Box's note-taking app exits beta, rolls out to customers

Box Notes is a lightweight content creation tool for real-time, collaborative work

Box Notes is a lightweight, note-taking application designed for collaborative co-editing

Box Notes is a lightweight, note-taking application designed for collaborative co-editing

Box has begun rolling out Notes, the lightweight note-taking application it announced in September, making its first foray into content creation and office productivity tools.

Box's core product is its cloud storage and file sharing service, but the company doesn't want to be isolated as a one-trick pony. It has encouraged other software companies to link their products to its service and worked to improve how customers can view and manage their files and documents.

The Notes tool is a more speculative initiative. It's not clear how much demand there will be for it, given the abundance of word-processing and note-taking applications out there, including Microsoft's Word and OneNote, Google's Docs and Keep, and tools from specialists like Evernote and Quip.

Notes has a word-processor-like interface where the document creator and colleagues can add content and co-edit in real time.

Box developed Notes because it felt customers could benefit from a native tool within the service for capturing and sharing information on the fly in an ad hoc manner. That way, they wouldn't have to toggle to an external app.

When Box first announced Notes, it said users would be able to embed rich media content in documents and do offline editing, and that the product would keep a version history, with the ability to revert to earlier drafts of a document.

A Box spokesman said Thursday that version history is "coming soon" and offline editing and rich content features are being considered. In addition to basic editing features, users can add hyperlinks as a way of inserting images in a document, he said.

Executives said in September that Box would likely develop more content creation and office productivity applications. A big competitive shift since then is Microsoft's launch of native Office apps for the iPad, and soon for Android and Windows 8 tablets. Microsoft has also beefed up Office Online, the free browser-based version of the suite.

In the announcement Thursday, Box official Jonathan Berger detailed a number of ways in which the company has been using Notes.

"For instance, our engineering leads collaborate in Box Notes to create and then share their weekly updates with entire engineering organization. Our CEO now sends company-wide notices in Box Notes. We create marketing plans, draft press releases, develop FAQs, take meeting notes and more -- all in Box Notes," he wrote.

So, according to Box, the uses for Notes go beyond creating documents and taking notes and include lightweight project planning, group task management and individual to-do lists. Given that vision, it's conceivable that Box will add features in later iterations that make Notes more useful and powerful for these different scenarios.

Box will roll out Notes progressively to all of its customers in the coming weeks. It will be available via the main desktop browser interface and via the service's mobile apps.

Juan Carlos Perez covers enterprise communication/collaboration suites, operating systems, browsers and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Juan on Twitter at @JuanCPerezIDG.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags applicationssoftwarecollaborationSoftware as a servicecloud computingBoxinternet

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?