Welcome to the second in our series of Applications Advocates articles.
Each advocate will outline the main features of their favourite app, why the app might be useful, and tips for getting the most from it. Apps to look forward to hearing about include Padlet, Visio and more.
Following last month's article about Delve, we continue this series with Miro and had a chat with Senior Business Analyst, Brendan Donnelly, to find out more.
Name of application
How to find and use it
Miro is a web-based tool which can be found at https://miro.com. To request a free Miro account, sign up with your email address.
Members of Oxford University can use their SSO when registering using the ‘Office 365’ logo on the sign-up page.
To get a full, annual, named licence (which gives additional capabilities within the application), there is a cost of approximately $100 – just follow the usual purchasing route for your section.
How it looks
Miro – best bits and top tips
- Many handy templates to get started quickly – an ice-breaker board, mind map, lessons learnt, flowchart tools, plus a whole library full of assistance can be found on the Miro website.
- Lots of useful visual tools – for example:
- Post-it notes: swiftly creates an online whiteboard for a simple method of quick online interaction and information gathering.
- Voting: for example voting on which features are most popular, which idea should be implemented – all at the click of a button.
- Timer: easy-to-add feature to keep your meeting or exercise on target (with optional countdown music).
- Agenda and notes: can be pinned to a side menu to make easily accessible and visible.
- As with an in-person workshop, preparation is key; add structure to the board, think about what you want the participants to achieve and make it simple.
- Create a welcome board for attendees to pre-register on Miro and practise their skills.
- Clone existing templates and brand them in your own style for your team.
- One-click lock to hold key parts of the board in place (there is an ‘undo’ button too).
- Easy management of your boards – share via groups/email or move between folders (which are called ‘projects’ in Miro).
- Find out what are other people doing by checking out the 'Miro universe' which features a catalogue of users’ boards.
- Miro Academy is an abundant source of information providing hints and tips for users of all levels.
- More information including training resources are also available.
It’s a life-saver for…
- Collaborating in online or hybrid meetings and workshops – either one person leads and shares their screen or everyone joins in and adds to the board.
- Brainstorming sessions where you need to note things down in a structured way (e.g. using a simple mind map tool.)
- Lessons learnt sessions where you want the whole group to contribute and capture learning points during the session itself.
- Collaborative project meetings where you want to consider what to stop/start/continue or what the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats are in your context.
- A board can be opened in advance of and after a meeting/workshop to enable collaboration to happen over a longer period of time, supporting different working patterns and availability.
What makes it better than its closest competitor?
Mural is a very similar collaborative tool with comparable functionality. However, Miro is richer, has an easier help facility, and provides the catalogues and template libraries to get you started more quickly.
Padlet (which will be reviewed next time) is another similar tool, providing an empty canvas for collaborative meetings. Miro is much more diverse and has many more use cases as a result of the range of its templates and its innate flexibility.
Do you have a favourite application?
Do get in touch and let us know.