Start a fun digital whiteboard for remote workers

If your company uses Google products (like Google Drive), consider making a collaborative whiteboard for people to doodle anything they want. Think of it as the physical whiteboard that you have in the office where people would write and draw fun things on.

Our Jamboard after two days

Building community

With so many of us working remotely, we miss the small little things about sharing a common physical space. Things like the office whiteboard. You’d casually walk by and notice someone drew a smiley face. So you draw another smiley face so they have buddies. Little things like that.

Back in the day, we’d sometimes write questions on the board. Like, “guess how much snow we’ll get in this upcoming blizzard”. Here’s a list of whiteboard games.

Little efforts like this contribute to feeling part of a community.

If your company recently moved to Google products, then this is a great way to have some fun with everyone to get them warmed up to using Google. At my workplace, we used Microsoft products for 22 years. In fact, when I first joined the company, I was one of the first people to use Outlook, because they didn’t want to set me up on the old email software, only to change me over a month later. People really get stuck in their ways when using the same software after many years. Having fun with the transition will hopefully ease the troubles.

How do you get a whiteboard from Google’s products?

You could use a Google Doc or a Google Sheet. Google’s product lineup also includes a product made specifically for whiteboard collaboration. It’s called Jamboard.

You can get to the Jamboard product by going directly to jamboard.google.com. Or you can get to Jamboard via the list of Google products in the 9-circle icon by your profile image in the upper right of your Chrome browser.

Encouraging participation

People often feel reluctant to share things on forums like this. For concern about it being captured forever. That’s why physical whiteboards were so nice. You know what you write/draw will be erased for the next fun (or serious) thing. You can contribute freely because it won’t be up there for long.

To help people feel like this isn’t going to be captured forever, write a little message at the top of the Jamboard saying something like,

Think of this as a whiteboard sitting out among the desks. You can walk up to it and doodle anything you like.
Every Monday, this board will be erased, to start off with a fresh new board.

This message achieves a couple of things.

  1. It welcomes people to contribute
  2. It reminds people of what we are familiar with—the physical whiteboard
  3. It reassures everyone that this will be erased regularly.

Sharing the Jamboard

You can share the URL to the Jamboard with your company, or group of peers. If you have Google Space set up for your company, you can add the Jamboard as a file in the Space.

In my daily bookmarks folder, I have the Jamboard saved as a bookmark, so I check it every morning. I plan on drawing a least a little smiley face on it every morning, just to add to it, so people know that it is being continuously updated. (And even if it’s just me drawing on it, at least I get a little bit of drawing pleasure every day. The tiniest piece of artwork making.)

For now, we are starting small with just a few people having access, so that way people feel comfortable contributing. It’s not like this mega-all-company thing. Just make it fun with a few folks. Then grow it out and invite more people to participate. That’s at least my plan for now.

Do you use a digital collaborative whiteboard?

If you have a digital whiteboard that is used for fun, please let me know. I’d love to see what you do with yours.

Enjoyed this blog post?

Join the creatives who receive thoughtful Matt Maldre blog posts via the email newsletter
(Whenever it posts. Around 1-2 times per month)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.