May 19, 2023
Branch, Compare & Merge and Introducing Tasks

Almanac is built on a powerful infrastructure of Git-like version control where you can create temporary, linked versions of documents called branches.

We've seen users like you use branches for all kinds of editing and collaboration:

  • Ideas – use a branch as a separate space where you can brainstorm on your own without messing up the main doc.
  • Drafts – divide and conquer an outline with branches as a private space to think freely.
  • Revisions – revise a doc that's been shared widely and get a review from the owner without the whole team seeing.

This week we released a powerful new workflow that makes it much easier to branch, compare, and merge docs.

1. Click the relocated "New Workflow" button at the top of the screen to see all the workflow options on a doc – "Create a Branch" has been added as a workflow and is listed first.

2. Once you've made edits (using track changes) on your branch, click the prominent "Merge Branch" button to compare your changes against the original doc.

3. Before merging, add a "commit note" to give everyone else context about what changed; the note will appear in the main doc's Activity Feed for posterity.

This new workflow makes branching, comparing, and merging radically easier in Almanac. We think you're going to love it.

Introducing Tasks

We formally launched tasks this week! Now, you can use Almanac to assign and complete tasks, right next to the work itself.

We hear all the time that tasks get drowned out in Google Docs notifications; as one user said, "it's impossible to parse through comments to find tasks and know what you have to do."

Notion users also told us they had to use ill-suited comments or an external task management tool like Asana to assign work on docs.

In Almanac, we make it simple by having dedicated spaces for your to-dos (Tasks) and conversations (Comments) on a doc.

You can create a task in three ways:

  • Leave a task on the entire document ("please proofread this, Angela!").
  • Select text to create a task on that selection ("can you fill out this section, Andy?")
  • Create a task from a checklist ("Michael to schedule Scranton team meeting")

Unlike in Google Docs—where tasks are just assigned comments—tasks in Almanac are fully-featured, like the best task managers:

  • Tasks have a description field for more detail
  • Tasks can be drafted and assigned later
  • You can reply to tasks with threaded comments
  • You can filter tasks by Active, All, For Me, For Others, or Done

Coming soon, we'll have a dedicated task management tab for tracking tasks across all documents in your workspace —and even creating to-dos not connecting to any doc! 👀

Other improvements & fixes

  • You can now add a password to sensitive docs you share by link.
  • Workspace admins can leverage more granular sharing restrictions, including hiding handbooks from users who don't have access to them.
  • The color of the navigation sidebar has been cooled to a nice midnight blue.
  • We moved the "Start a new workflow" button into the top right corner of the doc editor.
  • You can now access active and merged branches, as well as copies, from the top left-hand corner of the doc editor.
  • Looking to quickly add more docs? Click the big "New Document" button at the bottom of the Navigation Sidebar, right next to Import.

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Bug Fixes