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The brand new Almanac doc editor

Introducing the new and improved Almanac document editor: a flexible and fast document editor that gives you full control over the formatting and presentation of your documents.

Powered by sophisticated collaborative features like workflows, version control, and tasks, Almanac is the most powerful document editor for collaboration—and everything else.

The new editor roll rolls out to select users this week and will be available to all users in January 2022.

Interested in taking the new editor for a spin? Sign up here.

A new look for a new document experience

The new editor gives you total control of how you format, edit, view, and collaborate on your documents. So you can make your documents as unique as your projects.

The new toolbar across the top of the editor surfaces all your options in a way that's easy to access. No more scrolling through tiny drop-downs—everything you need in a simple, elegant view.

Format to your heart's desire

The Format tab organizes all the ways that you can format text components in your document.

New additions to formatting options include:

  • Select font
  • Change font size
  • Adjust line height
  • Format text as Subscript or superscript
  • Clear styles
  • Box

Docs as dynamic as you

The Insert tab houses all the elements that you can insert into your documents:

Available elements include:

  • Bulleted lists
  • Numbered lists
  • Checklists
  • Code
  • Mentions (Docs or Workspace Members)
  • Emojis
  • Images
  • Tables
  • Embeds (Airtable, Figma, Github, Google Maps/Docs/Forms/Sheets/Slides, Loom, Miro, Twitter, Vimeo, Youtube)
  • Code Blocks
  • Files
  • Templates

With Almanac, you can take your docs to the next level.

Make moves—fast

The File tab organizes all the actions you can take on your document so you can collaborate and organize without stopping.

Available options include:

  • Create a branch
  • Make a copy
  • Save as a Template
  • Move the document to a folder
  • Add it as a Favorite
  • Create a new doc
  • View the Version Selector
  • View the Activity View
  • Open Templates
  • Export the document
  • Publish the document to the Almanac Core

Your document, your canvas.

The layout tab displays all the ways that you can view and layout your document.

Page View
Web view

Available options include:

  • Web View - Layout with a borderless editing experience.
  • Page View - Layout content into different page sizes with headers and footers.
  • Fixed Width - Layout with content fixed to the center of the editor.
  • Full Bleed - Layout with content going from edge-to-edge of the editor.

Improved Tables, Images, Lists, Embeds

We've also reworked how our tables, images, lists, and embeds function in the editor, improving performance as well as placements so you can customize your documents as you wish.

👀 This is just a sneak peak... even more power is coming to you very soon 🦸

Sign up here to get early access.

Track every edit with Activity

Transparency is a critical part of collaboration. That's why we're introducing Activity summary and Activity view—an easy way to see how a document has changed.

Activity summary is a modal that pops up in the bottom left of your screen that gives you a quick overview of how a document has changed since you last visited it. If no changes have been made, it won't appear. 👻

The Activity view gives you unprecedented transparency into how a document has changed over time, grouping changes chronologically that you can easily navigate through.

Activities can include edits, comments, sharing, copies, merged branches, and workflows (Feedback, Approval, and Read Receipt requests).

You can move through activities by clicking the arrows at the top of the Activity view or by clicking on specific activities in the right-hand feed. Edits with additions are underlined in green and deletions are marked with a red strikethrough so you can easily see how an event is different than the previous one.

At any activity, you can:

  • Create a branch
  • Name the activity for additional context
  • Make a copy
  • Restore the document from the activity

With these two new features, you now have full transparency into how your documents change from start to finish.

Don't miss any part of the action 🐝 🤗

New Feature
Crowdsource Improvements to Public Documentation

This week we shipped several new features that enable an entirely new way to use Almanac: public documentation.

In Almanac you can now curate your docs into a handbook, publish them to the web, and crowdsource updates from your community.

While most public documentation goes stale without continual effort, Almanac crowdsources improvements from your community. Users can suggest changes. Doc owners can merge in the best branches, effectively making them "living doc."

It's perfect for any kind of public documentation that supports your business or community:

  • Technical docs – for an interactive developer portal, product docs, or API docs.
  • Help Center articles - get suggestions on what to improve or make up-to-date.
  • Open-Source projects - use a community to constantly improve documentation.
  • Community resources - crowdsource suggestions from those who know it best.

