How to use Slice: Your guide to writing with more focus and flow

If you’ve signed up for a Slice account, get ready – you’re about to become a lot more focused and productive.

Whether your goal is to complete a writing project, or find a better way to organize your research and notes, Slice will make the process faster and easier.

Each feature is designed to conserve your mental energy so you can think clearly and find the creative flow to get things done.

If you’re a new user or want to make sure you’re getting the most out of Slice, here’s a guide to all the ways it will help you level up your workflow. 

Read through or click on one of the links below to go straight to the section you want:

  • Get started and organized the easy way
  • Write with more focus, less distraction
  • Collaborate and manage your project

Short on time? For a complete overview in 2 minutes, watch this video: 

Get started and organized the easy way

Don’t sleep on that great idea. Here’s everything you need to know to get to work.

Begin by creating a project

In Slice, your notes, research, and the content you’re writing are all contained in a project.

A project is different from traditional digital folders which are often just dumping grounds for your files. You can waste a lot of time and mental energy opening and closing documents and switching between software.

With Slice, you can write, edit, read, and listen within a project. 

  • Create Slice files for your writing or notes.
  • Upload PDFs, Word docs (which you can edit in Slice), or MP3s.
  • Save web content directly in a project using Slice’s integrated web clipper

Everything you create, upload, or save to a project is called an item.

With a Slice project, there are no limits

A Slice project can help you organize, develop, and create anything that involves words.

If you’re writing a novel, a project might contain chapters, character bios, notes on plot, research, maybe even songs for inspiration.

If you’re a copywriter, a project could contain the copy you’re writing, voice of customer research, interviews, and the creative brief.

And a finished body of writing doesn’t have to be your goal. A project could contain meeting or class notes, social media posts, recipes you’re developing, or random ideas you want to save for later.

To start a new project, sign in to your Slice account and click on the “Create a new project” button at the top of your screen.

Here’s a short video that explains how projects are designed to help you work the way you think:

An old school idea for organizing your projects

To understand how your work is organized in a project, think of the three-ring binder you used to lug to class. (Maybe you still do.) You had a binder for each subject with dividers within it to keep your notes and homework separate but easy to find.

That old school system is the inspiration for Slice’s project binder, which divides your work into two sections:

  • Project output: This is the content you’re writing.
  • Project notes: This is your background material and research.


You can focus on writing or research and flow easily from one to the other.

Watch this video to learn more about how the project binder unifies writing and research:

Harvest your research

Often, the hardest part of research is saving it in a way that’s easy to search and access. Your research could be spread across different file folders, cloud drives, or browser bookmarks.

With Slice’s project binder, you can have your research next to the content you’re writing, so it’s ready when you need it. 

There are three ways to add research to your project:

  • Write your notes directly in Slice
  • Upload PDFs, Word files, or MP3s
  • Save web content directly to your project with Slice’s integrated web clipper


Learn more about the web clipper or watch the video below to see it in action. 

Write with more focus, less distraction

Because Slice helps you work the way you think, Slice gets you “in the zone” faster. Here’s how:

Modular content makes projects more manageable

Starting a writing project of any size can be intimidating. Where to begin?

In “Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life,” writer Anne Lamott tells a story about her brother, who had once procrastinated on writing a report about birds for school. He was paralyzed by the amount of work he had to complete by the next day. To help him, their father gave him this advice, “Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.”

The same idea goes for the content you’re writing. Whether you’re working on a report, novel, or short blog post, we encourage you to slice your content into smaller pieces, or items, instead of working in one long document. It’s less intimidating to focus on a single section at a time, and it can help you beat procrastination and writer’s block

Plus, it’s easy to rearrange the order as you figure out the structure of your writing project – just drag and drop.

When your work is done, you can compile all of the pieces into one PDF (other formats coming soon) by clicking the “Generate project output” button at the top of your screen.

Watch this video to see how easy it is to rearrange your modular content in Slice:

Multiple panes and cursors equal more productivity

When you need to review notes or research while you’re writing, you typically have to switch between different documents, tools, or tabs. This back and forth, or context switching, depletes your focus and mental energy. It’s easy to lose your train of thought or be tempted by cat videos.

In Slice, you can work in one, two, or three panes at once within a project. You can have your content and your research open at the same time without switching to another tool or window.

Related: Read how songwriter Gail Kanning uses multiple panes to write lyrics

Watch this video to see how you can take your project from one to three panes:

You can also use multiple panes to work on a single item. This is handy when what you’re writing in one place affects another and you’re constantly scrolling between them.

Here’s an example: As you work on an intro paragraph, you scroll down to the conclusion to align it to the edits you’ve made. You scroll up and down repeatedly, which is an easy way to lose track of what needs to be done.
 
Instead of scrolling, in Slice you can have that item open in two panes at once. Use one to work on the intro paragraph and another other to work on the conclusion. You could even open it in a third pane to edit a different section. Because each pane has its own cursor, you can easily edit that one item in three places nearly simultaneously.

Watch this video to see how you could edit a document in multiple places using multiple panes and cursors: 

Collaborate and manage your project

Writing isn’t always a solitary endeavor. Slice makes it easy to build and manage a team.

To add people to your project, click on “Project team” in the upper right corner of your dashboard, add the email address of the person you want to invite, and hit “Send invitation.” Easy.

Once you’ve assembled your team, you can do any of the following by selecting an item in your project and clicking the gear next to it to see your options:

  • Assign people to specific sections
  • Assign due dates
  • Update the project status


Watch this video to see the simple steps for managing your project:

Bring your ideas to life

Now that you know how to use Slice to create a better, faster, and more productive workflow, you’re ready to start writing. Just open a project and go!

If you have any questions we haven’t answered in this blog post, let us know. We’re happy to help. 

And if you haven’t signed up for your free Slice account, you can get it here.

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