3 ways to power collaboration with Annotations

Annotations and Collaboration

We've all experienced it. The frantic search through email, chat, and even post it notes to find the comments or feedback your colleague gave to you for the project that's due by end of day. It's time consuming and frustrating.

At Box, that scramble has become a thing of the past. Reviewing work and collaborating on files--whether it be slide decks, images, PDFs, or other file types--has become quicker, easier, and more streamlined because of Annotations. With Annotations, feedback is centralized in document preview. And, because files can be annotated without needing to open the app they were created in, there's no need to worry about who has what software on their computer or phone. 

If you're trying to connect and collaborate in the work-from-anywhere world. You're not alone. As Boxers, we're continually looking for new ways to ideate, innovate, and work together. With Annotations, we've been able to communicate more accurately, work more efficiently, and make decisions faster, and we want to share our tips for powering collaboration and moving deliverables forward with you. Read on to see some of the innovative ways Boxers are using Annotations to do their best work--together.


Matt Hewes, Senior Product Designer, on how he uses Annotations to solicit feedback from multiple stakeholders:

Imagine 25+ reviewers and contributors, 100+ design files, and extremely nuanced graphics--that sums up one of my most recent projects. With the deck in flux and reviewers constantly making changes, I relied on annotations to provide consistency, centralize feedback, and notify me of comments as I worked with my team to execute their changes. 

A real game changer for me was the ability to get (or give) specific feedback on what I am working on. As I mentioned, I deal in very nuanced product images so getting precise, guided feedback on where the location of a button needs to move to or how image shadowing needs to change is extremely helpful. And even though my last project was a slide deck, I can just as easily share an image with my team and get that same level of feedback. 

Try it yourself:Annotations is available for most popular document types like PowerPoint slide decks, PDFs, and images. Try annotating a section of an image and be sure to @mention your collaborators to notify them of your feedback.

Take notes 

Caroline Shieh, Director of Product Marketing, on how she uses Annotations for taking notes in meetings:

I often find myself working with multiple teammates in collaborative meetings on a variety of deliverables for campaigns like presentations, infographics, product images. Rather than make live edits, I find myself leaning more and more on Annotations to capture the spirit of what's being said so that I can wordsmith the content at my leisure. I've been calling this "dynamic note taking" because while I'm making notes, my colleagues can also make their own notes in the document, and we can collaboratively review and make feedback prior to finalizing the content. 

Also, I sometimes pre-populate the file by annotating my questions so they are available during the meeting. This helps me stay on track and make meetings more efficient because we know exactly what we are going to discuss.

Try it yourself: Before your next meeting, annotate a deliverable that is going to be discussed and see whether or not it helps the team stay on track.


Scott Juster, Principal Customer Success Manager, on how he uses Annotations to highlight key points in documents shared with customers:

From quarterly business reviews to compliance reports, I'm constantly sending reports to the customers I support. Oftentimes, the documents are quite lengthy and while I summarize the conclusions in email, customers want to understand the key data points in context of the information I am sharing.

When Annotations was released, I began highlighting key points within the body of the document that I was sharing. Honestly, it's been a win-win for me and my customers. I can easily alert them to key trends and they get the benefit of seeing that information called out inline, which has helped provide additional context. And, by answering their questions on the document itself, I've even managed to save us both some time reducing the time spent at our weekly calls. 

Try it yourself: Use Annotations to call out two or three interesting points with your team or manager in a PDF of industry trends, news article, or even a meme. See if you can start a discussion.

Get started with Annotations

Annotations is available for all Box users. It is designed to help streamline the review process and save time by keeping all your feedback in one place. That means increased collaboration, more transparency and accelerated decision-making--all while working together. 

Want to learn more about how to use Annotations? Check out our Work Remotely, Together video from Box Education.