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Whiteboards

Whiteboards are a critical tool for each stage of the product development lifecycle. They help you build out and refine concepts in a visual form — an important first step in building lovable products. Create beautiful diagrams, journey maps and user flows, and collaborate with your team to develop and visualize new concepts. And when the time is right, convert whiteboard elements into actionable items on your product roadmap.

Whiteboard adde

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Add a whiteboard

There are three different ways to create a blank whiteboard.

  • Add a personal whiteboard to your My work page the same way you would add a personal note.

  • Add a new whiteboard to your team or workspace notes. Keep whiteboards neatly organized in your nested notes hierarchy and add as many new whiteboards as you choose.

  • Map out a user flow for a new feature or illustrate phases of a new initiative with a flowchart by embedding a whiteboard in a note or in the description field of most Aha! records — like initiatives, features, and requirements — so you can add visual context to the work your team is doing.
    You cannot yet add a whiteboard to the description of an idea.

Create a new whiteboard

From your workspace/team or personal Notes, click + Create and select Whiteboard. Your new untitled whiteboard will open automatically. Update the name by editing its Title. The whiteboard will appear in your document hierarchy below the note you currently have selected. You can drag and drop it to change its location.

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Create a copy of a whiteboard whiteboard

To create a copy of a whiteboard, right click the whiteboard from the List view and select Copy whiteboard. A copy of the whiteboard will open and will appear in the List view below the the original whiteboard document.

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Embed a whiteboard in an Aha! record

Add a whiteboard to an existing note or other Aha! record from the text editor. While editing a note or record, click the + dropdown and select Whiteboard. The new whiteboard will appear one space below your cursor. Click inside the whiteboard or click the arrow icon in its top-right corner to expand the whiteboard window. Click the X in the top-right corner to close it and return to the note.

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The Aha! whiteboard provides infinite space to ideate, sketch, and diagram. As you add objects, your whiteboard will expand to provide even more space for you to use. You can navigate around your whiteboard and between any frames you add by using the navigation toolbar in the bottom-right corner.

  • Scroll around your whiteboard by selecting the Pan button or hit the Space bar.

  • Adjust the Zoom level with the plus and minus buttons or by pressing Ctrl and scrolling.

  • Navigate to a specific frame on your whiteboard by clicking the Zoom % and select a frame from the list in your frame navigation.

  • Scroll through frames quickly by using the Next frame and Previous frame options or by using the Space bar.

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Use the toolbar

The whiteboard toolbar remains static on the left side of your screen, even as you resize your whiteboard. Use it to add objects and text, draw, and build diagrams. Just click an icon from the toolbar to select it or double-click to select and retain a tool for extended use.

Tool

Keyboard shortcut

Options

Function

Pointer

'


Text

T

  • Color, opacity, and border options for the text box

  • Aha! text editor

  • Add text and text boxes to your whiteboard

  • Edit and format text

Shape

S

  • Square

  • Circle

  • Star

  • Badge

  • Image

  • Beveled square

  • Triangle

  • Cylinder

  • Text

  • Diamond

  • Hexagon

  • Cloud

  • Annotation

  • and more

Sticky note

N

  • Color and opacity options

  • Square or rectangle options

  • Capture thoughts and ideas

Connector

C

  • Arrow and line style options

  • Color and opacity options.

  • Straight, fluid, or static angle options

  • Connect shapes, text boxes, symbols, and other whiteboard objects

Pen



  • Sketch out ideas

Frame

F

  • Editable label

  • Color and opacity options

Stamp emoji

E

  • Resize or rotate

  • Stamp approval on whiteboard objects

Image

I

  • Resize or rotate

  • Add an image to provide more context to the contents of your whiteboard

Template


  • Create consistent whiteboard configurations throughout your account

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Create diagrams

Diagrams, flowcharts, decision trees. All are great visual aids to illustrate sequences, processes, structures, and hierarchies. Your Aha! whiteboard tools empower you to build attractive diagrams that are both customizable and easy to construct.

Diagrams are made of objects and connectors. Add objects to your whiteboard. Then join them together using connectors and arrows to show relationships, map processes and user journeys, diagram an organizational structure, or illustrate sequences.

