Box Takes Aim at Google Docs With ‘Notes’ Tool

Box on Monday moved beyond cloud storage and took aim at rivals like Google Docs with its new collaboration tool, Box Notes.

Notes is”a new way to create documents and work in real-time with others on Box,” Jonathan Berger, Notes product manager, write in a blog post. “Our long-term vision is to continue to build a product that makes it easier to capture and share information.”

When working on a Note with other co-workers, their profile photos will show up in the left margin in a feature Box has dubbed “note heads.”

“When you’re working on a note with multiple people, it’s easy to see where everyone else is working,” Berger wrote. “We’ve found that it facilities activities like conference calls because you can say ‘look here’ rather than ‘look at the third paragraph, line number four.'”

Box promised that note heads will be unobtrusive. “Only after highlighting some text will you see our inline toolbar appear, offering a way to annotate a document and leave feedback for others,” Berger said.

In addition to edits, you can add comments to Notes, much like you might comment on a Facebook post.

Notes will be built into Box, so if you create a Note within a folder on Box, it does not have to be shared; it’ll just show up. But if “the folder has no existing collaborators, your note isn’t shared and is as secure as anything else stored in Box.”

Box hinted that it will have a more full-featured offering down the line, with the ability “to create a wider variety of documents,” and create documents on mobile.

Right now, you can request access to the beta version of Box Notes. “We plan to make it available to as many people as possible in the coming weeks,” Berger said.

In the meantime, check it out in action in the video below.

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