Do you miss scribbling on the walls?
Discover how the Microsoft Whiteboard tool is bringing new value to the hybrid workplace — and best practices to enable creative collaboration with touchscreen tablets and other devices.
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In this episode:
Introducing Microsoft Whiteboard
Microsoft Whiteboard is essentially how you think about a physical whiteboard. Imagine a physical whiteboard you have in the office, but put it in the digital collaboration world where a group of people can use this canvas and at the same time write on it and ideate as they would in a physical whiteboard.
The beauty of it is that you can use it as a standalone, but it also integrates with Microsoft Teams. Imagine you’re in a Teams meeting and then you’re ideating; you’re brainstorming. You can fire up the Whiteboard as a part of that meeting, and then you all start writing.
And then once you start using Whiteboard and you’re done with a meeting, guess what? All the information’s captured and you can share it by letting people access that Whiteboard or you can share it as an image. Or you can also integrate it to your other content later on, be it a presentation or whatnot.
Simulating the real-world experience
You get the ideal experience if you have a surface—a tablet, an iPad, or even a mobile device—where you can actually write, either with your fingers or a phone pen or a stylist.
And what I love about it is the coauthoring capability. You can have multiple people jump on at the same time. I can use the blue marker, Kevin can use a red marker, and as we’re talking, we can start drawing and ideating like how it is with a physical whiteboard.
Cool features and functions
Some very cool features of Whiteboard that we like:
- Import tables, graphics, and other elements from Microsoft 365
- Improve and make your handwriting look better
- Post-it features
- Layer a post-it note on top of a drawing
- Image or graphics editing capabilities
- Functions like Microsoft Paint: you can drop in shapes and colors, and can even type on it too
- Embed documents, such as a Word document or a PowerPoint presentation
It’s the best of both worlds. Imagine this canvas where you can have your collection of ideas, resources, assets, all in one place. You get the experience of a real-world whiteboard, but then you can layer in additional capabilities and tools that you’re used to with image and graphics editing.
Life-size Whiteboard at AvePoint
We’re renovating some of our offices at AvePoint to support hybrid work. In our bigger conference rooms, we’re going to put Microsoft Surface in it.
As we know, most meetings are not going to be everybody in person, everybody remote—you have a mix of both. Imagine a big conference room with a bunch of people physically present, but then you have some other people joining remotely.
In the room itself, you can draw on this big Microsoft Surface Hub, and then people remotely can participate in that brainstorming or whiteboarding session.
Whiteboard for beginners
From a learning perspective, the barrier to entry is pretty low. It’s straightforward. Whenever you start a Teams meeting, you’ll easily see and enable Whiteboard for that meeting. As people start using it, the icons are straightforward.
I do suggest though, that as you start brainstorming, writing, or coming up with ideas, always take it to some sort of an action item. Certainly, having a canvas to brainstorm and write notes and come up with ideas is great. But then as a result of that, there should be some level of output from it.
Free flow, brainstorm, whiteboard, but then always finish up with, “Okay, what’s next? What’s the output of this?”
Where to get it?
To take advantage of Whiteboard, you could do a couple things:
- You can start using it in Microsoft Teams within a meeting construct. Every meeting has a Whiteboard capability.
- If you just want to use Whiteboard, you can go to Office 365, and part of the service that comes with Microsoft 365 is Microsoft Whiteboard. You just click on the Microsoft App Launcher, and then you’ll see Microsoft Whiteboard. It’s among the many, many tools that’s out there.
Microsoft Whiteboard: Digital Online Whiteboard App – Microsoft Whiteboard
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