The Toolbar

The Tools ⚒️

Metro Retro's tools are designed for productivity, interaction, and fun!

There are two main categories of tools:

  1. Board editing tools like shapes, text tool, and zones.

  2. Collaboration tools like sticky notes and voting.

Start Meeting

The "Start Meeting' button is at the top of the toolbar. Use it to enable meeting controls, including private writing, a timer, polls, anonymous mode, choosing participant tools, and the ready check functionality.

The person that starts a Meeting becomes the Host, and everyone else becomes a participant. Participants are unable to unlock the board layout or use the meeting controls. The Host can add other people on the board as co-Hosts.

For more details about the Meeting controls, see Host controls.

Sticky Notes, Task Cards, and Index Cards

Sticky notes are the main object you'll use in Metro Retro. Double-click anywhere on the board to create a sticky note, or use the toolbar to pick the color first. Note - on some templates, the color of a sticky note can be overridden by a zone's color settings.

Sticky note facts:

  • There are two sizes of sticky note: regular and big. To change the size of a sticky note, drag from the right-hand edge.

  • Each sticky is associated with its creator - hover over a sticky note to see who made it. (Use Anonymous mode to not track who wrote each sticky note).

  • Each person has a different handwriting style when writing sticky notes. Change your handwriting style in your Preferences.

  • When in Meeting mode, each person can hide and reveal their sticky notes as they wish.

  • You can write, vote, add reactions, draw on, and group sticky notes.

These are just like real-life Index cards. Use these to write more text than you can fit on a sticky note. You can also stamp reactions, draw, and vote on Index cards.

  • Private writing works with Index cards - you can hide and reveal anything you're writing while the board is in Meeting mode.

  • Index cards can be expanded - drag from the bottom of the card to make it longer.

Task Cards

Task Cards are cards that you can write in, with separate title and body fields.

  • Task cards are similar to sticky notes, except they do not have private writing and can't be grouped with the Topic tool.

Roadmap Cards

Roadmap cards are the building block of time-based roadmaps, to be used with the Timeline Frame (down this page).

Once you have added a Timeline Frame to your board, add the roadmap cards to represent your streams of work:

Roadmap cards have the following properties:

  • Name

  • External link (for linking to related documents)

  • Tags (used for labelling with things like initiatives, cost, OKRs etc)

  • Dates (including delayed / earlier dates)

  • Colour

Use the Topic tool to group similar stickies. It helps organize sticky notes into themes.

To use a topic: Open the Topic tool, choose a color, and click to add to the board. Write the name of the topic inside, and then drag sticky notes toward it. The Topic will automatically group the sticky notes. To ungroup sticky notes, just drag them out of the group.

You can pick up a topic and it will bring any associated stickies with it.

Tokens look similar to poker chips and can be used in a variety of ways - icebreakers, estimation, team health checks, planning poker, and workshops.

There are a set of pre-made tokens with emojis or your team pictures, as well as blank tokens that can be edited.

Tip - Double click a token on the board to edit it. You can also add an emoji to a token on the board, using the reaction tool.

Connectors / Arrows

Connectors are arrows that link objects in your board, allowing you to visualise relationships or create simple diagrams.

Connectors can be linked to sticky notes, task cards, index cards, roadmap cards, Jira cards, and tokens:

Arrow styles

You can pick straight, bendy or angled arrows:

You can add a label to an arrow, and change the connector color, width, line style, start and end points:

Tip - to make multiple connectors quickly, press the R key after placing an arrow to place another. Or use the the "Create Another" option in the arrow options bar:

Zones are the primary object for laying out your board sections.

  • Zones can be any size, they have a title and emoji field, and can override the color of sticky notes inside them.

  • Click on the title or on the edge of a zone to select it.

Activity Frames

Activity frames are a way to organize different areas of your board.

For example, if you run a workshop with different activities, you can surround each activity with an Activity Frame, and hide the later sections until it is time.

Activity Frames have a sheep icon in their menu bar which you can use to pull ("herd") everyone to the Frame immediately.

Timeline Frame

The Timeline Frame allows you to create a pre-formatted timeline with dates that you can use to plan projects or events.

The Timeline Frame is configurable in the following ways:

  • Header & background colour

  • Choose Start Month and how many months to span

  • Add or remove additional rows - useful for different streams of work

  • Set auto-arrange options for content inside the rows and columns. ! Note - this feature is in Beta and dynamically moves your content around. Use Undo if you want to reset after trying this.