Here's how it works:

Crowdsource improvements from your community.

Give your community members the opportunity to improve your public documentation by suggesting changes – which creates a branch off your read-only docs that they can submit for approval.

Suggesters don't need an account – they just need to verify their email to prevent spammers or bad actors.

Approve and merge in the best branches.

As the document owner, you're always in control. Maintain the quality of your docs by reviewing branches and merging in the best suggestions.

Built for your brand.

Make your documentation look as good as your website with custom fonts, styles, colors, and more. Add your logo to your handbook and put in on a custom subdomain of your choosing.

Want to see how it works?

Go to this demo developer portal for Hooli that we created and view any document. Click Suggest Changes to create a branch and verify your email (so you can go back to your branch at any time).

Make any edits you want or leave comments on the branch and submit the branch for approval. If accepted, the doc owner can merge your edits into the main doc.

New Feature
Import, New Navigation, & Guest Access

This week we shipped a new way to get docs into your Almanac workspace.

It's now easier than ever to import multiple documents at once, from products like Microsoft Word, Google Docs, Confluence, Notion, Dropbox Paper, Quip, Evernote, and more.

Our import service supports the following file types:

  • Microsoft Word Docs
  • HTML
  • Markdown
  • Zip files

You can also now export Almanac docs to HTML, Markdown, PDF, or Microsoft Word by clicking the gear icon in the top left corner of any document.

New Navigation

We also shipped a new navigation sidebar for all Almanac workspaces with a clean white background. The navigation layout has also been simplified by removing the (former) Handbooks tab and renaming All Docs to All Files.

Let us know how you like it on Twitter!

Guest Access

We also shipped the ability to invite people to edit a document even if they don't belong to your workspace.

Guest access is perfect for collaborating with freelancers, agencies, consultants, or any person where you want their input on a specific document, but not access to your whole workspace. Workspace guests have their own Almanac account which shows them all the docs they have access to.

In the directory, workspace admins can see all the people who have guest access to at least one doc and upgrade them to a workspace member or remove their access completely.

Other improvements and fixes

  • You can now drag and drop docs and folders on the All Files (formerly All Docs) page.
  • Marking inbox item read no longer closes inbox detail view.
  • Fixed the profiles images in the 'submit feedback' modal that were in the incorrect position.
  • Workspaces now show users' full names instead of abbreviated last names.
  • When logging in, you can now choose which workspace to go to.

Ask for Feedback 2.0

After getting tons of great feedback from our beta customers, the Ask for Feedback workflow just got a whole lot more magical.

The new workflow links together all your comments and tasks under the workflow so you can keep feedback organized. You can leave an overall comment to let the requester know how you felt about the doc as a whole. And you can see transparent analytics that centralizes all collaboration in one place.

Best of all—it's finally possible for remote teams to get feedback and sign off without a single Slack message or meeting.

Here are some highlights of the new Feedback workflow:

1. There are clear graphics throughout, just like the NYC subway, that show you where you are, what's happened so far, and what you have to do next.

2. All comments and tasks created during a Feedback request are tagged with an ID and can be filtered and sorted. Say goodbye to insane Google Docs comment threads.

3. When users submit their feedback, they can leave an overall status—"Looks good", "Needs changes", or "Needs major changes" — along with a meta-comment for you.  

4. A new at-a-glance modal shows you who asked for feedback, who's giving it, when it's due by, and quick stats on the collaboration so far.

5. Everyone can now see analytics that detail out who's viewed the document and given feedback, with links to their comments, tasks, and remarks. You also can add in new reviewers once the workflow has already been started and change the due date.

"Ask for Feedback" is perfect for remote teams who need to move work forward and stay aligned—without constant notifications and repetitive meetings.

Other fixes and improvements

  • We overhauled how Almanac works on mobile—including the Inbox, Recent, and All Docs pages.
  • Comments are now marked as read on selection, rather than mouseover.
  • We fixed a bug where Groups were not showing up in sharing modal.
  • If you inherit permission for a doc from a folder, it now shows up in search.
  • Removed duplicated button for approving or sending back an approval request.
  • Inbox "Sent" tab now only shows the interactions created by you, just like Gmail
  • Improved inline tasks assignment dropdown with autofocus

Improvement
Handbook Improvements and a new Inbox

This week we shipped several highly-requested improvements to handbooks as well as a new way to triage comments in Almanac.