Objects

An object can be a shape, sticky note, uploaded image, text box, emoji, or icon. Most objects have various connection points around their borders to neatly add connectors. Although you can join any objects with connectors, shapes are the most commonly used objects in diagrams and flowcharts.

  • Add a shape by clicking the Shape icon on your toolbar and choose a shape. Then click and drag it to your desired dimensions.

  • Resize a shape by selecting and dragging its corners.

  • Rotate a shape by selecting the rotation icon and dragging it to your desired angle.

  • Format a shape using the customization options above it — you can edit the fill color and opacity or the line weight, color, and style

  • Add text to an object by double-clicking the object, then begin typing. Align text you have added to an object by selecting the object and clicking the Align button.

Connectors

A connector can be an arrow or a line. Connectors can be used to join objects together or on their own as simple arrows and lines.

  • Add a connector by selecting the connector icon on your toolbar, then click and drag it to your desired length. You can also add a connector directly from a shape by clicking one of the connection points along an object's border.

    • Double-click the shape icon on your toolbar and then click a connection point on an existing shape to add both a connector arrow and additional shape with one click.

  • Resize a connector by selecting and dragging its endpoints.

  • Manipulate a connector's angles or curves by clicking and dragging the midpoints on the connector.

Connect shapes by selecting the endpoint of a connector and dragging and dropping it to a connection point on an object's border.

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Group, align, and reorder objects

Once you have added multiple items to a whiteboard, you can customize your whiteboard's layout by grouping, aligning, and ordering objects. Aligning objects can help you create neater, more visually appealing diagrams, flowcharts, and mind maps. And if you have multiple overlapping objects, select their order to show dimension or illustrate sequences.

Group objects

To group objects, select the area around the objects or hold the Shift key and click them one by one. Then use the Group button to group objects. Use the Ungroup button to reverse your action. Double-click an image in a group to edit it individually without ungrouping.

Align objects

To align objects, select the area around the objects or hold the Shift key and click them one by one. Then use the Align button to align the objects.

Reorder objects

If you have placed objects that are on top of one another or overlapping, you can customize their order by selecting and object and clicking the More options button. From here, you can choose to Bring to front or Send to back.

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Undo and redo whiteboard actions

Use the Undo button in the bottom right of your screen to undo your last action on your whiteboard. For example, if you accidentally deleted a shape, clicking the Undo button will bring back the deleted shape. You can also type Command+Z on your keyboard to undo your last action.

Click the Redo button to reapply your changes.

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Lock objects

Lock an object on your whiteboard to ensure that it remains static — so that no one accidentally moves or deletes it during a collaborative session.

  • Select the object you want to lock and use the Lock icon in the object's toolbar. You can also right-click the object and select Lock.

  • Use the Command+Shift+L shortcut to lock an object you already have selected.

  • Select a locked object and click the Lock icon again to unlock it and make it editable.

lock an object on your whiteboard

Once an object is locked, no one using the whiteboard will be able to select, delete, group, resize, or add a connector to the object. If the object has a connector attached to it, it will remain attached. When a user clicks a locked object, the Lock icon will show that it is locked. Any whiteboard user with edit access can lock or unlock any object on a whiteboard.

locked object on a whiteboard

If you have previously grouped several objects, you can select the group of objects and click the Lock icon to lock them together. If you need to edit one of the grouped items, you can unlock it individually and remaining grouped objects will remain locked.

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Use sticky notes

Sticky notes are a versatile whiteboard element. You can use stickies just like you can other whiteboard shapes, but they are intended for capturing text. That is why they are so useful for collaborative sessions. Use them to jot down your thoughts and ideas, and color code them to organize information.

If you need extra space to share your thoughts on a sticky note, you can change it to a rectangle from its toolbar. Quickly add another sticky note of the same color or shape by clicking the Plus sign next to it.

Show note author

When you have a whiteboard full of sticky notes during a team session, see who contributed them — click your whiteboard's More options menu and select Show note author. Each sticky note's author will appear beneath it. Repeat the action to remove sticky note authors.

