Leaving already?
Leaving already?
Eliminate the chaos in your media library by trying Pics.io with 7-day trial
Faster search with keywords and visual tags
Faster search with keywords and visual tags
Share assets in one click
Share assets in one click
Leave comments directly on assets
Leave comments directly on assets

Best Visual Collaboration Tools in 2024

Remote and hybrid forms of work keep gaining popularity. According to Forbes, in 2023, 12.7% of office employees in the United States worked from home regularly, 28.2% visited offices from time to time, and 98% tried to connect to their workplace remotely at least once. This situation has its benefits and drawbacks for businesses. On the one hand, remote work reduces office maintenance costs and increases employee satisfaction. On the other hand, managing workflows becomes more complicated.

With staff dispersion, visual collaboration tools become increasingly relevant. These are cloud-based platforms that enable many employees to simultaneously access work materials, make edits and suggestions in files, leave comments, and communicate. The number of such tools has grown significantly in recent years due to the increasing popularity of hybrid and remote employment. 

A wide range of online collaboration services also has advantages and disadvantages. It allows you to choose the perfect solution for each company in terms of functionality and budget. However, it also makes this choice a long and time-consuming process, forcing you to spend hours studying the features of each platform and spending time testing different applications. To make this task easier, we'll describe online collaboration tools in detail and review the top solutions in this area. 

What Is Visual Collaboration

Visual collaboration is an innovative form of teamwork on projects in which participants use various visual elements to share ideas, communicate, solve problems, and achieve certain goals. It can involve the simultaneous participation of many users and asynchronous work — connecting different specialists at certain stages of the process. This format of work organization allows employees to better understand each other. It saves time on numerous video conferences and online meetings, reduces the number of critical errors due to the misuse of digital assets, and helps maximize the engagement of remote workers. 

Visual collaboration tools are often visualized as digital whiteboards where everyone can make notes, put stickers, and leave reminders for the team. But that's a misconception because such software is used not only at the stage of generating ideas. It helps to properly organize workflows from start to finish. 

How exactly do online visual collaboration tools help organize workflows? To answer this question, let's review a few examples.

Brainstorming and Synthesizing Ideas

Brainstorming, debate, and discussion are essential elements of many workflows. Brainstorming allows everyone to put forward their ideas for the team's consideration, provide arguments in favor, and get help in solving problems. Visual collaboration tools allow you to categorize ideas by product, company unit, and target audience segment. With these tools, you can approve and reject certain projects, disclose their details, and determine each employee's contribution. 

For example, a marketing agency has to create a packaging design for a product. This process requires the collaboration of various specialists, such as designers, merchandisers, and even logisticians. All these people can voice their ideas and, to make this process fast and productive, they should have an accessible virtual conference room with convenient collaboration tools.

Organizing Agile Meetings

A good visual collaboration service is more than just a whiteboard. It's a virtual conference room that you can customize according to the needs of the current project, create interactive tables, graphs, and charts. These tools will help you match employees with tasks, review their achievements, assess the current degree of plan implementation, and get feedback. Most importantly, integrations of such visual collaboration services with other software allow you to connect corporate messengers, planners, calendars, Kanban boards, etc. to these visual elements. 

Let’s say an IT company is analyzing the results of a completed sprint. In such a situation, a visual collaboration service can show how each employee fulfilled the plan and provide links to the results of their activities. In addition, such software can summarize the results of the meeting and send out summaries to all participants using integration with Slack or another messenger. 

Creating Organizational Charts

Any project has leaders — brand managers, team leads, product owners, etc. However, several teams can work on one project at once. In this case, it's crucial to understand who reports to whom, what authorities each has, and the responsibilities of each user. In this case, you can also use online visual collaboration tools. They will show the company's or project team's organizational structure. Their visualizations will be especially useful for remote employees and external participants in work processes — clients, partners, and contractors. 