Handbook improvements

At the request of many of our helpful beta customers, we've made several improvements to Handbooks:

  • All headings (H1, H2, H3) can be used in composing a handbook, and are displayed in the Handbook Navigation sidebar.
  • Nested mentions are now supported and indent accordingly in the Handbook Navigation sidebar.
  • The handbook icon is more prevalent, displayed in the Handbook Navigation sidebar as well as in the top bar by the handbook's name.
  • External links that are in a list will now display in the Handbook Navigation sidebar with a link icon.
  • Admins can change the color of the handbook icon.

With these improvements, you now have even more flexibility to design a handbook the way you see fit for your company's documentation.

The new Inbox

We've added the Inbox as a new page in the navigation sidebar for a centralized place to view and respond to comments on documents. Designed similarly to an email inbox, this new page allows you to quickly work through comments across docs, all from one place.

Previously comments, tasks, and workflow requests were all mixed together in the Tasks page – comments are now solely managed in the Inbox.

From the Inbox you can:

  • View all unread and read comments
  • View a preview of the comment contextually in the doc
  • Reply to comments and open threads
  • Resolve comments
  • Filter notifications by Active, Unread, or All
  • Sort notifications by date received, by the document, or by the requester

The right panel shows a preview of the document that can be expanded for a greater viewing experience.

Other fixes and improvements

  • Fixed bugs around comment resolution (marks remaining after comment resolution, comments being resolved without user action)
  • Improved overall browser responsiveness
  • Simplified the experience for merging branches without any other editors
  • Added new illustrations for merging a branch
  • Enabled "turn into" from text to quotes
  • Changed the default doc icon from thought bubble emoji to a doc icon

ps. Want to join the fun in making Almanac better every week? We're hiring.

Improvement
Redesigned Groups

This week we shipped a redesigned Groups feature for better visual design, user management, and performance.

It's now easier to see which workspace members are in a group and if you an admin, invite new members. Admins can also change the type of group (open, closed, or private) and add a description.

Other fixes & improvements

  • The 'Share' modal on documents got a refreshed design.
  • Unordered and ordered lists can be inserted into table cells.
  • Images can now be a part of unordered and ordered lists.
  • The formatting bar now appears when selecting multiple cells in a table.

New Feature
Banner Images

This week we shipped the ability to add banner images to any document or handbook.

Make your docs your own by uploading a photo—or selecting a royalty-free image from Unsplash. Reposition as needed to create the perfectly designed doc of your dreams.

Guided workflow buttons

We also shipped a new way to guide you through workflows for branches, approvals, read receipts, and suggestions.

When you're in a workflow, the button in the top right hand corner is replaced by a contextually relevant message that takes you to the next step.

Other fixes and improvements

  • The emoji in a callout can now be customized 💯  🥳  👌  🔥
  • We fixed a bug where images inserted in a list would break the numbering.
  • Folders can now be added to the Favorites section of the Navigation Sidebar!

New Feature
Customize your docs with Doc Styles

This week we shipped Document Styles, giving workspace admins the ability to change font styles, sizes, colors, and spacing in all docs across your workspace.

While we think our default styles are pretty great, you can now make your docs feel like your own and integrate them into your company's branding.

Customizable properties include:

  • Font
  • Size
  • Style
  • Weight
  • Text Decoration
  • Color
  • Background Color
  • Alignment
  • Line Height
  • Padding (Above & Below)
  • Case

New element menu

Our element menu received a facelift, adding in the 15 embeds available and text colors. It also includes keyboard and markdown shortcuts for relevant elements and formatting.

Other fixes and improvements

  • Improved registration for guest readers to onboard seamlessly.
  • Enabled bidirectional mentions to be used inside Tasks.
  • Added option to enable read-only access to every doc added to a handbook.
Improvement
Branch, Compare & Merge and Introducing Tasks

Almanac is built on a powerful infrastructure of Git-like version control where you can create temporary, linked versions of documents called branches.

