Zoho Notebook Update: More Shapes, Show Integration, Enhanced plug-in & more…

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We rolled out another update for Zoho Notebook. Some of the highlights include…

  • Support for more shapes in the drawing toolbar
  • Integration with Zoho Show
  • Enhanced Firefox plug-in to capture screenshots
  • Previous & Next buttons for published notebooks

Apart from these features, lot of effort went into the back-end optimization and collaboration in Notebook. Let us look at each of these new features.

More Shapes:

At the bottom of the drawing toolbar you’ll now see a new icon (p2.png) clicking on which shows all the new shapes that are new added.

Shapes

Once a shape is added, you can then choose to change the dimensions, fill color, border color etc from the options available in the toolbar (picture-3.png).

Zoho Show Integration:
We now have Zoho Show integrated into Zoho Notebook at the object level. You’ll see picture-4.png option on the left where you can select the presentation you have in Zoho Show and embed that directly in Notebook.

Firefox plug-in:

Two new options are added to Notebook’s Firefox plugin.

  1. Snap Page to Zoho Notebook
  2. Snap Region to Zoho Notebook

picture-6.png

These two options will let you take snapshots of web page or part of a web page to your notebook. The snapshot will be available as an image and will automatically be uploaded and inserted in the open page in notebook. For these features to work, you’ll have to be logged into Notebook.

When you click on ‘Snap Region to Zoho Notebook’, you’ll see a small rectangle appear on the page. Move and resize this rectangle to the area you want to take a snapshot of and click the camera icon (picture-5-copy.png) and give it a name for the snapshot to appear on your notebook page.

Next & Prev Buttons:
For better page navigation, we also added a small navigation strip (picture-7.png) to move between pages. You can check this out in this public book.

Do give these new features and try and let us know your feedback. Also, if there is any other feature you’d like to see in notebook, please do let us know.

Enhanced Collaboration and Export option in Zoho Notebook

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We rolled out an update to Zoho Notebook with some good enhancements in Collaborative Editing along with Export functionality.

Enhanced Collaborative Editing

We made several enhancements in collaborative editing. Here are some of them

  • Collaborative editing now works more smoothly than ever
  • In collaborative editing mode, if you reorder the pages, the pages will also be reordered for all the users working on the book immediately
  • Also, if any user adds a new page and saves the book, all users working on the notebook will be notified about the page addition and will see the changes immediately at their end

Page Export

We added our first version of Export functionality in Notebook. You can now export Notebook Pages and Books in MHTML format (works in IE only). We have plans to support other export formats as well.

export1.png

You’ll notice that the current export functionality is supported for Text, Images and drawing objects. We don’t include other types of content as these are web specific functions.

Apart from these two key enhancements, we also added several minor enhancements like a ‘Switch to’ option on the top to help easily navigate to other Zoho applications.

switch.png

Do give these features a try and let us know what you think.

Opera Support in Zoho Notebook

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We rolled out an update fixing few Opera related issues in Zoho Notebook. With this update you’ll now be able to use most of the functionality of Zoho Notebook in the latest version of Opera. I am saying most of the functionality because we know there are still some pending issues (like Chat inside Notebook) which still needs some work. This is just a start. We will keep enhancing Opera support.

Opera.jpg

If you are an Opera user and face any issues, do let us know.

Zoho Notebook Update: Page Reordering, Undo/Redo, Safari Support and more

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We rolled out couple of useful updates in Zoho Notebook with some of the most requested features. These include Page Reordering, Undo/Redo, Menu at the Book level, Safari support and more.

Page Reordering

This is one of the most requested feature and we now have it available. You can now reorder your pages by simple drag and drop. Just drag the page tab (on the right) and drop it on top of the other page and the pages get reordered.

Undo/Redo URedo.jpg

Another added functionality is multiple Undo/Redos. Even if you deleted an object, if you are on the same page, you can retrieve it by simply undoing that action.

Book level Menu

We discussed earlier on this design and we now have this implemented. We added a small menu for the book tab on the top. This menu has book level options like Rename, Publish, Share and Delete. We plan to provide similar menu options for page level too.

