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5 visual collaboration tools to inspire your remote teams
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5 visual collaboration tools to inspire your remote teams

Remote collaboration can be tough without a whiteboard to gather around. Here are the top 6 visual collaboration tools to help get the magic back.

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When photographer Martin Heit discovered he could write on film negatives with a Sharpie and then wipe it clean off in the 1950s, he realized the potential applications for teaching and office work. No more dusty chalkboards, no more dirty erasers. And so the whiteboard was born*—a wipe-clean alternative for interactive brainstorming and knowledge sharing. 

Today, we still rely on visual collaboration tools and jotting down notes to shape our best ideas and bring the brainstorming and ideation process to life. 

But for remote and hybrid teams who miss getting together around a whiteboard, how can you recreate the feeling of spitballing ideas in a conference room? 

One solution is online visual collaboration tools. These let you create a space where you can brainstorm and come up with ideas, no matter where team members are located. Best of all, unlike whiteboards, you’ll never have to erase anything because you need more room.  

Here’s a checklist of features to look out for and things to avoid when choosing a visual collaboration tool. We’ll dive into the best visual collaboration tools on the market and show you how Switchboard can help you get the most out of them. 

Want to recreate the feeling of brainstorming around a whiteboard with your remote team?
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Features to look for in a visual collaboration tool    

Physical whiteboards help you communicate and share visual ideas with lots of color. This makes for more enjoyable and productive team collaboration. 

So, for people-centered remote teams, what better way to get your collaborative juices flowing than to look for visual collaboration tools that give you a similar experience and results but are tailored to the remote experience? 

With that in mind, here are some key features to look for in visual collaboration software: 

  • Easy to use:  So you can start collaborating fast. 
  • Multiplayer experience: With enough space for everyone to contribute their ideas at the same time.
  • Templates: To give you a starting point for creative thinking. 
  • Integration with existing workflows: For a quick and easy process that improves rather than complicates working together.  
  • Integrations with other tools: So you can work with all the tools you already use and love. 
  • Diagrams: For complex brainstorming, ideation, and strategizing. 
  • Labeled cursors: So you can easily see what your teammates are working on and who’s contributing to what. 
  • Cloud-based security: So you can keep all those great ideas safe. 

5 best visual collaboration tools for remote teams 

Visual collaboration tools have come a long way since the 1950s. From whiteboards to interactive screens and, now, virtual whiteboards that allow remote teams to work together as if they were in the same room,  They offer simultaneous editing, interactive whiteboards and diagrams, text-based chat, real-time comments and notifications, and better security than writing “do not erase” on a whiteboard.

But not all the current options offer those features. Some come with features that actually block effective collaboration, like finicky integrations, a long or complicated onboarding process, and a single-player experience

It’s like getting a whiteboard with one marker pen—and a bunch of dried up ones—and making everyone wait their turn to use it before they can contribute.  

Here are the top online visual collaboration tools you can use to keep your teams connected, engaged, and focused to improve remote team collaboration. 

1. Google Jamboard

Google Jamboard is a digital whiteboard and app that lets up to 50 people collaborate at once. It’s great for hybrid teams as you can write, draw, and import anything you want right into your interactive whiteboard. Then, team members around the world can connect via the app to work on it together. 

Jamboard uses image recognition technology that polishes your sketches into an easily identifiable image. You can also add Google Docs, Slides, Calendar, and Sheets to your board and visually represent company initiatives or information in a visually appealing way. Depending on your tablet or Jamboard device, you can also drag and resize elements with your fingers. And, of course, you can present your collaborative board during a Google Meet call. 

If you’re using Google Workspace, you can also create jams in the app alone and present them in Google Meet. However, you’ll also need to share the link to the jam for others to work on it outside the meeting. 

Key features: 

  • Simultaneous drawing, editing, and writing 
  • Drag and drop editor 
  • Recognition technology for polished sketches 
  • Google apps and searches, image, video, and file import
  • Ability to write and draw from a mouse or trackpad 
  • Comments, sticky notes, notifications 
  • Diagrams, spreadsheets, powerpoints, tables


  • Cloud-based Google storage 
  • Integrates with Google apps and search engine 


The Jamboard app is included in the price for Google Workspace.  

  • Business Starter: $6/month per user 
  • Business Standard: $12/month per user
  • Business Plus: $18/month per user 
  • Enterprise: custom priced 

The Jamboard device is sold separately. 

