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