Quip or Google Drive + Slack?

I saw Quip for the first time at Dreamforce. And haven’t been impressed.

Just another simple editor. I can use Google Drive for the same for free (or included in the price of my GApps). Would I need the online chat, Slack provides just the same. Including the missing conversation threading (not anymore).

When I started playing with it, it was even worst. I don’t need to see every single edit in the document, I just want to see the final text plus comments. The spreadsheet is pretty limited in functionality, I cannot put folders in hierarchy, it doesn’t support presentations, so I need another place for sharing these. Checklists are great, but I cannot see them across all documents, as I can in Evernote or OneNote.

Checklists aren’t intended to be a replacement for services like JIRA, but they could be a useful tool for simpler project management needs. Taylor knows this space well, having gained extensive experience in the world of product management while at Google, FriendFeed, and Facebook. He views current tools as “too granular” and sees what Quip is doing as a collaborative punch list. “You don’t want formality. You just want people to see and have a shared understanding of what’s going on,” he said. “People tend to use email more than tools like Asana.”

(source: Venture Beat)

Useless.

After three month

Move forward. I had to use it pretty actively. New UI came. I got used to Quip and can survive with it.

I also found out that I can hide the side panel, which improved the situation a bit. I still don’t understand why I cannot see just the comments alone, without information about every single edit.

Love that I can see history of edits of every single line. This is pretty hard to do in Google Drive, as far as I know. And time to time really important in team collaboration.

Still have no idea how the checklists should work. It is awesome, that I can move all completed to the bottom at once. It is also great that I can group them into a group by indenting. Not bad, that in such case the completed are moved to the bottom of each section. But I really don’t understand, why in such case, I cannot move the whole group to other place together, but always only line by line. And why I cannot put text between them – I would like to enter some more details under each point, just a plain text. But it’ll break the whole checklist into two. Not useful.

It is great that multiple people can edit the same document at the same time. Not that great that Quip locks the whole paragraph when someone else edit it and you need to wait for a few second after edit before it unlocks.

Missing integration with Gmail. You cannot quickly add document to Quip from Gmail nor you can quickly send document from Quip. You have to download it and then attach to email. Or you can directly share it from Quip, which I understand is the preferred way of work, but majority of users still want the document physically in their inbox.

In contrast, the workflow of Google Docs still fundamentally revolves around Gmail. How do you talk about a Google Doc? Send an email. How do you find your old Google Doc? Search Gmail for the link. Where does that Google Doc “live”? In that Gmail thread. Google modernized the Office experience by hosting it in the cloud and supporting simultaneous editing, but the product does not actually change the core workflow of Office. In essence, Google Apps has replaced the file attachment with a hyperlink, but your team is still going to be drowning in email.

(source: Huffington Post)

Will it be better?

Quip is working hard on their integration with Salesforce. Now you can open any report from Salesforce in Quip and update your documents/spreadsheets with your Salesforce data live. Which sounds like Force.com Excel Connector, but more focused on end user.

You can see your Quip documents in Salesforce, related to specific records. Just install the app from AppExchange.

Andrew Bartels see it as a future.

Imagine a world where a Sales Professional could open an app on his notebook, tablet or phone and start taking notes. As they take these notes, a simple click of the @ button brings up a menu of actions like adding a task or sending an email. However, let’s not stop there. Imagine an AI layer that parsed the notes in real-time looking for contextual indications of next actions that the note-taker might want to execute and then helping them perform all in real-time. In Salesforce terminology imagine Einstein (Einstein is what Salesforce calls it’s baked in Artificial Intelligence Layer) embedded in the note taking application. So for example, if the note taker were to write ‚customer interested in adding capabilities to his network in the next 12 months‘. Immediately the AI component established a soft opportunity in Salesforce. If the note taker wrote ‚set up a meeting with procurement next week‘ AI sent an email to the procurement team requesting a meeting and displaying times that aligned with the note takers schedule. Imagine the world where just taking notes triggered real actions all tracked and denoted in Salesforce, ready and waiting when the note taker left the meeting.

(source: Andrew’s article on LinkedIn)

When you put it like this, it is super cool. You „just“ create your meeting notes and everything is taken care of. That’s something I would love to see.

Till then, I most likely don’t see any strong reason why pay for another application, which can provide me with features I already have among my current portfolio of apps.

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