We’re just getting started, so the product is in its infancy. But know that, even now, Slice is different enough to be worth checking out.
After using Slice, someone asked, “If I understand your intent correctly, Slice supports both the creative process and the business process of writing a variety of content. Yes?” Yes. I don’t think you can find that anywhere else.
What does Slice do differently? For starters, it abandons the document-centric universe we’ve inhabited for 40 years (“OMG, I need to finish my word processing document before I leave work today!” – said no one ever) and replaces it with a metaphor that reflects the way we actually think: the project.
A Slice project can be whatever you want it to be. Sure, it can be a formal document or report. But it could also be where you compile research and take notes as you develop an idea gradually. It could capture ideas from a brainstorming session. It could contain one or many class assignments or a novel or your gardening notes. It’s completely up to you. As an artist friend of mine likes to say, “No rules.”
After opening a project, you might notice the project binder right away. It contains two main sections: Content and Notes. Content is designed for your primary content, or the stuff you write. We encourage you to cut your content into smaller pieces, or slices, to make your project ideas more manageable. Content also supports PDF files, and we’ll support more file formats soon.
The Notes section contains your secondary sources, or the information you harvest when you write. Notes can include PDFs, original slices, and website articles you save via Slice’s web clipper. As with Content, we’ll support more file formats soon.
If you missed it, here’s why the project binder is significant: because you can now store your writing and your research in the same place. Need to respond to an RFP? Use the project binder to collect all relevant information and craft the response. Need to submit a class report with your group? Assign certain report sections to certain teammates, combine all your notes in the project binder, and get to work. Want to develop a research idea with your colleagues? Pile your notes and whatever you’ve written thus far into Slice and see what happens.
Content and Notes items are represented by cards, which you can drag and drop into panes. Any project can currently have 1-3 viewing panes, and you control the display. Any pane can contain any item, which means you can have primary content and secondary sources side-by-side (or all Content or all Notes – it’s up to you). The users in our Early Access program have commented repeatedly about the utility of this feature.
You’ll soon be able to assign teammates to certain pieces of content, set a deadline for each one to build progressively toward the project due date, and set a status field so that others can know how the work is coming along. We’ll roll up that information so you can have a high, project-level view of your progress.
Sliced content, in other words, enables project management in the same place you edit that content. The project binder collects both your primary content and secondary sources in one place. And panes help you work efficiently by allowing you to place your information side-by-side.
So why should people think about trying Slice? Because they’ll discover a writing environment so natural and so efficient that several people have already asked, “Why hasn’t anyone done this before?”
Photo credit: Pixabay on Pexels. Thank you, Pixabay!