If we look at the development of human interaction with information we could find a lot of “bad habits”. Knowing the history of something always gives you fresh perspective and explains why we do things the way we do.
So let’s take a quick view of the history of human interaction with information and documents.
We have to remember, that having unlimited amount of ink and paper wasn’t always the case. Don’t want to bother with too much details, but I want you to remember this: writing was a luxury for the rich. There were times, when knowing how to read and write were rare skills and expensive ones.
Just imagine all trade without the convenience of the tools we have today. Written documents were used mostly for the expensive deals. There were people whose job was to write down documents (scribes). These guys were the origin of the modern notary publics.
Slowly but surely more and more people got educated and started writing the documents on their own.
Fast forward and we reach the point of the first typewriter. It revolutionized the way we interact with documents. With the typewriter there was no more problem with bad handwriting. The speed of typing was much faster and allowed for better printing. Overall the typewriter was a big success and step forward. As we know, the typing experience is almost unchanged for the last centuries.
The next step was to move from mechanical writing to digital writing. At first it did’t offer any big benefits. Thank God that did’t stop the developers from doing it.
Once the computers got powerful enough and allowed for user interface, came out the first word processors. The most famous of them all – Microsoft Word.
Microsoft word was developed in 1981. For the last 40 years it is the standard word processor and holds enormous share of the market. Now it is part of the Microsoft office suite.
With its robust formatting settings, revolutionary interface and ease of use it was and still is a huge success. It has one task and is extremely good at doing it – creating documents. This is the application to go, if you want to create professional and beautiful document. We are so used to it, that we even take it for granted.
Creating documents digitally has also side benefits such as saving them for reference later and organizing them in folders. This system of organizing information is still used today.
Until recently Microsoft office was the master of the market with no real competition. Of course, that changed.
Online office solutions
There are a lot of online office solutions. Most famous are the packages from Google and Dropbox. Microsoft also moved to the cloud, but was a bit late to the party.
Having your documents online has one extremely important benefit – improved collaboration.
Do you remember the time, when there was no cloud storage? One person creates a file, then shares it with the team via email. Then we start renaming the file and a lot of us had final version of the file something like:
Document X – final-final-this is the final version-I-swear-this-is-final-finalfinal-final.docx
Long story short – it is a mess. Been there, done that.
The most important benefits of the online apps are:
– one central place for all our documents
– revision history
– collaboration in real time
These benefits have huge impact, especially for bigger teams. I consider these benefits so obvious, that I won’t be wasting any more time on this topic. If you are in a team and are working the old-fashioned way – please consider trying an online solution.
End of an era
Until here everything is pretty obvious. You could ask – why do we have to look back so many years ago? The answer – we want to find out the future of interacting with information.
Let me explain.
Up until the word processors the software had one very clear goal – to create a document.
But modern technology can do so much more. The question is – what shall be the purpose of the new software?
Let’s look at what happened in the last 10 years.
When we talk about note-taking apps, the first thing most of us have in mind is Evernote. The note-taking experience has a completely different approach in comparison to the word processors.
The more we create documents, the more we get used to it. There is always something we want to write down and in most cases, we don’t need the robust settings of the word processor. This is where the note-takers come in.
Let’s compare the user experience in both cases
Notes with a word processor
- create a new document
- save it in a specific folder
- other files are not accessible
- a lot of unnecessary options
- create new note
- the note is automatically saved and synced
- you can see all your notes in one place without switching the app
- just the tools you need for a note
Why did the note taking apps boom?
They serve different purpose. If you want a thorough and professional document you still need a word processor.
The note takers are a major shift in the concept of writing as a tool to process information. This is because writing is not only a way of storing information, but also a way of thinking.
All in one apps
The next logical step was to create an app, which combines the robust settings of the word processors and the intuitive and minimal interface of the note taking apps.
In the last few years there are a lot of startups, which want to reimagine the interaction with information. The new apps have more and more features, which are packed in amazing designs. Some of the features they have are:
- project management
- task management
The document is not an isolated piece anymore. It is part of a system.
The modern business is getting more productive and efficient. Small teams achieve bigger projects.
Productivity and efficiency are number one priority, because it defines the profit of the company.
The present and future of productivity
Unfortunately, even the newest apps still cannot replace the word processors in creating documents. They have so many use case scenarios, that they cannot excel in any one of them. So what’s the solution?
We believe the future is in modular software experience. What does this mean?
- All the tools you use are interconnected and communicate with each other;
- All the information you have, is used by all the apps in your system;
- Your setup shall be flexible so it could change when needed;
The main goal is simple and clear – save time and increase quality. The achievement of this goal is extremely difficult.
We have build a document generator, which can use all your data from the other apps you use so that you wouldn’t need to input the same information twice. At the same time you get the final document in .docx or .gdoc format so you could further edit it.
- can be integrated with any app with open API
- use your own documents database and automate them
- use our database of templates
- dashboard with all the metrics you need
- increased team productivity
- guaranteed quality
- no mechanical errors
- more time for creative work
We believe every business should use a tool to optimize and automate its processes. If your business works with a lot of documents, you should consider automating them as a part of your main ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) or CRM (Consumer Relationship Management) system. This would save you a lot of time, money and man-hours and make your document creation processes more predictable and profitable
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