With social distancing the new norm for the foreseeable future, enabling collaboration in and between teams can be challenging. Microsoft Whiteboard is an app available within Microsoft’s Office 365 that can help with that collaboration.
What is Microsoft Whiteboard?
The Microsoft Whiteboard app comes bundled in Office 365, but it’s a well-kept secret in many ways. Many people don’t know it’s there, in large part because Microsoft has it disabled by default.
The original purpose of the Microsoft Whiteboard app was to enable collaboration and presentations on a Surface Hub device, which is a large video conferencing and touch-screen panel. The original Surface Hub ranged from 55 to 84 inches and offered 4K resolution. With the Surface Hub 2S, you can get a full 85 inches of screen to work with.
Obviously, Microsoft Whiteboard will be at its full glory when used with the Surface Hub, because that’s what it was designed for. However, you can use it on any Windows 10 PC or iOS device (required iOS 9 or later, iPhone 5s or later, iPad Mini 3 or later, iPad Air, or iPad Pro).
Enabling and Downloading Microsoft Whiteboard
To use Microsoft Whiteboard, you can download it from the Microsoft Store, the iOS App Store, or use it in a web browser. You may also need to enable Whiteboard within your organization by going to the Office Admin Center. Under Services & Add-ins you will find the option to enable additional applications that have been disabled.
On first glance, Whiteboard looks like any typical drawing program. You have a large white space and some virtual “pens” in various colors that can be used to draw with. Of course, such an interface will work better on a Surface Hub or other touchscreen device. However, if you have a drawing tablet that connects to your computer via USB, that will also work quite well.
Once its enabled and installed or signed in online, you can use it to create collaborative spaces to share ideas and comments. Once you create your drawing or document, you can share it with other Microsoft Office users or organizations.
Microsoft OneNote does have similar capabilities, but the pitfall with OneNote is that it can get a bit complicated with its options and interface. Microsoft Whiteboard is a very simple interface. You open the app and will see a drawing space. Each space is saved as a separate document of sorts. This simplicity may be a plus for many users.
What Can You Do With the Microsoft Whiteboard App?
Drawing is the first obvious use of Microsoft Whiteboard. For artists, the app can be used as a virtual canvas. For business people, the Whiteboard can be used for brainstorming, doodling ideas, or crafting visual workflows.
Whiteboard is more than a drawing tool, however. You can import images and documents into it that can be notated and commented on. This can be used in many ways.
For example, perhaps you are launching a new website for your brand. You have a new design and layout that you want your team to review. They could certainly go to a private development site to look at the new web design, but where do they comment on it? They would perhaps send an email with general comments. Or, if they were tech savvy, they might screenshot the web page and then mark up comments on the screenshot, which could be then sent in email. If numerous people are doing the same thing, this can be messy and inefficient.
With Microsoft Whiteboard, your design team can place an image of the webpage into the whiteboard, which can then be commented on directly via a sticky note, typing, or a freeform pen in the app.
Microsoft Whiteboard can also import PDF files, Word documents, and even PowerPoints. You can also directly take a photo with your camera. Special features such as ink to shape can also help creating graphics and diagrams.
Augment Your Digital Collaboration
In short, Microsoft Whiteboard is a great, easy to use collaboration tool that can enhance the digital collaboration at your company. With the rise of remote teams, Microsoft Whiteboard can be even more helpful. Or, if you are using a Surface Hub, the app can make a huge splash at a business meeting. It’s a great little tool that is available in the Microsoft Store.
CDS Office Technologies delivers high quality managed technology services and can help enable collaboration with tools such as Microsoft Whiteboard and Surface Hub. Contact us today for more information on how we can help your business.