On the heels of a short trial of DevonThink, I’ve been getting some great recommendations via DM on tools I’ve never heard of or have heard of but never used.
It got me thinking that there are certainly even more great options out there that I’m not thinking about. I’d love to hear what you have to share and recommend.
I take notes in a lot of meetings. Both official minutes and just notes for my own benefit. I use these notes to capture “action items” for myself and others.
I get documents from people and clients related to the meetings I’m in or projects I’m working on. I like to store these documents “near” the notes I’ve taken from the same meeting or project.
I have a few others on my team. When I assign a project to them, I’d like for them to be able to see all of my work and to create and add their own.
I do not need project management capabilities (Gantt chart, collaborative task assignment)
I am quite happy with my task manager (2Do), and am very much in the habit of copying all of my own action items to that list regularly
It would be nice if I could keep track of the items I assigned to others (and due dates) but I cannot (won’t) force any of them to use a task management application of my own choosing
I often need to share documents/notes/ideas with clients - I wouldn’t want them to have access to the whole “project folder,” just the few things I want to share with them.
Today I do this with Dropbox. I create project folders. I can create notes in there. I can drop PDFs in there. I can give access to my team. I can create a sub-folder within that folder for sharing with the client.
This works okay and costs $150/person/year. For me to change, the solution would have to be as good but cheaper, or clearly better. I’m currently checking out Monday.com but before I get too far into it I thought I’d see what others suggest.
As I mentioned to you in DM, I use both Monday.com and DT3 server. I think your selection of one (or more) will depend on your use case and in particular the number and length and nature of documents or other files you share and search.
Monday.com excels at sharing notes and a modest volume of documents of small to modest size. Thus for example a typical workday for me involves uploading 20 voice dictations which are each about 20 Mb in length (10 minutes each) and getting back from transcriptionists a 2-3 page Word file for each one. Then I may have a few longer dictations of 30 minutes each which result in a 5-10 page report. DT3 server is not particularly good at managing even a small team of 2-3 transcriptionists and one author in order to alert everyone when there is new work or when an item has been completed. Monday.com is great for this and is infinitely customizable for this sort of work and has infinite integrations with other web apps - they describe themselves as a “work operating system” and that is a good description. Monday.com also works really well for sharing notes about a specific document and can be used effectively for sharing documents with clients.
Asana and Jira have great reputations as competitors to Monday.com but they are more focused on large project management (assigning tasks and subtasks) rather than on document sharing as above; their interfaces are not nearly as customizable as Monday.com.
The Whiteboard apps some have suggested like Miro or Mural are great if you are collaborating on ideas but not quite as good if you are collaborating on document sharing.
All that said, if your consulting work involves filing and then searching through and linking very large documents in order to perform whatever analysis or other consulting work you do for clients, then I have never found any other software for either Mac or Windows which can do what DT3 does; DT3 is niche software which is absolutely best in class for that purpose. In my case I need to sort/organize sets of medical records which can be thousands of pages in length, cross-reference those against my PDF library of academic articles in medicine, and take notes on those so that I can then sit down and dictate a report which creates scientific and legal arguments referencing the data I used to make those arguments. I would be beyond lost in productivity if I did not have DT3 to do this, but even the DT3 web server is not robust enough for the smaller files but larger volume of my more routine dictation as above. So we use Monday.com for my office dictation workflow, but we use DT3 server for my detailed case files; my staff uploads the documents through DT3 server and then they are available to me to review.
Dropbox has its place to share a large set of files. For example, when I have a request from an opposing attorney to produce my digital file, I want a static record of what I sent and do not want to invite those individuals into my active database on an ongoing basis which may contain some documents which are Privileged to opposing counsel; so in that case I export the DT3 Group relevant to the given case to a Dropbox folder. Dropbox is also helpful along with Monday.com because Monday.com integrates with Dropbox and then the file size does not count against your (unfortunately metered) Monday.com file storage usage. But it is hard for me to imagine using Dropbox as the sole means of managing document workflow within the office.
So in the end your decision is likely to depend on what your use case is. With regard in particular to DT3, there are lots of competitors if your goals are fairly light in terms of collaborating and note-taking on smallish files such as meeting agendas and inter-office memos. Dropbox and others may work if you are a creative sharing large videos that you create and search by filename. But if your use case involves analysis, searching, and linking of large volumes of text - which is common to medicine, law, and academics, among other professions - then DT3 is the best show in town by light years.
Kept thinking about this, and Google Docs might also be worth taking a look?
You can mention @someone to assign them anything, be it a line, a sentence or a paragraph. Also documents can be shared individually.
But, it doesn’t have due dates…
Yes, that’s helpful, thank you. We use Google Docs with one client and the tasks feature has been helpful in that context. When you’re managing a “portfolio “ of projects across multiple clients, something a bit more robust is called for. So far, Pagico is working quite well and the customer support has been top notch.