If a company assembles a new team and actively engages outsource specialists, the onboarding process can be time-consuming. Visual collaboration tools with the organizational chart available can significantly improve the situation and help free up additional resources.

Developing UML Diagrams

UML is a universal modeling language used to visualize software algorithms and workflows. UML diagrams are a great addition to organizational documentation or even an alternative to it. One glance at them will be enough to understand the actual project status and identify current tasks. In this scenario, integrations with other platforms also come to the fore. They allow you to automatically send notifications to other participants in the workflow, download program code snippets for review, or establish communication between teams. 

For example, the company is developing a mobile application. But each department has its vision of this product. This can lead to conflicts that a visual collaboration service can help resolve. The UML diagram in such software will allow all participants to work with the same layout. 

Visualizing Customer Journey

To launch effective marketing campaigns, you first need to identify all the points of contact between the consumer and the brand, from the first encounter in advertising to technical support and warranty service. Certain strategies and tactics, communication channels, and commercial offers are linked to these contact points. Usually, the customer journey is quite complex, so the main way to organize and control it is through visualization. The best visual collaboration tools allow you to build a diagram and attach contact information, digital assets for use in marketing campaigns, links to specific product features, etc. 

As an example, let’s talk about a business developing a new marketing strategy. Before generating ideas, you need to define the nature of the campaigns. To do this, all contact points with the consumer are identified — advertising, transition to the website, contacting the support service, etc. In a visual collaboration tool, clicking on these graphic elements can take you to separate boards for developing marketing campaigns. They can have limited access rights, for example, only for specific teams. 

Comprehensive Integration into the Workflow

We've already mentioned that visual collaboration tools should be used at all stages of the workflow. Let's demonstrate how they can support a certain set of sequential tasks:

  1. Visualization of the current state

Every project has a starting point. To understand where you are now, you can display your company's organizational chart, product policy, customer journey, and development strategy on a concept board. Doing so will facilitate the discussion of ideas and help bring new employees or stakeholders from outside the company up to speed.

  1. Brainstorming

There are no bad ideas — only inappropriate and untimely ones. Ideas in modern business are a key source of innovation and a major factor in development. Therefore, do not discard them if they are not appropriate for the current project — save them in a separate category with the help of visual collaboration tools to use later or as a trigger for a productive discussion. 

  1. Decision-making

One of the advantages of online collaboration platforms is that every user can express their opinion or even take part in voting. This helps select the best ideas and priorities for work. Built-in communication tools will help provide arguments in favor of a particular solution.

  1. Cross-functional project planning

Once agreed upon, you can begin to distribute tasks and responsibilities. The best visual collaboration tools have various templates, including tables, Kanban boards, Gantt charts, and organizational charts. They allow you to assign responsibilities and set target dates for completing each stage.

  1. Updating data

One of the main values of visual collaboration tools is that they allow you to assess the current state of a task or project at a glance. To do this, you need to keep the information recorded on the stormboat up to date. You can do this manually or even automatically with the help of ready-made integrations with other software. In any case, relevant data will significantly increase the productivity of meetings.

  1. Continuous improvement

Organizational charts, Gantt charts, and tables often allow you to see bottlenecks that prevent you from speeding up a project or performing certain tasks more efficiently. Seeing such shortcomings in your plans, you can better reallocate resources or outsource the necessary specialists. 

Benefits of Visual Collaboration

The main advantage in this case is the intuitive organization of workflows. There's no need to convene meetings and regularly bring new employees up to speed. All you need to do is provide a link to a virtual whiteboard to share the most comprehensive information. This saves working time and, hence, the company's money. 

In addition, the advantages of online visual collaboration tools include:

  • Increased flexibility of work processes

Specialized software allows you to establish communication between different teams — inside and outside the company, in the office and at remote workplaces, in separate branches and departments. They can quickly exchange ideas, information, and tools to complete tasks. Lucid surveys show that more than 30% of managers consider visuals the best way to improve collaboration.