Add emoji reactions

Emojis are a simple but powerful way to convey one's feelings — and a great way to gauge sentiment. Users can add an emoji reaction to any sticky note you add to your whiteboard. This inspires further engagement as other whiteboard users add their own reactions. You will see the count of how many selected each emoji reaction to understand the overall sentiment surrounding a sticky note's content.

To add an emoji reaction, click a sticky note and select the Emoji icon from its toolbar. Then select the emoji you want to add. Click an emoji already added to a sticky to increase its count. Click an emoji you have already added to remove it.

You can hover over an emoji to see which whiteboard user(s) added it. Emojis will appear on your whiteboard in the order that they are added, left to right in rows. The first three rows of emojis will display on a sticky note.

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Use custom colors

You can customize the colors your use for text and objects on your whiteboard rather than use default color options. This is a great way to reflect your brand in your whiteboard content. Once you have selected custom colors, they will be saved to the bottom of the color selector menu so you can use them again with just a click.

To select a custom color, click the + and enter the color's hex code or use the dropper tool to select a color displayed on your screen. The color will then be available for reuse. Right-click a color for the option to remove it from your palette.

Support / Whiteboards - custom colors

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Use advanced shapes

The Advanced section of your Shapes menu offers functional objects designed for specific tasks. Use Advanced shapes together to build beautiful early-stage roadmaps and structure content on your whiteboard.

Annotations

Use the annotation shape to add context to any object or area of your whiteboard — so you can highlight key concepts that you want to point out or discuss further with your collaborators.

add annotations to whiteboards with the annotation shape

Access your Shapes toolbar and select the annotation shape. Drag the end of the shape's connector to the object or area of your whiteboard that you need to comment on. Double-click the annotation shape to add text. Right-click to format its color, border, and text.

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Milestones

Add the milestone shape to your whiteboard to signal deadlines or significant dates. Paired with the timeline and progress bar shapes, the milestone can represent important dates like release dates, kickoff or launch dates, or the beginning or end of a time frame.

Select the milestone from the Advanced section of the Shapes menu and click your whiteboard to add the milestone. Use its toolbar to customize its color, shape, and the location of its label.

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Progress bars

Add progress bars below a timeline to represent work you want to accomplish. Use them to represent initiatives, epics, features, themes, or events. Then edit their fill to show progress on those work items.

a whiteboard with a timeline and progress bars added

Select the progress object from the Advanced section of the Shapes menu. Then click your whiteboard to add the progress bar. Use the toolbar to customize your progress bar:

  • Change the progress bar's color, font color, style, text location, and text alignment from its toolbar.

  • Double-click the progress bar to edit text.

  • Drag the handle below the progress bar to adjust its fill.

  • Add an additional progress bar connected by an arrow by clicking the blue dot at either end of the bar. This can help you show a relationship — like a next step or a dependency — between the items the bars represent.

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Icons

Add icons to your whiteboard to represent specific themes or add personality to your whiteboard content. Icons can add context to your plans and are useful for scanning on expansive whiteboards that have a lot of content.

add icons to a whiteboard

Select the icons option from your Advanced shapes menu. Click your whiteboard to add an icon. Then use its toolbar to select which icon you would like to display. There are many icons to choose from — use the search bar to narrow your choices. After you have selected your icon, you can use the toolbar to change its color, opacity, and border.

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Tables

Tables provide a flexible way to visualize and structure information on your whiteboard. Use tables for strategic activities like tracking dependencies, managing timelines, and prioritizing work. Or use them to structure content like project plans and meeting agendas.

add tables to whiteboards

To add a table, open the Shapes menu, then choose the table icon. Click your whiteboard to add a 3x3 table. Use the table's formatting bar to change its fill color, border color, or border width. Change a column or row's dimensions by dragging gridlines between cells. Use the guides at the top of a column or the beginning of a row to rearrange its place in the table. You can also format cells individually — select a cell and right-click to change its color or add rows and columns relative to its position in the table. Merge cells by selecting multiple cells, then clicking the Merge cells icon that appears in the formatting bar. Select the merged cell and use the Unmerge cells icon to reverse your changes.

You can add any type of content to the cells in your table. Type directly in a cell to add text. Drag a sticky note, or shape into your table to add it to a cell. Once you have added an object to a cell, it will remain in that cell even as you rearrange columns, rows, or move your table to another area of your whiteboard. Drag and drop objects you have added to your table to move them to different cells.

