Mural has long been known in the world of Agile software development as a leading collaboration tool. It’s had a load of recognition from all the leading tech institutions and industry commentators – from Gartner to G2, PC Mag… you name it. And deservedly so in our opinion.
But, while it once stood atop the hill of the popular tools for Agile teams, people started noticing issues, like the difficulty of onboarding new members to the platform, or the clunky import/export functions, alongside some others, which we’ll get to later.
So, people started looking for alternatives…
And that’s exactly what we’re going to explore today! We’ll be taking you through the best Mural alternatives (including our own Metro Retro), so you can choose the best collaboration tool for your needs.
Let’s get started by answering a very simple question:
What is Mural?
Mural is an intuitive virtual whiteboard and collaboration platform designed to handle project management operations across teams.
The platform comes with a number of collaborative tools and features, including a wide range of templates, broad file support, and scheduling capabilities. Additionally, some features allow real-time collaboration across standard whiteboard tasks like brainstorming and project/sprint planning.
Mural’s main strengths are its ease of use, the large amount of educational and training materials available to help users realize its full potential, and its large number of usable templates (200+).
However, there are some negatives. For instance, many users experience a high learning curve when they first join the platform, which can disrupt the flow of important meetings and presentations. Additionally, Mural’s performance can suffer during larger meetings, especially if multiple users are on a board at once, with many experiencing screen freezes and UI glitches.
Why Look for a Mural Alternative?
You will see a number of common and recurring complaints when you look at the review of Mural on sites like G2, some of which include:
- Steep learning curve (hence the need for additional educational materials)
- Sluggish performance with large murals
- Price compared to viable alternative solutions
- Limited offline access
- Exporting and printing limitations
- A limited number of integrations
Mural has three priced plans and a decent free version for those wanting to dip their toes before making a purchase:
Team+ | $9.99 per person per month (billed annually)
Business | $17 per person per month (billed annually)
Enterprise | Features & Pricing available on request
Criteria to Consider When Choosing a Mural Alternative
Does the tool have a variety of available templates?
Some tools have a limited number of templates; others have dozens, and some: hundreds.
Good templates are vital to improving efficiency and accelerating project delivery. You’ll be saving yourself tons of time in the process, too, so be on the lookout for:
- Icebreakers & Energizers
- Product Management
- Strategy & Planning
- Custom Templates
Does the tool facilitate collaborative mind mapping?
Mind mapping is a great tool for helping individuals and groups brainstorm, plan, and grasp complex concepts more effectively. We personally love them here at Metro Retro; it’s a great way to get things organized in a visually appealing way.
Does the tool offer high efficiency at a feasible cost?
Some of the current Mural alternatives can end up getting pretty expensive for mid-sized to larger teams.
They all come with different pricing options that offer different levels of features, access, and control.
It’s important that you keep a close eye on what features and tools are imperative to your projects and teams and weigh up the costs of each solution accordingly.
Other criteria you should consider when identifying your Mural alternative are:
- Offline support and useability
- Large canvas (bigger is always better in this particular scenario)
- Lower cost
- Video support
- Interactive graphs/tables/charts
Best Mural Alternatives
- Metro Retro – Best for Agile & Lean Teams, Retrospectives and Workshops
- Miro – Best for Larger Enterprises, Brainstorming, and Mind Mapping
- Stormboard – Best AI Integrated Virtual Whiteboard
- Sketchboard – Best for UML and AWS Diagramming
- ClickUp – Best for Work Flows
Metro Retro is a new digital whiteboard and collaboration tool optimized for software and product teams. It’s been designed to be as fun as it is functional to encourage greater and more productive engagement in your teams.
It comes with a powerful range of intuitive features and tools that simplify and accelerate every element of remote collaboration. Because who said that collaboration has to be boring?
Metro Retro Retrospectives let remote teams express their ideas and get creative in a visually appealing (and most importantly) fun way.
All boards are completely customizable and boast all the tools you’ll ever need (private writing, grouping & themes, voting, actions, import & export) so you can tailor your retro to the needs of the team, including anonymous retrospectives for more contentious topics.
With Metro Retro, you have many tools to run great meetings – you get icebreakers, agendas, timers, voting, actions, presentation tools, and facilitator controls, letting you make team meetings your employees will look forward to!
With Metro Retro, you get every kind of product management tool you need for Agile collaboration, including collaborative story maps, prioritization frameworks, roadmaps, brainstorming, and a whole lot more.
Free – Limited board objects | A single shared workspace | Up to 30 team members
Team – Everything in Free plus unlimited board objects | Private workspaces | 2 free guests | Custom templates | $6/team member/month
Host – Pay for just hosts | Unlimited free guests | custom templates | Priority support | $25/host/month
Pros and Cons
- The fastest option for remote team collaboration
- No lag issues
- Plenty of ways to gamify team meetings and retrospectives
- Easy to use
- Could use more templates
Miro is a digital whiteboard and visual collaboration platform.
It comes with a wide array of pre-made templates and a range of design tools and collaboration features for diagramming and flow charts, plus a range of other presentation features, including video conferencing.
Miro has an abundance of handy templates to get you started on whatever type of project or meeting you need, with over 1000+ templates for brainstorming, mind mapping, project design work, and much more.
Full Visual Toolbox
Miro gives you every kind of visual tool you need to communicate your ideas and collaborate with sticky notes, emojis, shapes, images, a pen tool, and connection lines, so you’ll never run out of ways to express and share your ideas.
Miro has its own mind brainstorming, which employs all the tools you need in collaborative sessions, like anonymous voting, live reactions, and icebreakers.
