiteboard app:

  • Real-time collaboration allows people to add their thoughts and notes directly to the online whiteboard while you meet. Seamless integration with other productivity apps such as document, spreadsheet, and presentation creation software.
  • Integration with video conferencing and screen sharing platforms allow for hybrid work sessions.
  • Templates for various types of groups, meetings, and projects make getting started easier and help organize content.
  • Sticky notes provide a familiar way for people to share and organize their contributions.
  • Tools for writing and drawing in color and inserting images help people visualize ideas.
  • Flexibility to collaborate anytime, anywhere, and from any device—desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile devices.
  • Storage and access with built-in, advanced security protects your work and your confidentiality.

How to use a virtual whiteboard

Open an online whiteboard

Start by launching your whiteboard app to open a new whiteboard. Once it’s open you can begin adding elements such as images or sticky notes, inking or writing with a pen, and adding team members to collaborate.

Choose a template

Templates help organize information and ideas and provide structure for your projects while you collaborate. Browse through a variety of templates and then select one that best suits your needs. Business templates often retrospective, brainstorming, and planning architecture.

Invite participants

With an online whiteboard, just invite people to join and they sign in to start collaborating.

Start writing

Make your writing easier to read. Write with a pen and convert your writing into legible text.

Add sticky notes

Sticky notes are a great way to add and organize thoughts and feedback, highlight topics, and help people brainstorm on your project.

Use the ruler

To create a straight horizontal, vertical, or angled line on your whiteboard, just go to the section where you want to draw a line. Tap the Ruler icon to make a ruler appear. Then just position it how you want and then draw a line along the ruler with a pen or highlighter.

Create shapes

Convert hand-drawn shapes and tables into symmetrical ones.

Create tables

First draw a square. Then bisect the shape with a vertical or horizontal lines to create columns and rows.

Add images

Convert your photos of drawings into digital ink. Insert images found using an online search or use your camera to upload local images to a whiteboard.

Zoom in or out

Get a focused look by zooming in or zoom out to see more context.

Encourage feedback

Get feedback while you work with sticky notes, written comments, and live reactions.

Explore other features and functions

With online whiteboards, the possibilities are truly endless. Whiteboard apps are constantly adding new functionality and advanced features to help you make the most of a limitless canvas for your projects and work.

Get started

Where, when, and how we work is changing. Fortunately, collaboration tools give people the freedom and flexibility to work together even when they’re apart. Are you ready to start seeing the benefits of online whiteboarding for your business? Take next steps and learn more about adopting and implementing solutions such as Microsoft 365 Business and Microsoft Teams today.


Get started with Microsoft 365

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