We've seen users like you use branches for all kinds of editing and collaboration:

  • Ideas – use a branch as a separate space where you can brainstorm on your own without messing up the main doc.
  • Drafts – divide and conquer an outline with branches as a private space to think freely.
  • Revisions – revise a doc that's been shared widely and get a review from the owner without the whole team seeing.

This week we released a powerful new workflow that makes it much easier to branch, compare, and merge docs.

1. Click the relocated "New Workflow" button at the top of the screen to see all the workflow options on a doc – "Create a Branch" has been added as a workflow and is listed first.

2. Once you've made edits (using track changes) on your branch, click the prominent "Merge Branch" button to compare your changes against the original doc.

3. Before merging, add a "commit note" to give everyone else context about what changed; the note will appear in the main doc's Activity Feed for posterity.

This new workflow makes branching, comparing, and merging radically easier in Almanac. We think you're going to love it.

Introducing Tasks

We formally launched tasks this week! Now, you can use Almanac to assign and complete tasks, right next to the work itself.

We hear all the time that tasks get drowned out in Google Docs notifications; as one user said, "it's impossible to parse through comments to find tasks and know what you have to do."

Notion users also told us they had to use ill-suited comments or an external task management tool like Asana to assign work on docs.

In Almanac, we make it simple by having dedicated spaces for your to-dos (Tasks) and conversations (Comments) on a doc.

You can create a task in three ways:

  • Leave a task on the entire document ("please proofread this, Angela!").
  • Select text to create a task on that selection ("can you fill out this section, Andy?")
  • Create a task from a checklist ("Michael to schedule Scranton team meeting")

Unlike in Google Docs—where tasks are just assigned comments—tasks in Almanac are fully-featured, like the best task managers:

  • Tasks have a description field for more detail
  • Tasks can be drafted and assigned later
  • You can reply to tasks with threaded comments
  • You can filter tasks by Active, All, For Me, For Others, or Done

Coming soon, we'll have a dedicated task management tab for tracking tasks across all documents in your workspace —and even creating to-dos not connecting to any doc! 👀

Other improvements & fixes

  • You can now add a password to sensitive docs you share by link.
  • Workspace admins can leverage more granular sharing restrictions, including hiding handbooks from users who don't have access to them.
  • The color of the navigation sidebar has been cooled to a nice midnight blue.
  • We moved the "Start a new workflow" button into the top right corner of the doc editor.
  • You can now access active and merged branches, as well as copies, from the top left-hand corner of the doc editor.
  • Looking to quickly add more docs? Click the big "New Document" button at the bottom of the Navigation Sidebar, right next to Import.

New Feature
Save time with Snippets

This week we shipped a feature that makes writing in Almanac even faster: snippets. Snippets enable you to save content (or whole docs) and easily reinsert them into a doc.

Snippets can be as simple as privacy disclaimers or boilerplate copy you add to public docs, or entire templates for repetitive meeting agendas, marketing briefs, or product specs.

Any selection of content can be created into a snippet, which adds it into your Snippet Library. Then, you can add snippets into a doc by typing " / " and selecting "Snippet" from the element menu.

We've seen snippets help users work twice as fast in Almanac than Notion, Google Docs, and Microsoft Word—we can't hear how much quicker they make your work!

Insert interactive content with Embeds

We now support 13 new types of content that can be embedded in Almanac docs so you can make your docs even more interactive.

Embed content from:

  • Loom
  • Airtable
  • Figma
  • Github
  • Google Docs, Sheets, Forms, Slides, & Maps
  • Miro
  • Twitter
  • Youtube
  • Vimeo
  • Web URLs

Simply type  " / " to open the element menu, select "Embed", and paste in the URL.