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Timelines

Whiteboards are a great tool for brainstorming and ideation, but they are also very useful for early-stage planning. Add timelines to your whiteboard to visualize a time frame for work you would like to deliver. Then add progress bars to represent the work you want to accomplish during that time frame.Select the timeline object from the Advanced section of the Shapes menu. Then click your whiteboard to add a timeline.

features timeline on a whiteboard in Aha! Roadmaps

By default, your timeline will be set for a three month time frame. Use its toolbar to format your timeline's color and opacity. You can also use the toolbar to select the time frame displayed on your timeline:

  • Select the time increments you want displayed in the dropdown menu in your toolbar. You can choose from Quarters, Months, Weeks, or Days. The Auto option will be selected by default and displays increments based on the size of your timeline.

  • Select a time frame. You can choose between 3M, 6M, 1Y, and Custom. The Custom option provides a calendar date selector for you to choose your own start and end dates.

  • Expand your timeline to expose more dates by dragging the handles at either end — use the left handle to add more dates at the beginning of your timeline and the right handle to add more dates at the end of your timeline.

After you have configured your timeline, you can add progress bars or the annotation shape to add details about what you plan to accomplish when.

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Add media

You can add media to your whiteboard to convey complex concepts, demonstrate workflows, and showcase user experiences. Support engagement and collaboration on your whiteboard by adding images, gifs, and videos.

Click the image icon on your whiteboard's toolbar. Then select the media file you would like to add.

Supported files include .mp4, .gif, .png, and .jpg. Files should be smaller than 300MB.

Add and edit images

Insert images to add context to whiteboard content or create quick, easy mockups.

Upload an image using the Image tool on your whiteboard's toolbar, drag and drop an image file onto your whiteboard, or use copy and paste to insert an image on your whiteboard. From there, you can edit it using the image's toolbar.

Supported file types include .png and .jpg.

Icon

Name

Function

Opacity

Edit an image's opacity and overlay

Crop

Crop an image

Clip

Clip parts of an image

Export

Export an image

Lock

Lock an image to your whiteboard

More options

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Edit opacity and overlay

You can edit any image's opacity and add a color overlay from an image's toolbar. Select your image, then select the Opacity icon from the toolbar. Select a standard color or click + to select a custom color (you can enter a hex code for a brand color here), or reset the overlay to transparent. Use the slider to edit the image's opacity.

add a color overlay and change an image's opacity on a whiteboard

At full opacity (with the slider all the way to the right), the color overlay will not be visible. As you move the slider to the left to reduce opacity, you will see the color overlay become more vibrant as the image's opacity decreases.

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Crop images

Improve the visual quality of an image you have added to your whiteboard by cropping your image. To crop an image, click the image and select the Crop tool for the image's toolbar. Then slide the handles on the border of your image to your desired dimensions. Deselect the Crop tool or hit Return on your keyboard when you are finished to accept your cropped image.

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Clip images

The clip tool is ideal for quickly illustrating a UI change or experimenting with new layouts. Use the clip tool to cut out part of an image, click and drag to move it. When you clip part of an image, the background will "self-heal" and automatically match the surrounding area. This enables you to make changes to images without needing to use another design tool.

Use the clip tool on a whiteboard in Aha! software

To use the clip tool:

  • Add an image to your whiteboard.

  • Select the clip tool from the image toolbar.

  • Draw a rectangle around the area you want to clip.

  • Drag the clipped area wherever you want to place it or use the Delete key to remove it.

After you have clipped part of an image, it becomes its own object — you can resize it, group it with other objects, copy and paste it, or move it independently around your whiteboard.

Export an image

Save any image added to a whiteboard for later use. You can export any image added to whiteboards that you have permission to edit. Click an image and select the Export icon on the image's toolbar to export the image to your computer as a .png file.

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Use whiteboard templates

Your Aha! subscription includes a library of expert document templates with a range of product uses. These purpose-built templates were designed to support every step of the product development lifecycle. Add as many templates to a whiteboard as you want and organize them with frames to keep your whiteboard neat and easy to navigate.

