When we were first introduced to Dropbox Paper we were perplexed. Was this an attempt at taking on Google Docs? Was it pointless? Why would Dropbox do this?
No, and our first impressions couldn’t have been more wrong
It’s precisely what we always needed
The interface of Paper is so pared-down and simple that it is deceptive. However, it quickly becomes clear that it is far more than a simple text editor —rather, a full on project management and collaboration tool, minus the bullshit.
It’s the best of Google Docs mixed with the best of Trello. Plus a little bit of Keynote. And we love it.
Spawn dynamic collaboration anywhere you want
The to-do list feature is incredible. It allows you to jot down a list on your page, then add powerful management and collaboration tools in a few clicks. You can then add due dates for steps on your list, add people by simply typing their @name, and have a chat related to that point, give reactions, before finally checking it off as done.
Everything Trello should have been but was too complicated and clustered to achieve.
Don’t worry about formatting
In the past, research and brainstorming sessions would be something for Google Docs. Now, we don’t have to worry about breaking things across A4 pages when we were never going to print it anyway. We also can simply throw our research and ideas in, and not worry about any strange, and generally frustrating formatting problems.
We don’t need 400 fonts to jot down our ideas and collaborate in real time.
Sure, we lose the ability to set a typeface — but that is offset by the overall clarity gained. We don’t need 400 fonts to jot down our ideas and collaborate in real time. Regardless, the typography on Paper is beautiful, functional, and clear.
Use emojis in a functional, serious, professional way
Paper harnesses the power of these little symbols. Not only do they have loads to choose from, but you can also upload your own to add onto your page.
So what? They’re just emojis, the preferred language of trolls on Twitter
Emojis are a great source of visual stimulation in this simplistic monochrome interface. That means they do a pretty great job of differentiating sections, titles, projects, and topics. In addition to this, they’re great for quick feedback. When used in the right ways, they become a powerful use of symbols in a design sense rather than mere emojis.
Content placed perfectly
You can throw in images and all manner of content and not worry about having to edit or face a monstrous looking document with random sizes. Paper does it for you. For images you have 4 options, left, right, central, or fullwidth. This is pretty basic but it’s not as easy in Google Docs.
Presentation with Paper
We told you Paper was great. It has a dead-simple way of making a presentation. Instead of slides, you have scrolling. This feature is a true gem as it allows presentation of documents without having to transfer them into dedicated presentation software and slides. It also has a dark mode, which looks amazing on a projector. What other products can claim to have revolutionised presentations, collaboration, project management, and word processing all in one browser based page? Glorious.
Superb to use
The interface feels amazing to use. It has seamless animations and interacting with it as a user feels blissful.
The clean aesthetics and layout allow you to just jump in and write. It feels as natural and easy as jotting down something with a pen — except the results are aesthetically beautiful, clear, and connected for interaction.
Paper has made collaborating, researching, and producing documents a fun experience rather than a stressful one. We believe it is a true tool for 2017 and beyond, which we will be making much use of.
When you look at the previous options, it is hard to understand why a similar product was not created earlier.
It’s free to use and we think your business will be better off for it. So give it a try, and let us know if there are any features you love about it. Alternatively, if you have any criticisms of it that could also be interesting.
Thanks for reading.
If you are looking for design solutions, or have a question, feel free to get in touch and we will be happy to help.
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