  • Accelerating strategic initiatives

Every innovation is both an opportunity and a risk. Therefore, it is quite logical that initiatives meet internal resistance in the company. To overcome such resistance, you can use modern visualization tools that serve as interactive, multifunctional analogs of classic presentations. By showing the scheme of integration of a new solution into the existing business model, it is much easier to convince the management of the positive effect of its implementation.

  • More new ideas

We have already said that there are no bad ideas — even if you reject them at a certain stage, you can return to them and revise them as part of other projects. Visual collaboration tools often become repositories of innovation. To find an original solution, you don't have to organize lengthy brainstorming sessions and involve outside experts — sometimes, you just need to go back to previous discussions. 

  • Increase employee satisfaction

Human psychology is designed in such a way that we like to feel part of a team and society. Online visual collaboration tools provide this opportunity for remote employees. They can play the same role in the company's development and team life as office workers. This gives them a sense of satisfaction and increases the level of team loyalty. 

How to Choose the Right Visual Collaboration Solution

To find the best visual collaboration tools, focus on the results you expect from them. Perhaps you lack structured workflows? Or do you want to improve communication between teams in different parts of the world? Do you need a way to integrate diverse software solutions? Want to quickly share digital assets? Differentiate access rights and responsibilities? 

All of this can be done with visual collaboration tools. However, you might not find everything at once in one solution or the basic configuration. So, when choosing software, you should pay attention to the following features:

  • Visualization capabilities

There are messengers for text messaging and chats for voice conferences. Visualization tools should rather be an empty canvas on which you can apply various elements — freehand drawings, template shapes, stickers with inscriptions, comments, and notes.

For example, you are building an organizational structure for a company. It is much more convenient to assemble it from ready-made blocks than to draw each element separately.

  • Collaboration mechanisms

Collaboration is more than just simultaneous editing of a document, which is also available in Google Drive. It's a tool for approving and rejecting decisions, defining roles and responsibilities, assigning accountabilities, and tracking plan implementation. The more clearly defined the role of each user in the workflow, the better.

Let’s say that during the brainstorming session, 5 application mockups have been generated. If the administrator can approve one of them and appoint those responsible for implementation, this will significantly speed up the work.

  • Flexibility

Each area of the company's business has specific features — popular applications, tasks, business mechanisms, relationships with partners, etc. Make sure that the solution you choose is suitable for all the company's departments involved in the collaboration.

For instance, if most of your employees work in the field, the mobile version will be crucial for them. 

  • Integrations

The greater the degree of automation, the less time, financial resources, and effort are required. Automatic exchange of information with other applications and online platforms can significantly increase productivity.

If a digital agency wants to build dashboards in such a service, it won’t do without integration with Google Analytics. 

  • Templates and customization

A large library of ready-made visuals will also increase the efficiency of using an online collaboration platform — you can simply select the desired element and drag it to the screen. However, there are no one-size-fits-all solutions that work for everyone. Therefore, the possibility of adding and editing your visuals will also be an advantage. 

Let’s say you want to build a presentation based on ideas from a virtual whiteboard. A template will make this task much easier. 

The Best Visual Collaboration Tools and Software in 2024

We've reviewed 11 popular free visual collaboration tools and options with paid subscriptions. Here's a closer look at the strengths and weaknesses of each platform. 


Imagine that a secretary is always present at your online meetings. ClickUp AI plays this role. It can summarize the meeting, search for information online during the discussion, continue a thought, shorten the text to fit in a certain block, or remind you of an important event. The service has 15 different templates of virtual collaborative spaces — from a simple whiteboard and Gantt chart to a structured table and Kanban board. 

Pros Cons
Many workspace templates and individual visuals Learning all the features is time-consuming
Ready-made integrations for 1,000 apps and online services Reviews show that the service is sometimes slow and displays changes with a slight delay
Built-in tools for planning and controlling the execution of work

Pricing policy — from $10 per month for each user. There is a free version of visual collaboration tools with limited functionality and no AI. 

