What Is Dropbox Paper And How Does It Compare?

Dropbox announced Dropbox Paper in 2015 and launched the product in 2017 as a new way to organize and collaborate with team members from around the world. Essentially, it wanted a slice of the online collaboration pie that is mainly held hostage by Google Drive and Office 365.

It’s been a long and winding road for Dropbox Paper in a short time. What is Dropbox Paper and has it been able to withstand the competition or has it crashed and burned under the weight of its own hype?

What is Dropbox Paper?

Dropbox Paper is a collaborative editing service with drag-and-drop capabilities. It’s incredibly flexible, allowing teams of all sizes to come together to create, review, review, manage and organize creative ideas. Think of it as a giant virtual whiteboard that allows all members of a team to communicate simultaneously.

It has been praised for its collaboration functionality, including task assignments, comments, and revision history, as well as its support for rich media integration. Where the product seems to falter is the lack of formatting options and editing features.

Paper has recently been integrated into Dropbox itself and no longer considers it a standalone service. This means you need a Dropbox account to use Paper. However, anyone currently using Paper will keep all created documents, only they will now appear in Dropbox over a period of time .paper format.

Dropbox Paper vs Competitors

Compared to Google Docs

“If you come for the king, you better not miss”. This sentence seems all too relevant when stacking Dropbox Paper on Google Docs. In this comparison, Paper should have spent more time at the shooting range.

Frankly, a direct comparison really shouldn’t be a discussion. Aside from collaborative efforts, they are not even comparable in most respects. Google Docs is a style and editing tool for Word documents, while Paper is something closer to note-taking software.

In any case, Dropbox Paper seems to imitate Evernote and Microsoft’s OneNote a lot more than anything you’d find on Google Drive.

vs Evernote

Evernote is and always was intended as a note-taking tool. You brainstorm an idea and Evernote offers you a place to write it down and save it for later. You can then categorize these notes with tags for organizational purposes.

Dropbox does things a little differently. Stored documents are archived under folders. This is one of the similarities it has with Google Docs and Microsoft. This system allows you to create as many folders within folders as you want. A big step up from Evernote’s limited depth.

Both options provide basic text formatting (bold, italics, bullets, etc.). Where Evernote earns some points is the ability to support image editing via Skitch. Paper also requires a third-party editing service, but doesn’t support it directly, meaning you’re on your own with the search choices.

Both services have similar ways of sharing. Paper uses a Invite button while Evernote has a . has Part knob. Both allow for permission control over who can edit and view.

When it comes to collaboration, Paper excels. Allows you to grab the attention of a particular note by @mentioning it. You can then create task lists and assign individual tasks to the different members of your team.

Both options are great, but Evernote never had collaboration in mind while creating them. While they have common ground for teams, Paper ranks high as the winner in this regard.

Compared to Microsoft OneNote

OneNote allows you to create notebooks. In each notebook, you have sections to create text, audio, and image notes. You can also use tags to organize similar notes in all notebooks. As mentioned, paper uses a folder system.

OneNote crushes Paper in the formatting department, using a ribbon-like interface akin to Google Docs. With Paper, you only get the minimalistic popup with limited options. This would keep the UI uncluttered and more accessible, but it could do with a few more options.

Paper’s sharing capabilities trump OneNote, but only slightly. OneNote uses a similar format to share a document, but lacks advanced options like permissions. This means that anyone who gets their hands on your link can edit your document with impunity. It’s best to leave the document open to just a few email addresses to avoid this sort of thing.

OneNote comes with plenty of unusual features not often seen in a note-taking app. It can perform simple math equations, comes with a built-in thesaurus and language translation tool, and allows you to convert and send notes in both PDF and Word formats. It also comes with advanced OCR functionality to convert scanned images into notes.

Paper doesn’t have these things. However, paper is still better for collaboration needs. For a digital notebook with deep integration with Microsoft Office Suite, OneNote is your definitive option.

Who is Dropbox Paper for?

Creators, contributors, and presenters can all benefit from Dropbox Paper, albeit in small amounts. It looks like an endless sheet of white paper and provides a large workspace for brainstorming and embedding various forms of rich media, including Trello, YouTube, Spotify and Vimeo.

You can not only add media, but also make it interactive. This means you can use Dropbox Paper to create lesson plans for students or video and audio presentations for employees and share a copy with each participant.

One of the cool features Paper has over its competitors is its checklist block. This feature allows you to create tasks, assign them to collaborators, set a due date, and check them off as completed. It can be a somewhat clunky feature, as the tasks only appear to those they’re assigned to, even though everyone can see the due date.

You can add Trello cards to Paper that will be updated in the document as they are updated on Trello. Any organization currently using this service may find it more beneficial than the checklist block.

Overall, Dropbox Paper is a good alternative to most note-taking services, but it still has a long way to go if it has to compete with companies like Google.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.