  • Business: $4,999 + $600 handling fee
Screenshot of Google Jamboard digital whiteboard
Google Jamboard’s digital whiteboard lets you populate it with content from key Google apps and searches.
Source: Google Jamboard 
Pro tip: Use Switchboard for true collaboration during your working session. Bring your Jamboard directly into Switchboard and get real-time input, insights, and inspiration from your remote team—without having to share screens on Google Meet. 
Screenshot of Switchboard Room filled with different apps
Switchboard houses all your documents, files, and visual collaboration tools for easy access, storage, and collaboration.
 Source: Switchboard

2. FigJam

Figma’s digital whiteboard, FigJam, helps you connect the dots on multiple projects. You can also interact with your team through emotive hand cursors, dot voting, stamps, sticky notes, voice calling, and drawings. 

It’s an easy-to-use tool that lets you create streamlined flow charts, workflows, and mind maps with markers, shapes, arrows, and connectors. You can also choose from a variety of templates for small to large projects and companies. 

Key features: 

  • Simultaneous editing, drawing, writing 
  • Drag and drop elements
  • Mind mapping and diagramming 
  • Digital whiteboard 
  • Integrations with popular tools
  • Animated labeled cursors, emoji reactions, shapes, stamps
  • Sticky notes, comments
  • Cloud-based storage  
  • Video, image, file, and Figma design import


  • Integrations with Figma design libraries 
  • Easy to use 
  • Cost-effective


  • Free version with limited functionality and participant numbers
  • Professional: $3/month per user
  • Organization: $5/month per user
Screenshot of Figjam digital whiteboard displaying a flow chart
FigJam is a cost-effective, easy-to-use tool for visual remote collaboration.
 Source: FigJam
Pro tip: Use FigJam with Switchboard for both real-time and async collaboration. To move projects forward, you need to know when to work together and when to let people move ahead alone. 

FigJam features that allow you to switch between real-time and async working include notifications to tell you when someone is active in your workspace so you can jump in and start working together. Also, comments, highlights, and sticky notes for task-assignment or async input.

3. Conceptboard 

Conceptboard is a secure virtual whiteboard that lets you upload and annotate files, create comprehensive concept and mind maps, and work together with your team in real time. 

You can also easily share boards with clients or external parties with password-protected file-sharing capabilities. And with mentions, sticky notes, and sketches, Conceptboard helps remote teams get approvals in context.

Key features: 

  • Animated labeled cursors
  • Infinite canvas
  • Ability to import images, PDFs, videos, and files 
  • Annotations, comments, sticky notes
  • Simultaneous editing, drawing, and writing
  • Cloud-based storage 
  • Password-protected board sharing 
  • Audio calls and presentation mode 
  • Project folders 
  • Integrations with popular tools


  • GDPR-compliant for EU users
  • Easy to use interface 


  • Free version with limited functionality and attendee numbers
  • Premium: $6/month per user
  • Business: $9.50/month per user
Screenshot of Conceptboard’s virtual whiteboard
Conceptboard makes it easy to run remote brainstorming sessions and remote workshops in real time. 
Source: Conceptboard

4. Mural

Mural helps you collaborate with your remote or hybrid team through resizeable, unlimited canvases and work together through voice calls, sticky notes, icons, gifs, and images. 

You can invite your coworkers to your shared project or board and share protected hyperlinks for watertight security. Outline mode also lets you guide participants through your board with detailed instructions and hide unfinished aspects of your project. 

Key features: 

  • Infinite and resizable canvas options
  • Simultaneous editing, drawing, writing
  • Icons, gifs, images
  • Sticky notes, annotations, comments
  • Integrations with popular tools
  • Cloud-based security and encryption
  • Mapping and diagramming 
  • Templates 
  • Flexible editing permissions
  • Labeled cursors 
  • In-app timer 
  • Private mode
  • Text chat 


  • Ability to create and publish custom templates
  • Ability to invite participants to a common project 
  • Easy to use


  • Free version with limited functionality and attendee numbers
  • Team+: $9.99/month per user
  • Business: $17.99/month per user
  • Enterprise: custom priced
Screenshot of Mural’s virtual whiteboard displaying brainstorming sessions and action items
Mural lets you talk to your team through voice chat when collaborating on your virtual whiteboard.
Source: Mural

5. Lucidchart 

Lucidchart is a virtual diagramming tool that lets you visualize complex processes, map out data, and overlay important metrics on diagrams. It also helps you collaborate with your remote team through in-editor chat and real-time co-authoring. 