Best for: increasing the productivity of active discussions.  


The service allows you to quickly involve external participants in work processes while complying with cybersecurity rules. You just need to give them the login and password to your guest account. If they exceed their authority or try to compromise your work, the administrator will immediately receive a warning. Conceptboard also offers convenient freehand drawing tools — as many as in a typical graphic editor. 

Pros Cons
Any changes are saved automatically — you will never lose them by accident The interface may seem simple, but in fact, the menu structure is complex
User cursors are labeled — you can see their work in real time A few templates of visual elements are available
Easy to scale, suitable for most market segments

Pricing policy — from $7.5 per month for each user. There is a free version for individual use, for example, for taking notes online. 

Best for: complex visualizations that can't be designed using templates. 


Most people know this platform as a simple online graphic editor. However, it has marker boards that offer more than 600,000 template visual elements available for use out-of-the-box or customization. Canva also features a pretty powerful system for assigning access rights and permissions. You can assign users the roles of viewers, commenters, or contributors.  

Pros Cons
Powerful graphic editor in a visual collaboration tool Not all templates are equally easy and convenient to edit
Possibility to set permissions in a couple of clicks The platform is more suitable for creative tasks rather than administrative ones
Integration with hundreds of programs and online platforms

Pricing starts at $15 per user per month. The free version offers fewer templates and a limit on the number of marker boards.  

Best for: collaborative creative development, creating content for social media.  


Imagine an infinite workspace that can be scaled in any direction without restrictions. That's what Mural is. This visual collaboration tool allows you to discuss projects on different boards or combine them into a common space. To make this format of work convenient and productive, you can link to a specific section of the board and fix the most significant elements, prohibiting their movement. You can also invite external participants to the process by simply providing them with a link.

Pros Cons
Powerful graphic editor in a visual collaboration tool Not all templates are equally easy and convenient to edit
Possibility to set permissions in a couple of clicks The platform is more suitable for creative tasks rather than administrative ones
Integration with hundreds of programs and online platforms

Pricing starts at $12 per month for each user. In the free version, only 3 boards are available with a limited number of editors.   

Best for: working with large projects that take years to complete.


It is another unlimited workspace with various visual templates and drawing tools. What sets Miro apart from competitors is the availability of powerful decision-making tools, such as anonymous voting and reaction stickers in chat. Another unique feature is the so-called Icebreakers. These are built-in mini-games and entertainment that serve as a virtual analog of office team building. They allow remote employees to get to know each other better to improve communication.  

Pros Cons
Convenient tools for creating custom tables, graphs, and charts Pricing plans are not flexible — some companies will face difficulties in making the best choice
Easy editing of all templates The board may slow down due to many users
More than 1,000 ready-made board templates for any task

Pricing policy — from $10 per month for each user. A free subscription offers 3 boards and a minimum number of templates.    

Best for: large companies that involve employees from different branches and departments in projects.


Pics.io digital asset management (DAM) system is a tool for organization, management, and quick retrieval of different files. Apart from its native storage, this DAM also provides Amazon S3 or Google Drive digital asset management. It has many more collaboration tools compared to traditional clouds. Pics.io supports multiple file formats and allows you to organize them in customizable web portals for sharing in a couple of clicks.

Pics.io DAM enables multiple users to work simultaneously on text documents, spreadsheets, image files, and other digital assets. It has a handy version control module, as well as access rights and permissions for individual users and large workgroups. Another essential feature is metadata — searching, editing, creating new custom metadata fields, and automatic AI tag generation with 3 different AI models to choose from.

Pros Cons
Can work with its own storage, the volume of which is adjusted to the subscriber's needs The price can be high for individual users, but it is suitable for small businesses
Has a built-in graphic editor for images and videos
Suitable for any market segment and businesses of any scale

Pricing policy — $11-15 per month for each user. There is a 7-day trial period with no credit card required.     

Best for: working with projects that involve thousands or hundreds of thousands of digital assets.  