Add a template to your whiteboard

You can access the template library when you add a new document to your workspace's Notebook page or when you add a personal document to your My work page. Click Add to add a document, then select Use a template to open the template library.

If you want to add a template to a whiteboard you are already editing, select the Template icon on your toolbar. From here, you can use the search bar at the top to find a specific template or select a template category on the left. Click a template to see its description. Click Use template to add the template to your whiteboard.

Create a new whiteboard template

The perfect whiteboard helps your team uncover insights and plan for the future — and it looks beautiful, too. You can turn any whiteboard into a template that your team can access from the template library.

Users with owner permissions can create document templates.

  • To create a new whiteboard template, navigate to Settings ⚙️ Workspace Document templates. Then click Add document template and select Whiteboard.

  • To create a template from a whiteboard you are currently editing, select the More options menu in the upper right corner of the whiteboard and select Save as template. Then enter a name for the template and click Create template.
    You can only create templates from workspace documents.

Once saved, you will find your new whiteboard in the Custom section of the Aha! template library.

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Organize your whiteboard

Use frames

You can keep your whiteboard tidy by adding frames. Use frames to organize your diagrams, templates, and other objects. Add frames and build diagrams within them or draw a frame around an area to group items together.

From your toolbar, select the frame icon and draw your frame. Then rename your frame by editing its Title field. The label you enter here will be used for the frame navigation in the lower right corner of your whiteboard.

Your frame will be named by default as "Frame" plus a number, with the first frame being "Frame 1" and so on. Frames will appear in your navigation in the order that they were added to your whiteboard.

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Convert a whiteboard object to an Aha! record

Creative tools like whiteboards are great for sparking inspiration. In fact, that is how many product teams use them. The next brilliant idea may stem from a collaborative session, a weekly team meeting, or a personal whiteboard. Put that idea into action by promoting items on your whiteboard to work on your product roadmap immediately — then go back later and add in important details.

On your whiteboard, an object that has been converted to a record will display a link icon in its lower left corner. Clicking the link will open the record's drawer view, where you can edit and update the record's details.

Convert to ideas

Available for: Aha! Roadmaps Aha! Ideas

  • Use the More options button or right-click on a shape, sticky note, or text box and select Convert to idea.

  • Select the Workspace where you want your idea to be added. You can select any workspace or workspace line that you have access to.

  • Edit the idea's Name.

  • Click Create idea.

You will find your newly created idea record in the New ideas section of your ideas overview page. You will find a link to the whiteboard where the idea originated in its Related tab.

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Convert to features

Available for: Aha! Roadmaps Aha! Develop

  • Use the More options button or right-click on a shape, sticky note, or text box and select Convert to feature.

  • Select a Release. You can select any release in any workspace or workspace line that you have access to.

  • Edit the feature's Name.

  • Click Create feature.

You will find your newly created feature record in release and workspace you selected. You will find a link to the whiteboard where the feature originated in its Related tab.

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Convert to epics

Available for: Aha! Roadmaps Aha! Develop

  • Use the More options button or right-click on a shape, sticky note, or text box and select Convert to epic.

  • Select a Release. You can select any release in any workspace or workspace line that you have access to.

  • Edit the epic's Name.

  • Click Create epic.

You will find your newly created epic in the release and workspace you selected. You will find a link to the whiteboard where the epic originated in its Related tab.

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Convert to initiatives

Available for: Aha! Roadmaps

  • Use the More options button or right-click on a shape, sticky note, or text box and select Convert to initiative.

  • Select the Workspace where you want your initiative to be added. You can select any workspace or workspace line that you have access to.

  • Edit the initiative's Name.

  • Click Create initiative.

You will find your newly created initiative in the workspace you selected. You will find a link to the whiteboard where the initiative originated in its Related tab.

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Convert to goals

Available for: Aha! Roadmaps

  • Use the More options button or right-click on a shape, sticky note, or text box and select Convert to goals.

  • Select the Workspace where you want your initiative to be added. You can select any workspace or workspace line that you have access to.

  • Edit the initiative's Name.

  • Click Create goal.

You will find your newly created goal in the workspace you selected. You will find a link to the whiteboard where the goal originated in its Related tab.

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Aha! Roadmaps