Why do I use Dropbox Paper?

Twitter asked for details on why I use Dropbox Paper, I was writing the reply but ran out words so decided to turn it into a blog post 🙂

Why? Simple question but I am hoping for an insight here. –ProfADK

TL;DR:

It’s simple and has all the basic things I need, It has lots of small things that it got right, and it fits nicely with my workflow, and on top of that, it’s free 🤑

Long Answer 👇

In the past, I have tried using Notion, Google Docs, Typora, and all of them had something or another thing that I didn’t like, each one had few paper-cuts that annoyed me.

Tools are built for a use-case and user in mind, and those tools didn’t fit my use-case.

Reasons I like it:
  • Markdown support for writing, this is the biggest reason I like it because I am used to writing markdown
  • Can export Markdown, for me this makes publishing very easy on my Jekyll based blog
  • Have good support for rich media, GIFs, videos, and tweets have inline preview support
  • Slack style emojis, including custom emojis and I, prefer not using emoji picker (looking at you twitter 👀 )
  • Best writing experience for desktop, and mobile, I take lots of rough notes on my phone and then edit and refine it on desktop
  • Has small built-in tools like to-do’s(with the owner, due date and email reminders for missed to-do’s), timeline and tables
  • Decent support for code blocks
  • Can turn a post into a presentation with a button, saves time during internal talks where I turn my bullet points into a nice looking presentation
  • Best collaboration experience, I just share my drafts with a link of and people can review/comment on it on mobile
  • Folder-based document organization
  • Document template support (I don’t use them but it’s nice to have)
  • Search is very good and fast
  • Can link docs (just + and suggestions shows up) in other docs
Not So Good Things:
  • No advanced grammar and spell check, as a workaround, I do grammar fixes during edit stage using Grammarly
  • Document organization is basic but I can live with nested folders :)
  • It doesn’t work offline in the browser(on phone app it’s fine), when disconnected you can’t write/edit which is annoying
  • No themes :)

Workflow

Usual flow for a post goes like this:

  • Note down things, I call it brain dump (mostly bullet points)
  • Keep adding things, and It’s moved to drafts folder when I want to publish it someday
  • Expand it, put it into a structure
  • Do the first round of edits for grammar and spelling fixes
  • Send drafts(post links) to friends for review
  • Edit, and accommodate feedback
  • Download markdown file, move it to blog and add Jekyll front matter
  • git push and it’s live on the web 🎉

Closing Note

It’s free, syncs with my phone and has overall good experience, and fits nicely in my simple and minimal workflow.

In my books, Dropbox Paper is a well-designed product, and again, did I mention it’s free 🤑

That’s all, Stay in and Stay Safe 👋

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