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What’s the best online collaboration tool to replace Jamboard?

We got a shock the other day when we opened an email from Google saying that they were discontinuing Jamboard. Once Denise got past her initial reaction of “No, they can’t!” we realised we needed to find an alternative! So what can we use instead of Jamboard? What are the options and which is the best?

In this episode we’re going to explore some of the alternatives to Jamboard as an online collaboration tool, what we’ve tried and what we’ve decided to keep using. We need to be clear that we liked Jamboard because it was free with Google, it was pretty basicit’s really just an online version of a sticky walland we found most people could use it even if they weren’t familiar with tools like this. If you’ve been using Jamboard, you’ll know that in the email from Google they suggested a few alternatives. These are FigJam by Figma, Lucidspark by Lucid Software and Miro. So we thought we’d start with those. 

We weren’t familiar with FigJam or Lucidspark, and we’ve only had limited experience with Miro. It’s a digital collaboration platform that provides a great way of capturing discussion and allowing contributions before, during and after meetings. I’ve used it a bit at work and if you’re familiar with these types of online tools it’s reasonably easy to pick up and use. However, I have had feedback from participants in online meetings that it’s not intuitive if you aren’t familiar with tools like this! Some participants in a series of online workshops I facilitated refused to use it and we ended up just using it as a tool for the facilitators to capture notes. That’s not a bad thing, but it wasn’t as collaborative as I had planned! Like most of these tools there’s a free, very basic option but to really be able to use it, you need to pay.

The other two options, FigJam and Lucidspark, seem pretty similar. They’re both marketed as online collaborative whiteboards. Again, if you’re familiar with these tools they seem pretty straightforward. They offer a free, basic option, but you do need to pay to get all the bells and whistles. Neither stands out as being particularly different, although they do have slightly different templates.

So where does that leave us finding a replacement for Jamboard? Well I confess I wasn’t really liking any of those optionsthey didn’t seem to be a great replacement for Jamboard, I’d have to pay for another subscription to another app and generally just felt a little blah. So, I was delighted when I found something different as a possible alternative. Long time enablers of change listeners will know we are big Zoom fans. And I was excited to discover recently that Zoom has upgraded their whiteboard! I’ve used Zoom’s whiteboard over the yearsit was pretty basic and kind of OKbut they’ve done some serious work and I think it’s a great Jamboard replacement option now! If you are a Zoom user, I’d encourage you to start a meeting with yourself and pull up the whiteboard. You can save boards, you can add pages, there’s a sticky note option it’s pretty much a Zoom version of Jamboard! You can create a whiteboard, save it and then open it in a different meeting. You can download your whiteboards in pdf, png or csv formats. I was sold! 

There’s a few catches you need to be aware of. As a participant you can open the whiteboard in Zoom and while it looks like you can save it, it’s actually saved on the host’s account. So if you want to set up a whiteboard in advance you either need to be the host or work with the Zoom account host to set it up and save it. Just be aware that if you’re using the free or pro version of Zoom, you only get three editable whiteboards. But you can add pages to each whiteboard, so there’s a bit of flexibility. 

But what if you aren’t a Zoom user? We know that some organisations don’t allow access to Zoom, but there is an option to use Microsoft whiteboard. This app has sticky notes and you can save boards. You can’t add extra pages like you can in Zoom though and it will prompt you to sign in using your Microsoft account. But this highlights that it’s worth checking out what you already have access to and whether that would work as an alternative to Jamboard rather than having to pay for a new tool.

In conclusion, Jamboard is disappearing and we’re recommending Zoom whiteboard as a great alternative! We’ve also briefly discussed FigJam, Lucidspark, Miro, and MS Whiteboard, but now we’d like to hear your thoughts! Add a comment below the blog post and tell us about what you’ve tried in place of Jamboard, including any tips and further ideas about it. We don’t want this to be just a one-way conversationjoin in by sharing your thoughts and ideas with us! 

Thanks folks for joining us on this Enablers of change episode. Remember to subscribe to our newsletter if you’d like to know when new episodes are available. And if you liked what you heard, please tell your friends so they too can join the conversation!

Resources

For more information on Zoom whiteboards 

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Patricia Anne Nolan
Patricia Anne Nolan
13 days ago

Thank you for the tips on other boards to use – like you I was disappointed to hear that Jamboard was going to be no longer and was wondering what I was going to use. Will have a go at some of these options and see how I go!

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