Slite looks to build a new smarter notes tool for internal teams

If you’ve ever tried to collaborate on official documents( or any kind of note, genuinely) with coworkers or anyone else, you’re likely using something along the lines of Dropbox Paper or Google Docs — but they don’t quite have the same team-focused simplicity as, say, Slack, if you ask Christophe Pasquier.

That’s where Slite, a new notes tool that’s specifically geared toward team utilization, be coming back. Started about a year and a half ago by Pasquier and his team, Slite wants to rethink what a simple notes app looks like where squads can come in and make documents that they can share amongst themselves without having to send connections around to one another. Think of it as a new way to mark up a company onboarding manual or an internal contact list. And taking a note from Slack’s playbook, Slite is specifically designed to ensure that its tools remain simple and solely focused on teams. Slite is launching out of Y Combinator’s winter 2018 class.

“While Google Docs and[ Dropbox] Paper are customer-facing documents, they aren’t easily maintainable — you can’t[ easily] know who did what, you never open something unless someone sends you the link, ” Pasquier said. “You think about the permissions mess it causes. What we do is say, this will never be used by non-tech , non-product people, and we want to make it unbelievably simple. We just take it as simple as a note.”

If this sounds a lot like an internal wiki, that’s likely not a terrible comparing. But while many teams may have to Google Docs or Dropbox, or something along those lines, there’s a good chance that companies don’t have some kind of strict system in place to keep track of all the information collected internally, especially for younger( and maybe more chaotic) companies. The idea is to turn the concept of just taking notes and sharing them into something that’s string together as an internal vocabulary of information for a company that every employee needs. And on top of that, Slite maintains track of who did what and allows for mentions and comments, stimulating that system a little more robust.

Part of their own problems received from ensuring that teams were checking these kinds of notes or documents on a regular basis, which sometimes became an issue if people weren’t sharing the links around as a reminder, Pasquier said. To be sure, you could easily pin a link to a Google Doc on top of your Slack channel or stick it somewhere that’s really obviously noticeable. But part of the appeal of Slite, Pasquier hopes, is that employees will automatically know where to go to find the kinds of notes they are looking for that companies have put together internally( like notes from a session or a stand-up ).

And it already seems to have some applications that would go beyond squad members trying to put together just an onboarding manual. For instance, the could serve customer success squads at larger companies as it could serve as a hub for company updates and maintaining the team up to date — whether that’s with what’s in progress, or known bugs, or anything along those lines. Having that in one single searchable database dedicates those squads a place they know where to look to find that datum, as well as figure out who wrote what and ping them when they need additional information.

Still, while Pasquier tries to distance the company from the comparison to Google Docs and Dropbox Paper, those comparings still aren’t that far off. Paper, for example, may find some employ as a kind of continuous product development document that teams use to keep track of where a project is heading into its launching, and that includes all the little tools that you might find in Slite like tables. And then there are startups like Coda, which is looking to completely rethink the route term documents should exist. At the end of the working day, though, Pasquier says by focusing on a horizontal they think they can chip away at, they’ll have a shot at growing into something more robust.

“Slack is perfect for synchronous communication, but it’s a mess for asynchronous communication, ” he said. “You will exchange on Slack, but when it is necessary to permissions and other things that matter, it will be in Slite. It’s really like the simplicity of the UX[ for an app like notes] is just a game changer when it comes to writing things that matter. It was that conversation that induced it obvious that it was a topic to tackle.”

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