Comments you'll love

Our enhanced comments make giving feedback in Almanac even better:

  • You can now name comment threads.
  • You can pin comments you want others to read later at the top of the doc.
  • You can filter comments to see those you're mentioned in, active, and new.
  • The doc now smoothly scrolls to a selected comment for you.
  • Overall cleaner styling that makes new comments pop out clearly.
  • Coming soon: reactions to comments 👍💡🏄‍♂️

Other improvements & fixes

  • A clearer icon for the "Create new doc" in the top-right of the header bar.
  • Branches are now visually indented in the Version Selector to better show their hierarchy.
  • Favorited docs now have a gold star ⭐️  next to the doc title instead of a gray one.
Improvement
Track Changes

This week we shipped a game-changing enhancement to our Suggest Changes workflow: Track Changes. Track Changes is a visual way to give you and your coworkers a quick understanding of what has changed on a doc.

When Track Changes is on, new elements are marked with an underline, and deletions are marked with a strikethrough.

Track Changes is turned on by default on branches (temporary, linked doc versions), so when a branch is created through a Suggest Changes or Approval Request workflow, approvers will easily be able to see how the branch is different from the main doc.

Other improvements & fixes

  • Quotes have been restyled to be more compact & with optional attribution.
  • Uploaded files have been restyled and are now selectable and show file size.
  • Users invited to a workspace will default to the invited workspace and not their personal workspace.
  • Notification emails have a new coat of paint.
  • If you click on a notification email about a comment but it has been already resolved, you'll now see a notification telling you so.
  • The settings page has been redesigned.
  • Tables are now more intuitive to select and delete.
  • Handbooks now have icons to easily distinguish them from regular docs.
Improvement
Simplified Navigation

This week we launched a redesigned organizational system for docs.

There are now four ways you can navigate around your docs:

  • Recent Docs, which is a quick view of the docs you most recently opened.
  • All Docs, which consolidates the "Unfiled Docs" and "Folders" pages into a single space that show you all the folders and docs that you have access to.
  • Groups, which allows you to find docs by who they're shared with.
  • Search, accessible by via the Header Bar on any screen or the Command Line.

On the "All Docs" page, you can sort docs by any column header, like name or last modified. You can also share, move, create, copy, and delete folders or docs.

Our beta users have been using "All Docs" just like Finder on MacOS—but instead, it's in the cloud, with best-in-class sharing and permissions for collaboration.

Along with our lightning-fast search and ability to create curated handbooks, these new navigation features are part of our mission to keep you and your docs seamlessly organized in Almanac—so you can find the right doc quickly and get back to work.

Other improvements and fixes

  • Tables are now easier to select and delete
  • We've polished the controls and formatting options on images
Improvement
Structured Approvals

Our goal at Almanac is to provide more structured, transparent, and integrated ways for teams to collaborate without needing a Zoom meeting or Slack message.

For important, high-risk docs where mistakes can be vey costly, our latest enhancements to the "Approval Request" workflow add more guardrails, clearer options, and enhanced context so that you can keep track of every edit and eliminate opportunities for error.

The Approval workflow now only has one "approver" so that there's a clear, single decision maker in your process. In the flow, the approver can either make changes and "approve" the doc, or "send back" the doc to you for more revisions.

All edits in an Approval Request now happen on a branch—a temporary, linked version of the main doc—so that it's clear what was changed over the base.

While the Approval Request is open, the main doc is locked in read-only mode, and the workflow concludes when the approver agrees to all the edits made and merges their branch into the main doc.

In Approval Request, you can compare the changes on the branch to the main doc, and use the activity feed to see exactly who edited what, where, and when—great for compliance and legal redlining.

Finally, we added in graphics to explain the process at every step, so all stakeholders understand where the approval is, who is "holding the ball," and what happens next.

And lastly, we added a fun confetti animation once a doc has been approved 🎉

Other improvements and fixes

  • Mentions can now be created in headings, and have a faster load times
  • All Docs can now be sorted by Name or Last Modified
  • Adding in new lines to a numbered list automatically updates to the correct order
  • Selecting a group of text or a list to indent works just like Microsoft Word
New Feature
Effectively Give & Get Feedback

Getting informal feedback is an important way to make sure your work is aligned with your team.

But sharing a link to a doc in an email or Slack thread can often result in scattered comments, unclear edits, and missed deadlines.

