Whether your organization is sticking to work from home or starting to go back to the office and shift to a hybrid work setup, being able to have interactive and fun virtual meetings is critical. With an office setup, we have whiteboards in our meeting rooms so everyone can collaborate and share ideas. This keeps everyone connected and present. With the shift to remote work, it can be harder to keep your team focused and connected when there are no visuals on-screen.
Microsoft recently announced a new Teams meeting feature called share-to-stage where you don’t just share your screen but also provides a real-time collaboration space for your participants to interact. It’s like having a unified virtual whiteboard on which everyone can brainstorm and take notes. With this, online meetings can have a space for collaboration where people can share ideas, thoughts, and present visuals regardless of where they’re joining from.
This new feature will surely enhance the meeting experience in Microsoft Teams and help promote engagement and collaboration. Here are some recommended collaborative apps to help your meetings become more dynamic.
1. Microsoft Whiteboard
This is a native collaborative app from Microsoft where users can draw and brainstorm on a whiteboard. You can also add sticky notes, text, and captions. This is best for note-taking and showing diagrams during a meeting. This app is available for both the desktop and mobile versions of Microsoft Teams. Download it from this link.
Similar to Microsoft Whiteboard, MURAL provides a canvas for participants to brainstorm and draw. Aside from the blank canvas, it has over a hundred templates to choose from and use. This canvas allows teams to think and collaborate visually, and is great for creating diagrams critical for design thinking. This app can also be added as a custom tab in channels for easy access. MURAL can even send a private chat message to notify you of invites and mentions in any other murals. Try it yourself through this link.
Miro is yet another online whiteboard platform ideal for team collaboration. This app can also boost real-time communication and exchange of ideas through a canvas that everyone can draw on. Right inside Teams you can have a board for your team with notes, a timer, and polls. This can be integrated with Microsoft Teams meetings, calendars, custom tabs, and even a notification bot. With over 200 board templates, you can conceptualize and strategize visually wherever the participants are. Check out Miro through this link!
Lucidspark is unique in that it allows you to create breakout boards to ideate with specific users. This should help elevate team collaboration without the need to exit Teams or switch to a different application. Other intuitive features include: infinite canvas, free handwriting, voting, a timer, containers, and templates. Try this app for yourself here.
Last on the list is Freehand. Like the above apps, this online whiteboard boasts an elevated hybrid Microsoft Teams meeting experience with real-time canvas and interactive boards. Like a few of the others, there are also templates available to help your team get started! The Freehand for Microsoft Teams integration is available on all plans–even free ones. You can try it right here.
With these Microsoft Teams meeting apps, hybrid collaboration has now been taken to another level. These new features will surely add to your meeting experience and boost real-time communication and brainstorming whether in-office or at home. Some of these may need a subscription, but others offer free versions that can still be integrated with Microsoft Teams meetings. Check out these apps and see more tools from the Microsoft AppSource home, and if you want to maximize your Teams experience in general check out our other blog post, “Top 10 Must-Use Apps in Microsoft Teams.”