DonnaM » Blog Archive » Writeboard – I wouldn’t use that (or would I?)

Writeboard – I wouldn’t use that (or would I?)

I spent a little time on the weekend looking at 37 Signals new product – Writeboard. If you haven’t seen it already, they describe it as:

“shareable, web based text documents that let you save every edit, roll back any version, and easily compare changes. Use Writeboard to write solo or collaborate with others”

I like 37 Signals products, and use backpack a lot. But reading about Writeboard, I couldn’t imagine a use for it at the moment.

So today I was driving to work and a great idea for an article/workshop/series of blog posts popped into my head. By the time I got to work I’d thought it through and wanted to write it down. Where to write it? I didn’t want to hand write it on paper. I didn’t have my tablet with me (this would be my usual first choice). I hate Word. Putting it into the ‘notes’ area of backpack didn’t feel quite right (and would stop me from using the notes area as ‘notes’).

Ahah! Writeboard actually seemed like a good solution.

So I got to work, and went into the site. Created a new writeboard, wrote up the idea and saved it. Yay – idea out of my head and written down.

Then I remembered that the blurb said I could connect it to my backpack. I have a backpack page for articles and speaking ideas already. I went into my backpack and, just like magic, there’s a tab with ‘Writeboards’ at the top, and a link to import. I imported my new baby and it sat in the list of writeboards. It was a bit lonely there, and I really wanted it to connect to my articles page. Just like magic, there’s a link at the bottom of the page that lets me link a writeboard. Linked and done!

How easy was that! This probably sounds stupidly marketese (well, it does to me), but it was completely real. I had an idea, wrote it down and linked it to my existing ideas within about 3 minutes. I hardly had to think about the process at all. I spent bits of the rest of the days adding extra ideas when they came to me, and have a decent outline all ready. When I’m ready, I can send it to someone and they can review it.

Now this is what usable software should be about…

2 Responses to “Writeboard – I wouldn’t use that (or would I?)”

  1. Jacob B Says:

    Now for something completely different: I subscribe to 400+ RSS feeds using Bloglines and usually just scan through them all two or three times a day and click those posts I’d like to read. I clicked yours because all the blog coverage on Writeboard was “Woohoo, 37signals did it again” and yada yada. Just a short story to tell you that finding a good title for a blog post is very important, at least you just proved that to me. I usually never read blog posts that are this long, but well done Donna! :-)

  2. Donna Says:

    I do try to think about my headings – not only for how they appear in the mass of posts, but also so I know how to find my posts later!

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