Grid Frame

Grid Frames are layout objects with configurable rows and columns to contain content.

You can use Grid Frames to arrange content in tabular form.

Grid Frames can be configured with any number of rows and columns, and have content-arranging options:

You can add shapes to your board, with a range of styles.

  • Tip: The Container property for shapes and images can be turned on and off - setting whether it is a flat layer or will "contain" all objects placed inside it. When a shape contains other objects, they will also move when you move the shape.

You can add arrows as shapes to your boards. They can be found in the shape menu:

Drag from the ends of the arrow to reposition it:

Drag-and-drop or copy-paste images directly on to your boards, but you can also use the image tool to search through a free image library, or add images by their URL.

Once an image has been added to the board, it can be resized and moved.

Reaction emojis can be stamped on almost any object. Pick your reaction and click where you want to place it!

To remove a reaction, right-click on the stamped reaction when the reaction tool is equipped.

The Voting tool allows you to hold a group vote. You can vote on stickies, topics, index cards, and task cards.

To start a voting round, click the Voting tool in the toolbar, then click the 'Start Voting Round' button that appears in the bottom left. Choose how many votes each person gets, and if they can vote on the same item twice. Once you start the round, ask everyone to equip the voting tool and to vote on their choices by clicking on them.

To view the voting results, use the ranking results button in the bottom left. You can choose to view ranks for individual stickies, or for the topic total. This sums up all votes on the topic itself as well as the stickies inside the topic.

Sometimes a team member can start a voting round accidentally. If this occurs, it freezes the previous round's votes for everyone. You can remove the accidental voting round by either deleting the voting round, or the person who created it presses the undo button (Ctrl + Z).


You can attach comments to sticky notes, task cards, and index cards.

Draw on zones, shapes, sticky notes, and index cards with the marker pen. It draws directly on the object. To erase pen markings, hold right-click and wipe over the markings.


Gadgets make your team sessions more interactive, and dare we say... fun.

Gadgets are added to the board as an object and can be moved around, locked, or deleted as needed.

In the gadgets you will find:

  • A music player (Jukebox) - Pick your track and play music to everyone on the board.

  • A Timer - set the time for an exercise.

  • A Spinner - add your options and hit spin!

  • A Counter - the counter counts up and down.

  • A Buzzer - pick a sound effect, then hit the buzzer to play it!

Gadgets are only available while in Design Mode, or the Meeting Host can enable the Gadgets tool during Meeting mode.

When the Gadgets tool is enabled, anyone can use it, including Guests.

Gadgets can be locked in place to prevent editing or deletion, but are still interactive while locked.

Tip - volume controls

Everyone has their own volume control, in the bottom left of the screen:

Insert Templates

You can add additional templates to your board:

  • You must be in Design Mode to insert templates

  • Both the standard templates and any custom templates you save to the Template Library can be added to your board

  • Templates are added with an Activity Frame, which you can remove if not needed

  • Templates that are added here are unlocked. Make sure to lock them before use.

Gestures are visual functions that appear above the board but do not affect the content. They are for presenting ideas and interacting with your colleagues. There are four functions in the Gestures menu:

A ping is an arrow you drop on the board to point at something. Click once to drop a single arrow or click-and-drag to highlight over an area.

Off-screen pings are shown at the side of your screen. Click an on active ping to be taken to where it is pointing.

Tip - you can drop a ping on the board at any time by pressing the Tab key. An arrow will appear at your cursor's positon.

The vanishing pen lets you draw a temporary annotation on the board. It is useful for drawing attention to items on the board without permanently drawing on them.

Fire confetti across the board with the confetti cannon! 🎉

There may be imitations, but this is the original. Click and drag to aim, then release to fire confetti. We won't lie, it's kind of addictive.

Pick this option to throw your hat across the board, of course. Similar to the confetti, click and drag to aim, then release to throw the hat.

Tip - in order to throw a hat you must be wearing one, so pick a hat to wear by clicking on your avatar in the top right:

Keyboard shortcuts

  1. Press the H key to bring you back to the center of the board.

  2. Press the Tab key to drop a ping arrow.

  3. Press the W key to open the Gestures menu, then press a 1-4 key to select the appropriate gesture.

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