13/30: Love Letter to FigJam
In 2018, I told a boss of mine about this new tool I had used a few times that I absolutely adored and wanted to convince our org to start using. It was Miro, whose popularity since then has grown immensely and spread like wildfire across businesses, especially as the pandemic took hold.
Ironically, the same company where I pitched Miro ultimately opted for its more affordable competitor cousin Mural, which despite my best intentions, I never developed a strong bond with.
So I was happily trucking along, whiteboarding and online workshopping, recording my thoughts, doodling my strategies, and generally overwhelming people with color schemes using Miro for several years. And I still love it, and think it’s a fantastic tool, even though today I feel like it might have just a bit of feature bloat. Can’t argue with its speed though, it has finally become silky smooth.
But then I joined this small scrappy startup that couldn’t afford too many tools, including Miro. At first, I grumbled and moaned, and even made an impassioned plea for my yearlong doodle pal to no avail — money spoke louder.
And then FigJam entered into my life.
Attached to Figma, the product designer’s favorite tool for which I already had a strong appreciation, I was open to FigJam, but at first it seemed so barebones compared to my tool of choice.
But over the next few weeks, I witnessed the magic of product development as I observed the FigJam team crank out feature after feature, improvement after improvement, and add little moments of pure delight (like two collaborator cursors high-fiving or cute stamps you could leave in comment on the board, or the stickers, and the floating fires, and the cutesy ice breakers, and the, and the, and the…).
Since then, I’ve used FigJam for everything from personal doodles, team workshops, product manager interviews, product strategy work, a variety of analyses, brainstorming and ideation sessions, or just as a place to put my thoughts so I can visualize my process.
Other than perhaps Confluence/Notion as documentation tools or Slack as a communication tool, I find nothing quite as effective, powerful, or important in my day-to-day work as this tool.
And I absolutely love it and recommend it to anyone, but especially people working in product development!