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Ask HN: Favorite remote work realtime collaboration tool(s)?
21 points by mojomark 4 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 7 comments
I'm about to start a large highly complex and creative project with a strong team. Unfortunatly, with distancing in place, we can't spend all day in a room with a whiteboard. I imagine others have faced this dilemma. What are your favorite tools (or features if within common telecom SW like MS Teams/Zoom) for realtime, day-long remote ideation and collaborative design?



I am actually working on a product called vlokit (https://vlokit.com). It helps you collaborate beyond zoom. It's video chat for remote teams.

The cool thing is you can share your thoughts instantly. Other people reply on the same thread with their ideas, thoughts or feedback.

You keep track of context in a single place. People consume ideas better. It also means you end up doing better brainstorming on zoom.

Let me know if you have any questions.


I’ve recently used https://miro.com/ and overall was a good experience to collaborate


Also using Miro and enjoy it.

In addition to the software, make sure your team has good hardware. A screen large enough with high enough resolution is critical to see the whiteboard. What’s also important is that video from meetings takes up screen real estate and with multiple participants, having enough size and resolution to see them all helps you stay connected. External webcams that can be adjusted are helpful also.


Cool, good advice thanks. Could you say roughly. What percentage of the day you'd spend in a collaborative environment vice independant work? I ask because if we were able to physically go into an office, we'd normally easily spend >50% of our time "whiteboarding" our hardware/software system of systems concepts for a few months before we begin the more detailed preliminary design phase that can last many more months.

I want to achieve the same productivity, but I'm very concerned about fatigue. I'm thinking we'll need to break our ideation sessions down into a greater number of shorter sessions.


It depends on the day but not such a high percentage usually. Our design phases don’t last as long (software only).

Virtual meeting fatigue is real because there aren’t as many natural breaks. It is important to make sure that people know they can excuse themselves for water/food/bio breaks.

I’ve also found that virtual whiteboarding is slower for me as I’m used to picking up a dry erase marker. It takes time to adjust to the different work stream but a huge benefit is the quality of the end product (no sloppy hand writing, easy to modify).

I don’t have any direct advice geared towards your situation as our white boarding and planning phases are quite different in my industry.


Awesome - valuable input. I agree, there's probably a trade-off between slowing down the documentation of a collective stream of consciousness and the ability to read clear thoughts and make clean modifications.

I think being clear with the team up front about these trade-offs will make the transition to remote ideation smoother as people will hopefully be less frustrated that ideas aren't flowing 'like they used to', but perhaps they can flow better and in new, more productive ways. We shall see.

Sincerely, thank you!


Thanks, this looks pretty awesome, definitely will check it out. The MS Teams integration and infinite whiteboard is a major plus to me.




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