It is a simple visual online collaboration tool with an intuitive interface. One of its unique features is Breakout Boards. It allows you to divide a large project into several small subtasks. By updating each of them, you automatically move the data to the main marker board. Another handy feature is Call Others to Me. By pressing this button, you drag other users' cursors to the desired area of the screen, attracting their attention. 

Pros Cons
Built-in timer for tracking time and work using the Pomodoro technique Mobile apps have limited functionality
Easy integration with corporate messengers and project management programs Only basic templates have a simple interface — others require more time to learn
The possibility to quickly split and merge boards

Pricing starts at $7.95 per month for each user. The free version has only three boards with identical templates. 

Best for: progressive project management techniques popular in the IT industry.  


It is one of the fastest services on the market. Users say that its boards are updated within milliseconds, even when it comes to the collaboration of dozens of people. The cursors move smoothly across the screen, which creates a comfortable real-time experience. Creately also offers hundreds of chart templates of varying complexity. In addition, the service has a built-in video conferencing module that can be launched with one click.

Pros Cons
Most elements are added using the drag-n-drop method The platform may be faster than competitors, but it takes longer to load for the first time
The interface can be customized to suit your needs It is quite inconvenient to navigate large boards — there are no quick navigation tools
The menu structure is intuitive

Pricing policy — from $5 per month for each user. The free version has limited functionality.  

Best for: creating organizational charts and software algorithms. 


The platform offers AI that can generate ideas, turn notes into action plans, and quickly fill out spreadsheets. With it, you can quickly export your marker boards to Google Docs to turn them into presentations for clients, partners, or investors.

Pros Cons
Quick grouping of tables and whiteboards The first setup of the service will be quite challenging
App stability when working with large projects The pricing model is mostly aimed at large businesses
AI to help you fill out task cards

Pricing policy — from $10 per month for each user. The free version has limitations on the number of boards, users, and integrations.   

Best for: web and marketing agencies with many clients.   

Google Jamboard

At first glance, it looks like a typical digital whiteboard with a limited number of functions. But Jamboard has a truly unique feature. The service offers its hardware — a 55-inch touchscreen monitor with a camera and speakers that automatically synchronizes with online platforms. It combines the best of offline and online collaboration, which allows each team to work in a comfortable environment.

Pros Cons
Part of Google's ecosystem, easily syncs with Drive and Docs Functionality is weak compared to most competitors
The monitor recognizes handwriting and improves the quality of sketches The platform becomes unstable when more than 20 participants work with the board
Simple and intuitive interface

Pricing — a free visual collaboration tool. But the monitor costs $4,999, and you'll have to pay another $600 for its annual support.    

Best for: teams working in and out of offices.   

Freehand by InVision

This multifunctional platform can be called an average market representative in terms of the number of functions and built-in tools. Mini-games for team building and a leaderboard that shows the rating of employees by contributions to projects help it to stand out from the competition.  

Pros Cons
Easy to scale with company growth Few integrations
Allows you to control the execution of tasks and calculate time costs Boards scale in jerks, lacking smooth zoom
Simple and intuitive interface

Pricing starts at $4.5 per month per user. The free version has a limited number of boards and features. 

Best for: small businesses and startups.


With the high popularity of remote and hybrid employment, visual collaboration tools are becoming real game changers. By choosing the right software, you will increase productivity, create an atmosphere of friendly cooperation and healthy competition in the team, and stimulate positive changes in the company's development strategy.

When choosing a suitable platform, pay attention to communication tools, the convenience of adding visual elements, and the availability of integrations with other applications. Also, remember the cost of subscription and limits on the number of participants in the project.

Did you enjoy this article? Give Pics.io a try — or book a demo with us, and we'll be happy to answer any of your questions.

Pics.io Team
Welcome to Pics.io blog, where you'll get useful tips, resources & best practices on how digital asset management can help your business to manage & distribute digital content on top of cloud storage.