New in Papyrs: Keep everybody on the same page with the Activity Stream

Hi everyone,

Over the past few months we have been adding many new features to Papyrs. This week we launched a design update and the Activity Stream.

With a lot of different information going back and forth between team members, the Activity Stream is a great way to stay up to date with everything that’s happening in your team.  You can find all the latest actions, post or view comments and status updates for everyone in your team or in a specific subgroup.

Streams have been an important part of many modern social networks, and are also becoming an important way to communicate within businesses and organizations. It’s an easy way to get your announcements or questions & answers out to entire teams, without spamming and cluttering their Inbox. This also makes it easier for other people to reply on activity items, participate in discussions and keep people up to date about their progress. Because inactive discussions automatically ‘sink’  to the bottom of the stream, the stream is good central place for both having active discussions as well as posting about updates (like micro blogging social networks).

Example of the Activity Stream (click for larger screenshot)

Because the Activity Stream is fully integrated with the other functionality in Papyrs, any updates to pages and forms are automatically posted to the stream, and visible only to people with permission to view this type of activity. For example, when Mary submits an Expense Reimbursement form and Mark from Accounting denies the request, it will be visible for her in the Activity Stream and she can directly access the form to add that missing receipt.

The Stream also supports sharing with and subscribing to items only within certain sub groups. It’s also possible to add a summary of recent activity to your pages using the Navigation widget, e.g. on your homepage. Finally, discussions on pages now also support replies on comments (threading), and new posts appear in the Stream as well.

UI Design Updates

Screenshot showing the new design – Editing a page

We also made some updates to the UI design of Papyrs, and added new buttons to the top of the page to quickly switch between the main parts of Papyrs (home page, page navigation, activity stream, people directory and settings).

We hope you like the new look and features!

Papyrs available in Google Apps Marketplace

We’re glad to announce that Papyrs is also available in the Google Apps Marketplace! If you are a Google Apps user, you can now add Papyrs to your Google Apps domain directly from the marketplace.

With Papyrs you can easily build an intranet for your team using drag & drop, and use it to collaborate better with colleagues and clients. Easily create pages with rich notes, documents, images and much more to share all your information. Add custom online forms to collect data and process requests. It’s all very easy to use, so there’s no technical knowledge required!

Papyrs integrates seamlessly with Google Apps. After adding Papyrs you can:

  • Start using Papyrs with your existing Google account (Single Sign On); no extra log in or account required!
  • Navigate between Papyrs and your other Google apps using Google’s universal navigation.
  • Invite other users from your apps domain to start collaborating with Papyrs. Start sharing information and collecting data within minutes. (inviting users outside your domain is also supported!)
We’re happy to add Papyrs to the large family of useful apps in the Marketplace, and hope it helps Google Apps users to be even more productive. Already added Papyrs to your domain? As always, we’d love to hear what you think: comments, suggestions and questions are always welcome!

New Thymer feature – “In” box

For people interested in the Getting Things Done (GTD) method, the In-box is probably already a familiar concept. The inbox is a place where you collect all your “stuff”: thoughts and tasks which need further processing.

When we designed Thymer, we made sure adding new items to your list is fast and easy. This also makes it easy to dump your thoughts onto your task list. Some of those are not actionable tasks yet. For example, you might have added some items you need more information about, forwarded some emails into your Thymer account, or entered items you don’t know yet when to do (if at all).

If you are used to getting things out of your head this way, you might have run into the problem where your Today section becomes cluttered with thoughts or non-actionable items. For our users who prefer to collect their stuff before organizing it further, we have added the Inbox feature to Thymer.

The Inbox works like any other separator (like Today or Week), which divide your task list into different sections. Once enabled, all items you add, through the Add bar or by email, are automatically added to the Inbox. Items with a deadline, however, are still automatically added to the corresponding date section of your task list. Like any other separator you can also collapse the Inbox section. This way, you can add as many thoughts and unorganized items without cluttering your schedule of actionable tasks.

Once you have collected “stuff” in the Inbox, you can process the items further. Either:

  • Do – GTD suggests to do tasks that take less than two minutes immediately
  • Defer – Drag your item somewhere on your schedule (e.g. Today, Monday, or Someday)
  • Delete – The easiest way to get  rid of a task!
  • Delegate – Click the edit icon and re-assign the task to a team member

You can add the Inbox separator by clicking on the + icon on a separator, select the Inbox option in the menu, and click Apply (see the screenshots below).

We hope you find it useful!

Why we created Papyrs

For those curious why we build Papyrs and not some other product, here’s our reasoning:

The problem

Collecting, sharing and finding back all your information is painful. Even with our little startup we already bumped into this problem. First we only had some notes with ideas (e.g. for new features), screenshots, drafts, discussions and design documents. Then, feedback from users, press clippings, etc. As we got more users we got more business data: instructions, receipts, invoices, that sort of thing. The more data we needed to share and keep track of, the more time it took to file them and find them back.

We figure every company must run into this problem, so we decided to check out the software packages out there.

Enter Wikis & Intranets

We tried some wiki-like software. Wikis can be light-weight but they don’t really fit our style of working. We don’t want to use those weird markup languages just to write a document. It’s too difficult to add a bunch of files or an image gallery. You spend too much time messing around with the Wiki itself and it’s all a huge distraction.

We tried some other apps that promise to address these problems but they turn out to be too limited in functionality or every task takes a dozen clicks.

Finally we tried some bigger intranet software. They offer all of the features we need (and then some), but unfortunately “enterprise” software takes ages to install and it costs and arm and a leg. Besides, because those enterprise solutions try to do everything they don’t do anything well. The user experience is lousy, and sometimes even requires programming to get something done! For software you need to use on a daily basis we want something that makes us happy using it.

Not only did we need a solution for ourselves, but we knew from experience other businesses and teams also waste time (and money) by inefficiently managing their information and documents. Not just documents but they also manually collect data in Excel (for example time sheets, customer surveys, expense reimbursements and leave of absence requests). Works fine for the first week, but as time passes those Excel files become more and more cluttered and unusable.

We couldn’t find any solution that would solve all these problems in a friendly manner and without requiring technical knowledge. This seemed like a perfect opportunity for us to build an app that would solve these problems for good!

Making Intranets cool again

When we see the word “intranet” big companies come to mind, armed with an army of consultants hired to install and customize the intranet. But after we put further thought into it we realized that an intranet is exactly what we were looking for after all: we want to build up a knowledge base, share documents, files, add forms, discuss ideas and collaborate with team members and clients. We just want it to be user friendly. No markup languages, no programming. Just drag & drop. That’s why we developed Papyrs.

We have been using Papyrs internally for the last couple of months and it has completely transformed the way we work. We get email updates whenever pages are updated, we can now find the information we’re looking for in seconds instead of minutes, we no longer have to email Word documents back and forth or copy/paste data in Excel, and we can access everything from anywhere. Our hope is that it’s going to have a similar positive effect on the companies of our customers. It’s going to be exciting!

Announcing our new product! — Papyrs

Hi everyone, big news today for our little company!

For the last months we’ve been working very hard on the development of a new product and we’re happy to finally announce it today! Of course we’re working on the finishing touches, but we’re almost ready for the private beta. So what we’re showing today is a first glimpse of the new product. So, here goes:

An intranet to keep your business information organized.

At you can read all about Papyrs and sign up to receive a beta invite once we launch. We’re really curious about your feedback! (be honest :). If you have any questions or comments, feel free to shout out your thoughts on Twitter (@stunf) or in the comments below. We hope you find Papyrs interesting, and we look forward to the beta! We’ll keep you updated on any Papyrs news on this blog and via twitter.