While I’m a big fan of the number of features available in Virtual Rooms, one bugbear I have is that there’s no easy way to whiteboard on it.
Don’t get me wrong – it has a whiteboard, as do many other remote collaboration tools – but none that really let you draw as seamlessly and freely as if you were in the same room as the people you’re collaborating with. And that can cause a hindrance in workflow and creativity.
So.. after hunting around for a while, I settled on a little third party tool and service, called Syncspace
Syncspace works really well, for a few good reasons that many similar tools don’t crack
- You can use a tablet (iPad/Android tablet) client to draw directly to screen, so you get the flow and ease of use of natural drawing
- You’ll likely have that tablet with you, unlike using a digitizer with a laptop/desktop
- It’s infinitely zoomable, so you can zoom out if you start running out of space, and you can zoom in if you want to add fine detail
- It updates all screens in real-time, and allows simultaneous drawing if other parties get the app
- It only requires a web browser – no clients
- It doesn’t require authentication – just click a link and go
- It’s free for light use
So – if I’m discussing a concept with a customer over the phone, or on a presentation, and I need to whiteboard something, I can open the app on my iPad, enable sharing, and then share the link with the client. As long as there’s no company confidentail info (ad-hoc will by nature tend to be conceptual only), then I can send them the link, or even easier for them, type the link in my own browser and share the desktop for them to view.
As a tool in the SE toolkit, I can’t recommend it enough.
From my meeting just now:
It hasn’t improved my actual drawing ability, but nothing’s that magical, right?