Online meetings Miro whiteboard.
Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto/fizkes

A whiteboard always comes in handy when you need to outline or diagram a process in a virtual conference call. Most virtual meeting apps come with their own whiteboards. But if you’re using a service without a whiteboard feature or just don’t like the built-in whiteboard, another option to consider is Miro.

With the Miro whiteboard platform, you can create and use images, shapes, sticky notes, digital markers and more. Miro lets you add and embed documents and offers a variety of templates to get you started. Miro integrates with Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Slack and other services.

What’s the cost?

Miro provides different plans, starting with a free one that grants you three editable whiteboards for an unlimited number of meeting participants. The free version offers an array of features and tools; however, certain functions are available only with a paid plan.

A Team plan designed for two members costs $8 per member per month billed annually. A Business plan designed for five members costs $16 per member per month billed annually. An Enterprise plan designed for 80 members is custom priced per organization. And a Consultant plan aimed at freelancers and consultants who work with clients costs $12 per member per month annually.

SEE: How to work from home: IT pro’s guidebook to telecommuting and remote work (TechRepublic Premium)

Trying it out

Before you use Miro in an actual meeting, you should try out the platform to learn how to use it. Browse to the Miro website and click the Start A Whiteboard. button.  At the next screen, type your name, work email address and a password you wish to use for Miro. Check the box agreeing to Miro’s terms and conditions and click the Get Started Now button (Figure A).

Figure A

Miro whiteboard A.

After confirming your email address, you’re asked to enter a team name. Once you’ve entered a name, check the box to allow anyone from your domain to join. Then choose whether you plan to use Miro for work, for personal reasons or for education. Click Set Up And Continue (Figure B).

Figure B

Miro whiteboard B.

At the next screen, copy the invitation link or enter the email addresses of colleagues and partners you want to invite. You can then paste the link in any email, text message or other communications. Anyone who receives an invitation via email can click the link to accept the invitation.

The next screen asks how you plan to use Miro, e.g., brainstorming, strategy, meetings, research and design. Choose a category or select the link to try out the tool (Figure C).

Figure C

Miro whiteboard figure D.

You’re brought to the Miro whiteboard where you can try out the platform. If you wish, start with one of the built-in templates, such as OKR Planning, Reverse Brainstorming, Kanban Framework or Timeline Workflow. You can preview a template to help you decide whether or not to use it. Otherwise, close the template window to create a more freeform whiteboard (Figure D).

Figure D

Miro whiteboard figure D.

Miro offers a two-minute video to take you on a tour of the platform. Click the Play button to view the video (Figure E).

Figure E

Miro whiteboard figure D.

On the left side of the screen is a toolbar with icons for all the key features and elements. You’ll find icons for the template window, text entry, sticky notes, shapes, arrows, pens, comments, frames and file upload. Click the More Tools icon to see additional tools, including iFrame code pasting, web page capture, charts, tables and diagrams (Figure F).

Figure F

Miro whiteboard F.

A link for Get More Apps takes you to a marketplace where you can browse and search for plugins and other apps for Miro, such as a Miro app for Zoom, an app for Microsoft Teams, a Slack app, an app for Webex, and Miro cards for Jira (Figure G).

Figure G

Miro whiteboard figure G.

At the top-right is another toolbar with more tools, including a timer and voting feature (both of which require one of the paid plans). From here, you can add notes, switch to a presentation mode, and open a regular chat. Video chatting is also available, though that requires a paid plan (Figure H).

Figure H

Miro whiteboard H

After you’ve created your whiteboard, you can export it in a variety of ways. Click the Export button on the toolbar at the top-left. From the menu, you can save the board as an image, PDF or template. You can export it to a spreadsheet, embed it in a document or web page and attach it to a Jira workflow (Figure I).

Figure I

Miro whiteboard figure I.

To integrate Miro directly into a virtual meeting platform, select the appropriate plugin, such as the one for Zoom or Microsoft Teams. You’re asked to sign into the virtual meeting account and integrate Miro with the application. You can then access Miro directly during a virtual meeting to create a whiteboard (Figure J).

Figure J

Miro whiteboard figure J.

Finally, Miro is also available as an app for Windows, macOS, iOS/iPadOS and Android. Using the same templates and other features, you can create and share whiteboards directly on your computer or mobile device.

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