DesignX Discussions: when content meets design, what’s your go-to collab tool?

Every week, we pose a question to our members to shake up the conversation and involve everybody. This is our latest #TopicOfTheWeek recap, discussing the tools designers use to collaborate with content writers and strategists.


Whether it’s Google Docs, Trello, Notion, or writing notes on paper airplanes, we all have our preferred tools for working with content writers and strategists. As you can probably guess, we asked the DesignX community for their favourite collaboration tools, and we got some great insights as to what they use, and perhaps more importantly, why they use it.

First up, Alex Gogan, Full-Stack Developer @ Source, was curious about Notion and Dropbox Paper, two of the new collaboration tools on the market. This led to a very long discussion between Alex and Mikael Staer Nathan, Senior Product Designer @ CrowdRiff. Here are some highlights from their chat:

There’s a lot in there, but some of the key takeaways for Notion include:

  • People actually buy in and use it, compared to the usual hesitation that comes with adopting new tools
  • It encourages more writing, and houses company ‘Truths’
  • It enables documentation and task assignments, providing greater oversight
  • It’s lowered Slack discussions, where ideas and decisions tend to quickly get lost

Effectively, Notion is dope, and solves all of the potential communication challenges presented by Slack and Google Docs.


But as they say, one person’s trash is another’s treasure.

As a writer, these two responses definitely made me smile

While Google Docs may be a ‘sea of content’ for Mikael’s team, it’s the tool of choice for Kelisha Brown, Digital Designer @ GALE Partners, and Meg Smith, Designer @ Manifold.co (and at least five others who gave a supportive thumbs up.)

Other favourites include GatherContent, Confluence, and of course, Trello:


Another huge challenge when it comes to combining content and design is updating and labelling files. Do you rename every single variation? How granular do you go?


And lastly, though none of us are eager to admit it, Alex spoke the real truth:


What about you? What tools do you use for collaborating with content writers or strategists? We want to hear your preferred tools, methods, and techniques!

Share your ideas below, or join the Toronto or NYC DesignX Slack groups and connect with other like-minded creatives in the community.

Check out these other recent DesignX Discussions:

Design system challenges

The secret to great company culture

What’s your backup career plan?

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