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.
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.
This week we shipped several highly-requested improvements to handbooks as well as a new way to triage comments in Almanac.
At the request of many of our helpful beta customers, we've made several improvements to Handbooks:
With these improvements, you now have even more flexibility to design a handbook the way you see fit for your company's documentation.
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:
The right panel shows a preview of the document that can be expanded for a greater viewing experience.
ps. Want to join the fun in making Almanac better every week? We're hiring.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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:
Unlike in Google Docs—where tasks are just assigned comments—tasks in Almanac are fully-featured, like the best task managers:
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! 👀
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!
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:
Simply type " / " to open the element menu, select "Embed", and paste in the URL.
Our enhanced comments make giving feedback in Almanac even better:
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.
This week we launched a redesigned organizational system for docs.
There are now four ways you can navigate around your docs:
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.
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 🎉
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:
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.
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:
You can now easily add royalty-free images to your docs from Unsplash as well as popular gifs from Giphy using the element menu.
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:
You can also take actions directly from the Inbox:
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.
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.
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:
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.