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Quip Features

Quip Features

Salesforce purchased Quip in August 2016 as an online/offline document and collaboration tool. From a company that provides applications that generally rely on productivity through structured data, Quip was somewhat of a departure, although I believe a welcome departure as Salesforce has frankly lacked an effective unstructured document production application. Notes are OK at best.

If Microsoft had trashed Word and Excel and started again, Quip could have been the result. Document production and spreadsheet, re-thought and stripped all of the legacy functionality that makes both Word and Excel nearly unusable.

We've typically used Microsoft Onenote or Evernote for unstructured notes and documents, both do a good job internally, neither provide great solutions for providing collaborative document production with external parties. OneNote is pretty dismal here and Evernote is just annoying as you need to use the chat tool to share documents. We found this completely counter-intuitive our customers could never figure it out and we lost interest. So we returned to Word/Excel with Dropbox which is frankly a modern take on a fileserver. How many documents and spreadsheets do you have to click through to find the one you need?

The Quip website has lots of great information about general use here.

https://quip.com/about/tour

I want to share some notes about how we use Quip as a Salesforce Consultancy and some comments about what I consider to be missing functionality.

Quick document and spreadsheet production, accessible to the team

Quip documents/spreadsheets are quick to create and will be shared if placed in a shared folder. You can set notifications on folders you're interested in and can add @mentions to specific team members if required. If documents are changed by another user you can set notifications and quickly see the changes which are easy to spot and review (unlike Word's horrible change tracking that brings me to physical revulsion when I see it).

Search works across all documents you have access to and is quick and effective.

Blazingly fast sync

The sync back to the Quip servers then push out to all users is fantastic. So much so, we don't need to project meeting notes from team meetings - as long as everyone is logged into Quip everyone sees the text appear on screen as it's typed.

In 3 months of usage I've not lost any information, working between different devices, closing apps and windows without consideration for last save - it just does it.

Word and character count

When blogging and working on website SEO, you're always counting words and characters to fit the best message into crawled space.

When blogging and working on website SEO, you're always counting words and characters to fit the best message into crawled space.

Therefore if I want to setup a meta description for Commerceworks - “Commerceworks are a UK based Salesforce registered partner with expertise in all aspects of Salesforce implementation, project management, development and integration” then I can block the text and I get a character and word count. Quip is always open when doing work on the website. (And yes, that was a shameless SEO trick).

quip-character-word-count.png

Sharing with customers

We've struggled to find a really useful project documentation tool past Dropbox/OneDrive shared folders full of Microsoft Offices files. All files that are difficult to search and effectively collaborate on.

We've now moved over to Quip for project documentation, it's probably the most effective tool that we've found to date. That said, it's not perfect, subject to a few comments about missing functionality below.

Missing features

Painfully aware that I'm writing this 3 days before the Dreamforce 17 Quip keynote so I'll revisit if anything listed is addressed.

Tags

Quip doesn't have tags of any kind. Evernote allows you to define categories and tag documents accordingly. It makes search really easy as you can search on a tag rather than relying on text strings in a document. I still use Evernote for personal and use tags on almost every document I create.

Search To-Do's

Another Evernote feature. If you have to-do's in multiple documents there's no way to search across those documents which can be done in Evernote. It's therefore easy to miss to-do's (or maybe a good excuse). I don't use Quip to-do's as a result, preferring to log tasks in Salesforce.

Salesforce Integration

The Salesforce reporting integration is great but the Salesforce to Quip integration is limited. You can add a Quip document to classic and lightning pages but can't search the title or any page content from Salesforce. Whenever I use Quip I enter a task or a meeting against the Salesforce record with a note “See Quip Notes” or similar.

quip-salesforce-lightning-tab copy.jpg

Support for non-Quip documents

This is probably starting to sound like a list of “functions I like in Evernote that I want in Quip” and this is probably the final one. In Evernote you can drag a PDF or Word document into the Notebook and it immediately adds it and indexes it. I actually use Evernote for all of my personal documentation via a Neat scanner which works well (anyone reading, the Fujitsu Scansnap is the better hardware option). Entering non-Quip documents into Quip is a painful copy and paste exercise to be able to make the document useful and I don't advise it. You could also import the document which renders page images. Also pretty useless compared to Evernote's OCR features.

Ink

I routinely sit with customers, taking notes on a laptop or iPad straight into Quip. It's effective, I make the notes once and immediately share with anyone interested. I'm also very aware the customer has no idea what I'm writing or doing and it feels a little rude - they can't see my screen. Pre-Quip, I used Penultimate which is part of Evernote so whoever I'm meeting with could see what I was doing. Therefore, my final request is to add Ink support to Quip. Pretty please... 

 

 

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