With our 'Ask for Feedback' workflow, you can keep work moving forward by organizing and tracking feedback right in your doc. Here's how it works:

Share access to Handbook docs

As you create a handbook in Almanac, you need to make sure that everyone has some level of access to every doc. But going into each and every doc to change the sharing permissions was a pain, so we've made it incredibly easy to change the sharing permissions for all the docs in your handbook in one place.

Other improvements

  • We've made optimizations to the viewport to automatically hide the table of contents in the doc editor at smaller widths.
  • Images can now be dragged and dropped directly into the editor (or copy and pasted).
  • Comments can now have the option to be turned into a task.
  • Comments can be pinned in the comment tab as "Important Comments" to increase their visibility.

New Feature
Get Read Receipts on Docs

We've putting some polishing touches on our 'Share with Read Receipts' workflow and are excited to share it with the world.

Read Receipts is a way of sharing a doc that asks the recipients to acknowledge that they've seen and read the doc. Using the "Share with Read Receipts" workflow provides transparency and analytics to you around who's viewed and completed the task.

Here's how it works:

Embed images from Unsplash and GIFs from Giphy

You can now easily add royalty-free images to your docs from Unsplash as well as popular gifs from Giphy using the element menu.

Sundry Quality of Life Improvements

  • Workspaces can have multiple handbooks for different teams, offices, or projects
  • Lists (bullets or numbers) can be indented infinite times
  • When clicking on a comment from an email notifications, you scroll directly to the comment on the doc
  • Resolving comments is 300% faster
  • Your Almanac Inbox is organized by default to docs with outstanding tasks
  • Clicking on a mention in a doc gives you the option to View, Edit, or Unlink
Improvement
An Improved Inbox

This week we shipped an improved Inbox for every Almanac workspace. The refreshed Inbox helps you always know the status of what you have to do and what you've asked others to do—without having to meet or ping someone for an update.

You can now view:

  • Approval Requests, Feedback Requests, and Read Receipts assigned to you or that you've assigned to others
  • Tasks assigned to you or that you've assigned to others
  • Comments you've been @mentioned in and comments you've @mentioned others in

You can also take actions directly from the Inbox:

  • Mark a task as complete
  • Delete a comment
  • Send a reminder
  • Cancel a request

Toggle Blocks

We've also added a new element to the doc editor: toggle blocks. Toggle blocks let you put information underneath a 🔻Toggle Block that can be collapsed for consolidated viewing.

This is great for times when you want to provide more context or information without distracting from the overall flow of the doc. Give your readers a choice to dive deeper or stay high-level!

Toggle Blocks can nest any type of element inside of them: text, headings, images, etc.

Command Line

Nearly every action you can take in Almanac is now available at your fingertips with our new Command Line. Use ⌘+K (Mac), Ctrl+K (Windows), or click the ⚡️ icon in the top right corner of any page to launch it and start typing to search for commands.

You can also use the Command Line to discover keyboard shortcuts that make you work even faster.

Create a Handbook

We've introduced the ability to create a handbook for your Almanac workspace.

Handbooks can feature critical docs like company policies, new employee onboarding, vision and values, meeting agendas and notes, product specs, and marketing copy.

With a handbook, your distributed team has one-click access to all the information they need—so you can eliminate the Slack messages or Zooms asking "where's that doc again?!"

In Almanac, creating and using a handbook is super awesome:

  • Populate the Handbook Index and have the navigation panel auto-update
  • Easily find handbook docs in a tab in the left navigation panel
  • @Mention docs in the Index to easily include in the Handbook and navigation panel
  • Build out your Handbook Index with full doc editing capabilities including images, gifs, tables, and more.
The Handbook panel that can be accessed from any page in the workspace.

Open-sourcing Almanac's Team handbook

If you're curious about how your handbook would look in Almanac, just take a look at ours:

We have decided to publish our own internal team handbook here for everyone to see.

The Almanac team handbook is our company's operating system: a central doc repository of the principles, structures, and systems we use to run the company.

As part of Almanac's virtues around ownership, results, and feedback, we encourage suggestions from employees on any of these pages to make sure they represent our latest processes, policies, and foremost thinking.

With the ability to suggest changes on any doc in the handbook, our documentation becomes crowd-sourced and no longer just one person's responsibility to ensure accuracy.

Update the way your team collaborates in docs.
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