Free – Single workspace with 3 editable boards | 2500+ Miro and community-made templates | 100+ apps and integrations (Zoom, Slack, Google Drive, and Sketch)
Starter – Everything in Free plus single workspace with unlimited boards | Unlimited visitors on public boards | built-in timer, voting, video chat | Custom templates | Private boards & More | $8/member/month
Business – Everything in Starter plus Unlimited private and secure workspaces with unlimited boards for every team and client | Unlimited guests on private and team boards | 2000+ advanced diagramming shapes from BPMN, UML, AWS, Google, Azure, Cisco | Single Sign On (SSO) & More | $16/member/month
Enterprise – Features and Pricing are available on request.
Pros and Cons
- Lots of effective features
- Wide range of integrations with popular apps
- Great for collaboration
- Doesn’t work offline
- Miro CSV exports are often glitchy
- Expensive compared to comparable tools
Stormboard is a data-first digital whiteboard solution and visual collaboration platform.
It comes with a wide array of pre-made templates, all the desirable design and collaboration features you’d want in a virtual whiteboard, plus a wide range of integrations and presentation features.
Stormboard has dozens of integrations to help you streamline your processes, including Microsoft Teams, Jira, Zapier, and many more.
Reporting & export options
With Stormboard, you can create fully customized, branded, and editable stakeholder-ready documents in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, or Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides with multiple one-click export options.
StormAI is Stormboard’s Augmented Intelligence co-collaborator. StormAI accelerates everything you do using advanced machine learning, natural language processing, and other artificial intelligence techniques.
Personal – 5 open storms | 5 users per storm | Microsoft Office & Google Drive (view only)
Business – Everything in Personal plus unlimited open storms with unlimited users per storm | Up to 10 guests | Full Microsoft Office 365 and Google Drive integrations plus more | $8.33/user/month (billed annually)
Enterprise – Everything in Business plus full access to StormAI | Single sign-on with SSO permissions | Customized training and support plus more | Prices available on request
Pros and Cons
- Excellent reporting mechanisms
- Great customizations in templates
- Simple to use and easy to navigate
- Slows down with large groups/parallel users (20+)
- Free version is pretty limited
- Limited color options for sticky notes
Sketchboard is a virtual whiteboard that helps distributed teams to work from anywhere with loads of handy features to help with everything from UML diagramming to sketching UX flows.
You’ll never run out of space again on any kind of collaboration with Sketcboard’s infinite canvas.
UML Diagram Tool
Sketchboard’s UML diagram tool lets you do everything you need, be it a UML class diagram for software documentation or a UML use case diagram for mapping high-level requirements
AWS ARCHITECTURE DIAGRAM TOOL
Choose from hundreds of AWS official icons to draw AWS diagrams in a matter of minutes.
Solo (1 user) – 1 Private Team | Unlimited Boards | Export to PDF and SVG | 1 GB Storage for uploaded photos and board versions | $8/user/month (billed annually)
Team (2+ users) – Everything in Solo plus | Board password sharing | Team Comments | Slack integration | $7/user/month (billed annually)
Business (5+ users) – Everything in Team plus Unlimited Private Teams | SSO plus more | $9/member/month
Volume (25+ users) – Everything in Business plus more | Starting at $9/member/month
Pros and Cons
- Excellent for UML
- Great for producing visual content
- Simple UI
- Great for drawing, not so great for text
- Overabundance of features for non-technical users
- Steep learning curve
ClickUp is a cloud-based collaboration and project management tool suitable for businesses of all sizes and industries.
Powered by AI, ClickUp simplifies the entire development lifecycle with an all-in-one work hub that brings cross-functional teamwork, tools, and knowledge into one place.
G2 users agreed that ClickUp meets the needs of their business better than Mural and that it has superior feature updates and roadmaps.
ClickUp AI just helps you get much more done in much less time; it’s really that simple.
It accelerates project delivery by generating workflows, frameworks, and processes almost instantaneously, along with content creation, meeting summaries, and a whole bunch of other tasks.
From Kanban to Scrum and beyond, with ClickUp, you can create the perfect process for any backlog, automate it, and focus more of your time on what matters.
VISIBILITY & ALIGNMENT
In ClickUp, you can ensure alignment throughout the team with visual roadmaps. These make it easy for stakeholders to monitor progress and track issues and dependencies across the board to ensure everyone is pulling in the same direction at the same time.
Free Forever – 100MB Storage | Unlimited Tasks | Unlimited Free Plan Members
Unlimited – Everything in Free Forever plus Unlimited Storage | Unlimited Integrations | Unlimited Dashboards | Unlimited Custom templates | Guests with Permissions & AI Compatible | $5/member/month
Business – Everything in Unlimited plus Unlimited Teams | Google SSO | Custom Exporting | Unlimited Custom templates | Advanced Automations & Dashboard Features & AI Compatible | $12/member/month
Business Plus – Everything in Business and Team Sharing | Subtasks in Multiple Lists | Custom Role Creation | Conditional Logic in Forms | Increased Automations & Customizations + API & AI Compatible | $19/member/month
Enterprise – Features and Pricing are available on request.
Pros and Cons
- Excellent team management
- Good for project management
- Strong automation
- Can be slow and unresponsive
- Limited customizations
- Can be unstable
There are a number of Mural alternatives currently available, but we think you’d be hard-pushed to do any better than the five tools featured in this article.
While they each have their own particular strengths and weaknesses, each will work as a highly effective virtual whiteboard and collaborative platform for remotely-based Agile teams.
And the good thing is they all offer free versions with which you can familiarise yourself with each of the solutions and work out which one suits you best.
Of course, we humbly suggest you start by trying Metro Retro first. We prioritize fun at Metro Retro, providing teams with all the tools (and templates!) they need to run interactive meetings that are sure to delight participants. So, if you want to drown out the collective groan of your remote employees when they receive a meeting invite with cheers, try Metro Retro for free, or check out our pricing today!