We all have a favorite communication style that has proven most effective. Some of us are best with the written word. Video and audio are effective for others. Some of my best work comes about on a whiteboard, usually with others adding their thoughts and ideas to the mix in a collaborative effort. That was easy to accomplish in the “old days” when all of us worked in a corporate or branch office, with everyone able to grab a coffee or lunch and meet together to brainstorm.
That is one of the activities that I miss the most now that I work out of a home office. You might have experienced the same thing. Email, social sites, web meetings and even webcams each provide a part of the solution. The missing piece was the magic of the whiteboard, capturing the ideas, images and arrows that help bring the ideas to life. Collaborative work efforts are always my preference.
The solution is Twiddla.
Twiddla is a free, no setup, instantaneous WebTool that provides a virtual whiteboard and more. There are no plug-ins, downloads, or firewall voodoo – it’s all there, ready to go when you are. It is web browser agnostic and user friendly. The people you invite to meetings will never see so much as a login screen.
There are some advantages to using Twiddla over a traditional whiteboard. You can overlay a webpage, word document, project plan, organization chart, etc. on the Twiddla board so rather than starting from a blank whiteboard, you can start the discussion with something already loaded. You can’t do that with a traditional whiteboard. Need to mark-up and layout a sales proposal? Modify a contract to reflect changing terms and conditions? Look at a current web-page layout and mark it up for recommended changes? All are just a few clicks away with Twiddla.
How is it different from other collaboration tools? (e.g., WebEx)
- First of all it’s free.
- Second it’s available to anyone, anytime.
- Third, there are no plug ins – all you need is your web browser.
- Fourth, you can interact with the web (or any uploaded picture, document or widget) AND mark it up at the same time.
- Fifth, it incorporates chat and voice.
- And did I mention it’s free?
An example of how you might use Twiddla:
Let’s say you and your team (who are spread across the world) are exploring ways to improve a new landing page you want to have on your website for an upcoming tradeshow. You’ve received the first mock-up of the page from your designer but do not feel that your objectives are being met. You have found other websites that are using some of the concepts that are in your mind. Rather than you sending your team members a link and all of you looking at the page separately saying “you see that one half way down on the left hand side…?”, you open the page in Twiddla, send your team the link to the Twiddla session, and you’re all looking at the exact same thing. You circle the thing you’re thinking at, and they see what you’ve circled. Others click around, draw arrows and you go where they navigate to. You discuss it over chat OR in Twiddla’s integrated voice feature. All for free. All without advanced scheduling. All without downloads. All without anything more technical than going to a webpage.
Here is what Twiddla is NOT designed to do:
Twiddla is not:
- A screen sharing service (i.e., you can’t see each other’s desktops using Twiddla)
- A video chat service
- Going to work with Flash websites
- A tool to edit documents/spreadsheets (but you can upload them and mark them up)
- Intended to interact with secure websites – e.g., you can’t buy things online over Twiddla or go to someone’s Facebook page on Twiddla.
There is no limit to the number of people that can join your session. Realistically though, how many people do you want all drawing, typing and interacting on one whiteboard? You can take a snapshot of your Twiddla session any time you like. That snapshot can be exported as an image, turned into a widget for embedding into a web page, or loaded back up in Twiddla for further tweaking.
As I have already mentioned Twiddla is a free webtool. Many of you will never have a need for any more than what the free tool provides. If however, you have a company with numerous employees and departments, you will likely benefit from additional features from one of the updgraded plans available. Here is a comparison chart of your options:
If you are a teacher or educator, they will give you a free “PRO” account.
Twiddla.com is a valuable additional to your sales WebTools toolkit.
If you wonder about the additional benefits of one of the upgraded plans, they offer a 30 day free trial. Now back to the whiteboard…