Box Notes

A note-taking app built for teams

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Going to jot down some of my general, related thoughts because.. why not. First, I suspect Dropbox and Box have fairly non-overlapping customer bases, so I don't think this directly "competes" with Dropbox Paper initially (even though I don't see much of a reason to use both once you choose one). This is an offering into the Box ecosystem that creates more lock-in and one-stop shop for their customers, allowing them to (eventually) raise their price and provide several gateway drugs into their suite. As for the product itself, there are clues to their strategy based on the approach Notes took. Box offered an "app" that is effectively a wrapper around a web app (like Slack), which means it's meant to be a destination that stays active with you throughout the day. This will compete with Slack in terms of attention, assuming the customer uses Slack too. Dropbox is more of an ad-hoc collaborative scratch pad. Both are perfectly viable. OK, so here's an argumentative opinion: All of these "real-time collaboration" videos (see Dropbox Paper or Box Notes) showing coworkers happily editing and building a document together... is a fallacy. In reality, it's f'ing frustrating. Stepping back a second, I think there are at least three types of documents you write at work: 1. Canonical. These docs are meant to be persistent and updated periodically (HR onboarding, engineering how-to, etc) 2. Historical. Documents something that happened. (Meeting notes) 3. Conversational. Ephemeral and generally written by a single person. Many companies still use email for this, but also now are using Slack. (company wide memo, strategy, etc). I think products like Paper/Notes/Docs/Quip can all address them (more #1 and #2), but all tend to fall short in the same way: Where do the documents live after they serve their purpose? Docs tend to fade into obscurity and become stale after their primary purpose is served, unless there's a mechanism for pinning them somewhere. In a world where real-time editing/collaboration has become table stakes, I'm interested in seeing one of these companies solve the "library of progress" for a company or "long-term memory" for an organization (without requiring all of the effort it takes today). I still think that problem needs to be solved as part of this surge of online writing/publishing tools for companies. Also, neat product.
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@davidbyttow I would argue that there is another type of document. It's similar to #2 in the fact that it is short lived, but slightly different. We use Dropbox Paper to create project sheets. We outline what we need to do on a project, it contains links to important things, maybe a few check boxes, and is updated throughout the project. I think this is what Paper and Box Notes are envisioning with these tools. It's useful, but it's not that different from other solutions that are available. People could do the same thing with Google Docs. But I completely agree that the problem most of these don't solve is the management of the docs. We have some things written up all over the place, and Paper and Box and Drive just sort of dump everything into the idea of folders, or maybe a list based on recency. But those are lazy solutions when so much of the problem is really organization of the documents versus the ability to collaborate on information.
Take my money right now..
"Access and get all your notes in one place" Coverage on Techcrunch: Box unveils an overhauled BoxNotes productivity platform Would love to hear from @levia and team on the new updates and design From the site: Box Notes makes it easy to create meeting notes, share ideas, track status updates and plan projects together — there's no limit to your productivity. And, every Box Note is instantly available on web, mobile or your desktop, so you can access your ideas from anywhere. Live, concurrent editing lets everyone see the same Box Note and make revisions and suggestions in real-time, together. Plus, you can easily create new notes, access recently edited notes and bookmark favorite notes — all in one place.
It's good to see a native application released for this, unlike Paper -- seriously Dropbox, c'mon! -- but there's no offline mode here, which means despite the release of a dedicated application, this has the exact same drawback as Paper.