Back to the drawing boards

Use these collaborative whiteboards to organize your thoughts and share with others.

When it comes to sharing ideas and communicating stories, sometimes it's just easier to present your thoughts by drawing them out. Not just for Pictionary, online whiteboards are great collaborative tools to help you visualize your thoughts and brainstorm ideas. These Web apps not only throw out the smelly dry-erase markers, but also add a few tricks to make sharing your works faster and easier than ever.

A Web Whiteboard (AWW), developed by Senko Rasic, was designed to be minimalistic and simple to use like a real whiteboard. Coded in HTML5, AWW not only performs smoothly, but leaves little doubt to its functionality: users are given seven basic colors, three brush sizes, and a menu with sharing options. AWW doesn't strive to provide all the bells and whistles of modern whiteboards in the cloud but aims to simulate the elegance of quickly jotting notes and doodles--the basic features of a physical whiteboard. Its user interface only includes three buttons, freeing users from extraneous tools or widgets. Users can collaborate with others in real time by enabling sharing in the menu and passing the URL to their friends or team members.

AWW can publish drawings to three major outlets : Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit. Users can also save their images in PNG format.

If A Web Whiteboard's strength is in its simple and approachable interface, then Twiddla flexes its muscles by offering a beefy selection of tools and extra methods of communication. Since winning awards at SXSW in 2008, the Twiddla team has been hard at work to improve performance and adding extra tools for power users. In addition to standard drawing options such as brush size and color customization, Twiddla allows you to import documents, pictures, and even Web pages directly into the canvas. Users can make markups, add shapes and text, and even mathematical formulas. Each stroke is treated as a separate object layer, making corrections and edits a breeze when compared with erasing by hand.

In addition to sharing workspaces like AWW, Twiddla also adds a textbox and VoIP capabilities so multiple users can hold audio conferences in real time. Its arsenal of tools and features make Twiddla a powerful communication medium that caters to a wide range of disciplines well beyond the average doodler. The ability to add widgets, code lines, math formulas, and document imports makes this Web app one of most functional whiteboards on the Web.

About Eddie Cho