Illustration of many screens with one person displayed on each screen

While working from home has fast become the norm and keeping ourselves and others safe is our top priority, at Magpie we’ve quickly added to the digital ways we collaborate, co-create and gather insight. If you’re looking for ways to feel a bit more connected whilst working remotely, here are some tools you can use to collaborate at a distance.

Google docs
A firm favourite for many as an alternative to Word, Google Docs is also a great way to collaborate. Docs allows multiple people to work on something at the same time; editing, updating, and commenting in real time. To avoid confusion, ask your colleagues to each pick a different colour to type in, and use the highlighter to draw attention to the parts that need a second pair of eyes.

Another one from Google, Jamboard is free to use and accessible to anyone with a Google account. Think of it as a big blank sheet of virtual paper. With the option to draw, add images and post it notes, it’s perfect for a brain dump or ideas session. If your Jamboard gets too full, simply add another sheet. The beauty of virtual paper? It’s environmentally friendly and you’ll never run out.

Similar to Jamboard but with a selection of templates to choose from. With pre-made mind maps, flowcharts and the option to create your own template to use over and over, Miro is great if you don’t like starting with a blank page. With the free version you’re limited to 3 active boards, but for most people that’s probably enough. And by adding comments and information to fit the format you need, there’s no need to type the notes up afterwards!


With Klaxoon, you can use your phone, tablet, or computer to participate, vote, react and brainstorm in real time and everyone takes part. You can embed your existing slides or create new ones from their Meeting app. Screen sharing is pretty standard  but you can also boost live participation with polling, challenges and word clouds. Content is shared live, allowing everybody to react and see the group’s opinion in real time.

Old favourites
Survey Monkey, Google Forms and Twitter polls are quick ways of gathering responses remotely. Share the link and wait for that insight to roll in.

Quality over quantity
For more qualitative insight, pick up the phone or organise a virtual meeting. This can work for one-on-one conversations or with a small group. To make the most of the session, share your screen to give the group some visual cues and ask them to add their comments as you go, or make note of what they’re saying with one of the tools above.


By Eleanor Calsy-Harrison

Magpie’s Experience Manager