Why i started to like Dropbox Paper while still being in love with Google Docs
After beta testing their new collaboration tool for one year, dropbox decided to let all their users start to use Paper. You can create notes and documents with your team and save them directly to your Dropbox account. Still, there is one question: Why should you use Paper if you are already using other services like Office365 or Google Docs? You probably have good reasons for chosing them and don’t want to switch again.
One of the reasons to try Paper: It’s a really good and simple prototyping and collaboration tool you will probably use besides your other tools. You can think outside of “sheets of paper” like most of us probably still do with the tools we are using right now. And that’s very attractive, because this is one of the things you should dislike about Google Docs. Why are we still building our documents on old paper formats in our digital environments? (Probably because a lot of us still want to print it, so that they have something to hold in their hands)
Fast Prototyping in teams
A really great feature of Medium is the ability to integrate external content in a very simple way. Often you just have to drag and drop something from your desktop or paste a link into your story and it will perfectly fit into your story. It’s the same with Dropbox Paper. You can do this with Links, Images, Tables, Documents, Spotify, Soundcloud, Sketch files and even Google Docs (You can find an extensive list right here). And its open API will bring us more of this integrations.
The embedding features give you advantages in prototyping and brainstorming new ideas. Everyone can just put in their ideas and files and start discussing about it. You can also add checklists and assign the checklist-points a date and someone who will be responsible for the task. He will find his tasks in the upper right corner and can easily jump from task to task and mark them as done.
All this gives you freedom to start something new. Don’t overthink the form and the processes at the start of something new. Just start and use the features until your project and your processes outgrow Paper.
By the way: The sharing option is easy to understand, not as complex and overloaded like in Google Drive and you can retrace all your changes by using the doc history.
Less features lead to higher performance
The best part: It’s unbelievable fast. The moment you paste in a Youtube link, the thumbnail already appears. Just open a document and start writing immediately. Because it offers less features (more a focused feature-set and a lot of smart actions), it has less clutter and this leads to a great performance.
Replace your office whiteboard with Dropbox Paper
Paper is not designed to convince users to switch from Google Docs. It’s a modern way of a whiteboard for brainstorming in a team. Instead of sitting in a meeting room and sharing one pen, everyone can bring in their ideas. Especially for teams, that have members outside of their building. (Like almost every team today). Next to throwing ideas and informations into one file, Paper is also a good place to create first to-dos and organizing new teams, that don’t have clear processes, because they are just starting in their projects.
Try Dropbox Paper, but don’t expect it as an alternative for your Google Drive or Office365. Still, you will probably want to expand your toolset by adding Dropbox Paper.
P.S.: If you liked this article and want to see an hands-on-video on how to use Paper or get answers to specific questions, just leave a comment and will be happy to create one.