During COVID-19 we have all had a new normal in terms of the ways of working and which tools we use to collaborate remotely. There are many tools out there, so why is Quip different especially during this time where we are all working remotely? What are the advantages of using it? We can go on and on about it but let’s pick 15 to start with and help you to understand how easy it is to adopt and use within your organisation.
Let’s begin by first answering what is Quip?
Quip is a unified online workspace where everyone that you invite can create and edit documents together. The service also has tools for communicating in real-time, including in-app chat.
You can choose between a variety of file types, including word processing documents, spreadsheets, and slideshow presentations. The experience of using it feels like creating a wiki page.
It can be used by anyone within an organisation no matter which role and experience they are in, this is a tool that is a benefit for everyone. Quip is not only a productivity application, it is empowered by collaboration with your team to make you all successful.
One of our colleagues using Quip in his daily activities.
As an individual who has worked for the last 15 years (12 of these within IT), I have had the opportunity to use a lot of collaborative tools in the workplace. I have used Microsoft Office (original and 365), Google Suite, Evernote, Confluence, and a few months ago I was introduced to Quip as part of my time at Smplicity Consulting. I have held various roles, this was another tool to use for my day to day activity. It was easy to pick up and start creating content as living documents that would constantly evolve.
As a Salesforce Implementation Partner, we would normally look for our clients in a case study as an inspiration to write about this. What better case study would there be other than ourselves?
How long would this take for us to adopt?
The answer is not very long. Initially when introducing a new tool there tends to be some resistance to change. Within our organisation, it did not take long as it takes the best practices of using other apps we would natively use.
Here is why this is one of our main tools and has allowed us to slim down the list of tools we use internally and why our clients are adopting Quip whilst working with us.
What is different about Quip compared to the other productivity tools?
This is a tool you can use to collaborate internally and externally. Internally at Smplicity, I personally use it to capture all documentation and interactions, this involved capturing business processes across all departments and governance. For use with our clients, this means they can see the progression of actions from meetings, allow participation in the solution design, approvals for testing, and provide feedback and enhancements. There are other uses shared later on in this article.
Let’s dive into 15 Advantages of Using Quip:
- Accessibility – Quip can be accessed from your browser, OS application, or from your mobile for easy accessibility and amendments if you are stationary or on the go.
- Changes are reflected instantly and in real-time – You always have a single version of the truth and the most recent version of your document to refer to for key decision making and the purpose you are sharing it for.
- Audit Trail – No more guessing who has made what changes where or asking the question “who has read your document?”
- Sharing is caring -You can share instantly and see an audit trail of who has changed what? This is functionality not as easy to access in other options. You can alert others to participate by @mentioning their name and have the security of who accesses what information for peace of mind with security.
- Easy to view information – This is easy to digest and easy to follow during conference calls and make on the fly amendments to your document. For meetings, you can easily capture actions and next steps and add reminders for items and alert when necessary. They say “an elephant never forgets” Quip is similar.
- There are fewer emails – everyone can contribute depending on the access you set to the document and make edits. You can use chat for direct interactions to get direct answers on the relevant topics.
- You can insert objects – some examples @table for inserting a table @spreadsheet to insert a spreadsheet (it works like Excel and has formulas too) @draw.io to draw and include diagrams. Other useful objects include Kanban to show the progress of items, process bars to show steps, and calendar to keep track of items.
- Reducing Formatting – We all spend time formatting our documents – Quip makes this easy in terms of colors and editing taking the time out of making things look presentable.
- Integration with applications -If you are a Salesforce user there is a two-way sync between Quip and Salesforce to keep a track of your leads and opportunities. During client meetings, I am able to show reports directly from Jira tickets without having to open so many windows during online screen sharing. You can integrate Quip with a variety of other business apps and services, including Box, Dropbox, Lucidchart, Smartsheet, and others. Quip calls these integrations Live Apps.
- Easily find things using Anchor links– You can find items within the same document words or pictures. You can even relate this to other documents. No more time scrolling through documents or selecting Cmd+F on Mac for Ctrl+F on your pc
- Organised File Structure – Organising your files and folders and keeping track of them is normally tricky, as well as finding documents to work with is a challenge. In Quip, you can organise folders, search easily, and see which files were updated recently and require your attention urgently. This means that it is easy to maintain going forward.
- Build from what you know – you can import from other documents word and excel to save you time
- Build easily from scratch using Templates – Quip has Templates for everyone, Sales, Marketing, HR, and others
- Easy to export – Depending on access it is easy to export content as PDF, Word, HTML, or Xls file for use in Office Applications for stakeholders who are more traditional or need a static document.
- Security – Quip can provide Read/Write and Read-only Access to the right people. You can see who is accessing which folder and track on the audit trail who has been reading or making changes where applicable. The app doesn’t have different permission levels, such as read-only, for people who access the document, the way Google Docs does. You can lock a file from being edited, but anyone can unlock it (Quip notifies you if they do). In essence, Quip twists your arm into having human conversations about what rules everyone will agree to follow in using the app collaboratively.
How are we using it at Smplicity?
These are our following use cases:
- Documentation – Governance, process, requirements gathering, solution design, checking off the to-do lists, user acceptance testing, progress, and reporting. Full end to end documentation on Salesforce project.
- Workshops – Annotating content live with stakeholders and drawing and capturing requirements for quick review and amendments. This works in the room and remotely.
- Presentation – Going over concepts to remind stakeholders about the objectives and what has been covered.
Training – Capturing best practices within the organisation and using tools. This is used internally and externally with our clients.
These are some examples of how we use Quip at Smplicity Consulting. This means this is our main collaboration tool. It made our governance of reducing the number of tools we use internally. It was really easy for us to adopt Quip as well as clients we have shared this with. It has changed the way we engage internally and with our clients especially with the integration with other systems
There are different editions of Quip for Home (free) which has limitations and Quip paid editions dependent on the individuals who need to access it.
If you are interested in learning more about Quip and how it can benefit your organisation, get in touch!