You can also create new diagrams or populate them with existing content from channels like Slack, Google Workspace, and Asana.

Key features: 

  • Simultaneous editing and writing 
  • Mapping and diagramming 
  • Shape-specific comments and in-editor chat
  • Diagram overlays 
  • Integrations with popular tools
  • Cloud-based security and encryption
  • Labeled cursors


  • Advanced real-time diagramming capabilities


  • Free version with limited functionality and attendee numbers
  • Team: $9/month per user 
  • Enterprise: custom priced 
Screenshot of Lucidchart’s diagramming board.
Lucidchart lets you collaborate on complex diagrams with your team in real-time.
 Source: Lucidchart

How Switchboard is the home for your visual collaboration tools 

Switchboard lets you bring your virtual whiteboard and visual collaboration toolkit right into your workspace. It’s like a permanent digital home for all your projects, apps, files, documents, and tools. And it’s a place where you can always find content without switching browsers or tabs.  

Use Switchboard to: 

  • Video chat with your colleagues as you brainstorm and keep people engaged with a collaborative, multiplayer experience.  
  • Add as many visual collaboration tools as you want into your virtual canvas, along with other images and documents. Just paste the link or upload the file into your room and everyone can access, edit, and contribute—no integrations needed.
Screenshot of Switchboard ‘Open URL’ pop-up.
Switchboard lets you collaborate using your favorite tools and apps.
 Source: Switchboard
  • Record your brainstorming sessions and upload recordings into your room. Watch as your team members come up with ideas, stay in the loop, and track team progress. Having everything recorded also makes it easier to credit people for their ideas. 
  • Keep all your visual collaboration tools in your permanent room so you can access them between work sessions.
Pro tip: Find a home for your visual collaboration tools. While you should be wary of a tool with too many integrations that don’t improve collaboration directly, you still need to make sure your tools work together and support your collaboration style. 

Switchboard lets you access everything you need for collaboration in one intuitive workspace. No more wasted time switching between tools and tabs.

Visual collaboration tools: the whiteboard for the 21st Century 

If inventor Martin Heit could see what his 1950s whiteboard has evolved into, he’d be proud of how far it’s come. From smudged ink on film to a widely-used digital tool, the whiteboard has a long history of empowering people to share and work on ideas visually with their teams.   

People often get their best ideas when they don’t have to rely on words, but can share images, draw diagrams, and bring color to their brainstorming and ideation processes. With standard video conferencing, this is harder to achieve for remote teams, so companies need to invest in tools that replicate the experience of standing around a whiteboard, marker pen in hand. 

The good news is, you can keep collaborating in the ways that work best for you and your teams. All you need are the right tools. 

With visual collaboration tools like Google Jamboard, FigJam, and Mural, you get a creative, interactive space to collaborate in real time and let your ideas run wild. They let you tap into the same feeling of in-person brainstorming around a whiteboard with your colleagues and boost teamwork and participation.  

And with Switchboard to keep all your tools and projects together in permanent meeting rooms, you get real collaboration and real face time with your team.

Want to recreate the feeling of brainstorming around a whiteboard with your remote team?
Switchboard lets you create a space where ideas can flourish, no matter where in the world your people are. 
Sign up

Frequently asked questions about visual collaboration tools

What is a visual collaboration tool?

A visual collaboration tool is any type of online whiteboard and diagramming software that helps you share ideas and collaborate in real time with your remote company and team. 

What are the types of collaboration tools?

While there are many different types of collaboration tools, some of the most common are: 

  • Document collaboration tools like Google Docs or Notion
  • Visual collaboration tools like FigJam 
  • Virtual workspaces like Switchboard 
  • Project management tools like Asana and ClickUp 

What are the benefits of a visual collaboration tool?

A visual collaboration tool has tons of added benefits like: 

  • Real-time remote collaboration 
  • Improved trust and transparency 
  • Increased productivity and engagement 
  • Boosted visual-based learning 
  • Greater visibility into complex projects and workflows 
  • Improved team participation and collaboration 

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Want to recreate the feeling of brainstorming around a whiteboard with your remote team?

Switchboard creates a space where ideas can thrive, no matter where in the world your people are.