Menu.jpg

Apart from these, we made several other minor enhancements (like more formatting options in Text Object) and fixed some bugs. These include Safari related bug fixes. Notebook should work fine on the latest version of Safari (3.0.2).

Do give these a try and let us know what you think. Also, if you have any immediate pain points with Notebook, please do let us know and we’ll try to address them soon.

Zoho Notebook Update: Auto-save & more

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After opening up Zoho Notebook recently, we got very good response/feedback from many users like you that kept us busy enhancing the application. In the last three weeks we made several updates to notebook enhancing different aspects of the application. You can track all our updates in this notebook which can also be accessed from the ‘Updates’ link inside the application.

One of the issue mentioned by some of the users is related to save. Some said they lost some data. We apologize for this. We take this issue very seriously. Our recent updates addressed this issue in particular. There were several enhancements we rolled out for saving content, but I want to share few key ones.

  • Auto-save: We implemented Auto-save for Notebook. Active notebook will now be auto-saved every one minute if there are any modifications.
  • Save on Close: If you make any changes to your notebook and close the browser window without saving changes, all your content will still be saved
  • Page Navigation: When you navigate across notebook pages without saving, the pages are saved automatically

Many users asked us how a book can be renamed. You can double click on the Book/Page tab to rename a book/page. In the latest update we also provided ‘Rename Book’ and ‘Rename Page’ option under the Edit Menu. We are working on contextual menus (for Book and Page) which might be a better way to provide options like Rename. Here is a proposed design. We’d love your feedback on this.
BookDialog.jpg

Any comments?

MIT Technology Review writes about Zoho

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Richard Brandt at MIT Technology Review has an article on Zoho titled “Can Zoho beat Google?“. From the article :

Zoho has become a prolific designer of online software tools, releasing at least one new product every month for more than a year. It boasts 15 product offerings so far, including a word processor, a spreadsheet, a presentation tool, a Wiki, a project manager, a customer-relationship management (CRM) tool, a database, and a project-planning tool. Bloggers who have tried the software say it’s more robust than online applications offered by Google, and it offers better collaboration capabilities (for example, it lets multiple people work on a document simultaneously or sync spreadsheets with remote data from websites) than products from Microsoft. Zoho’s fans see it as the model for a new generation of Web-based applications that could displace expensive software sold by Microsoft.

Zoho is the suite to beat. A Gartner report released on March 12 placed Zoho at the top of its list of “Cool Vendors in Web 2.0,” five companies that offer “a glimpse into the future of enterprise innovations.” Says Gartner analyst Nick Gall, “Zoho is ahead in the user community and in the technology.”

Thanks to Richard Brandt & MIT! In other news, The Social Computing Magazine has a write-up on Zoho Notebook titled “Zoho Notebook: One-Stop Business Collaboration Tool“. And in a blog post on Zoho Notebook at weblogg-ed, Melinda Miller has this to say about Zoho Polls in the comments :

I really like zoho polls. One of my 4th grade teachers used it in class one time so now I use it all the time with my staff. We voted on our theme for next year, planning for next year’s holiday party, and staff shirt preferences. Here is a link to my school blog with the zoho poll embeded.

In a post titled “CRM on the Cheap“, Davey Moyers writes,

Looking for an inexpensive, robust CRM program? Why not check out Zoho CRM. The price is right, free for three users. I have been giving this system a test drive, and there’s power under the hood. Full CRM functionality. It lacks mobile capability or offline use, but otherwise this is a solid player for the individual sales rep or small team. It also boast Outlook synchronization that is as good as the competitors in this space. The features I especially find appealing are lead management, opportunity management, and sales quotes…. I spent four years using salesforce.com on a daily basis, and I would pit this program against salesforce.com in all categories save one. Offline and mobile are not yet offered. However, the print templates on Zoho are much better than salesforce.com. So you plan it, print it, execute it. Whatever “it” is.

Amit Agarwal has a nice post explaining how to embed Zoho Sheet’s charts in one’s blog. Zoho Chat’s shoutbox feature (embedding a chat window in your website) has been put to good use by a community named Cerebrals Hens Network. Cool background options, guys! And our recent REST API release got noted by Thomas Willingham & Go To India Web 2.0.

Thanks, one & all :-)