The Definitive Guide to Using Samepage
The guide below will walk you through most of what you need to know about using Samepage. It'll help you get more work done with your team, whether you're sitting next to each other, or collaborating across the globe.
If you'd rather view this guide in smaller bite-sized chunks and track your progress along the way, please visit our Tips & Tricks section.
Samepage is designed to be flexible without being overly complicated. Learning a bit about its structure will help you decide which style of use is best for your organization.
Samepage groups people and content together in "Teams". Your organization can have multiple teams. Each one will contain its own unique set of people and shared content (conversations, files, tasks, calendar events, and pages).
On a desktop computer, your dock is on the far left. Its buttons change what you see in your dock list, also on the left. Your dock list often displays search results, links to recent comments from co-workers, and your list of teams. When you've selected a team to visit, you'll see a team navigation bar across the top of your screen, allowing you to access team settings, people, and content. Your main display will typically show team content such as chat messages, files, tasks, calendars, and most importantly, pages.
On a mobile device, this is displayed in separate screens. The dock screen provides access to your teams and more.
The example below shows that after selecting the Everyone team, the main display shows the team's chat screen. From there, you can use the team navigation bar at the bottom of the screen to access other team content. You can always return to your dock by tapping the Samepage icon in the upper right corner.
Choosing a style of use that fits with your organization
There are 3 common ways in which organizations use teams:
1. By department
Organizations often create a team for each department. Typical team names include Accounting, Human Resources, Marketing, Engineering, Sales, etc.
2. By project
More project-oriented organizations tend to create a new team for each project. Once the project is complete, they archive the team to hide and preserve the content.
3. The hybrid approach
Larger organizations use what we call "Sub-teams" to create a mix of the two approaches above. A parent team is created for each department, and sub-teams are created under each department's team to manage larger departmental projects.
Teams and Sub-Teams
A "team" in Samepage is a collection of people and the content they share together. A team is often created for each departement within an organization. Team names such as Marketing, Accounting, Sales, etc. are common. Teams are also often created to manage larger projects, such as "March Product Launch" or "New Office Design".
Sub-teams are often used to organize larger projects within a department. Sub-teams can also be used to separate specialized team activity from regular department activity. Sub-teams function just like regular teams, but their positioning in your team list is unique, as you can see in the example below. Sub-teams are tucked underneath their parent team and use a circle instead of a square 1. Sub-teams can be easily minimized or expanded 2 for cleaner and more convenient navigation.
Multiple teams and sub-teams can be created within a single organization, but all teams share the same structure. This structure consists of 5 sections:
Team pages are multi-media documents that can be edited by multiple people at the same time. Pages can also host conversations via text messages or audio/video calls and can optionally be shared with external guests or the entire world via a public link.
A place for the team to chat via instant messages. This section can also be used to launch team video or audio conference calls.
A collection of tasks from anywhere within the team. Tasks can be created in this section or on team pages. Either way, they'll be displayed here.
This section displays all team events and task deadlines in a calendar view. Events can be added directly to the team calendar, or they can be added to team pages. Either way, they'll be displayed here.
A place for the team to share and synchronize files to their desktop computers (requires the Samepage Desktop App).
The Everyone Team
The "Everyone" team is unique. It is the only team that is automatically created for your organization, and it stays at the top of your team list. It is also the only team where invited members of your organization are automatically added. Finally, it is the only team where invited guests (usually clients, contractors, and other external users) are not allowed. This team is only for your organization members (usually employees).
Creating New Teams & Managing Privacy
You can create new teams by looking for the +CREATE TEAM button below your list of teams. You can create sub-teams from within a parent team's settings menu (gear icon). This is also the place where you can manage a team's privacy settings, as shown in the example below 1.
Samepage helps you work with people inside and outside of your organization. Inviting contractors, clients, vendors, and other external collaborators is just as easy as inviting your co-workers. When inviting someone, simply invite them as either a member or a guest. Here's how:
Typically, your co-workers should be invited as Members. Members are automatically added to your "Everyone" team, and they are free to discover and join other "Open" teams within your organization. They're also free to explore "Protected" teams, though they won't be able to edit protected content without being invited to those teams first. Members also have the ability to create teams, invite people, share pages with the public, etc. You can invite members to your organization in a few easy ways.
The Settings Menu
On a desktop computer, your Settings menu can be accessed with the gear icon at the bottom of the dock 1 Once you've clicked the gear, click the "People" button in your dock list 2 You'll see a list of current members and guest along with a button to + INVITE PEOPLE 3 Clicking this button will give you the chance to enter email addresses and choose whether or not to add them as members or guests 4
A Team's Settings Menu (gear icon)
If you'd like to invite someone to a specific team, first navigate to the team, and then look for the team's gear icon 1 Select the "Team members" option, then look for the button to +Add members. A popup will appear that gives you the option to invite people as members or guests.
Guests are typically people outside of your organization. They're often customers, contractors, vendors, etc. The 'online status' indicators on their avatars signal their status as guests with a small arrow, as shown below:
Guests can be invited to participate in 3 ways.
Inviting a Guest to a team is useful when you want the Guest to have access to everything within the team, including the team Pages, Chat, Tasks, Events, and Files sections. You can invite a Guest to a team in the same way you invite a member to a team, with the team's settings menu (gear icon), as explained above.
If you don't want a Guest to have access to everything within a team, you can invite them to a specific page. Your guest will be allowed to contribute to the page but will not be allowed to navigate to other areas within the team. To invite a Guest to a page, navigate to the page and look for the page's 3-dot menu 1. Then select "Share", followed by "With specific people".
Private and Group Chats
By inviting Guests through the Organization menu (the expanding menu on the left) as explained above, you'll only have the ability to chat and audio/video conference with them in a one-on-one or group chat setting. You'll still need to invite them to a team or a page if you want them to participate there.
Creating Team Pages
Think of a page as a living document. Each time someone edits a page, the changes are seen by others instantly, making pages a great place to brainstorm, share, update, and chat about all kinds of multi-media content in real time.
What are pages typically used for?
Co-authoring documents - multiple authors develop a single document simultaneously using built-in document-editing tools, including the ability to track, accept, and reject any contributor's changes.
Managing meetings - team members co-author a meeting agenda. The page is then used to host a video conference and keep the meeting on track. The page becomes a repository for meeting notes, files, assigned tasks, and progress updates.
Managing projects - team leaders create a new page as a headquarters for each new project. The page is typically used to assign tasks, set deadlines, share files, update change logs, etc. All team members meet on the page to develop content and share updates, giving the team leader the ability to monitor progress in real time on a single screen. These types of pages are often linked to other related project pages for easy reference.
Building dashboards and information displays - pages can be used to conduct surveys, collect lists of external links, and even embed external web content. Teams often create these types of pages as convenient launch points for routine processes such as monitoring performance or visiting regularly accessed websites.
Working with clients, contractors, etc. - pages are often shared with people outside of the organization. Clients, contractors, consultants, and other outsiders can be invited to pages as "Guests", allowing them to join meetings, contribute to ongoing projects, or simply view shared content.
Each team you create in Samepage has its own collection of pages capable of helping your team work with the following:
- co-authored text
- files stored in
- Google Drive
- Microsoft OneDrive
- calendar events
- spreadsheets & tables
- videos (from YouTube or Vimeo)
- social media snippets
You can add content to a page by looking for the "plus" sign 1 as you move your mouse around. Once you click on it, you'll be presented with plenty of options for adding content to your page.
Comments on Pages
Comments can be added to the page either by posting them in the PAGE CHAT section to the right of the page or by attaching them to specific page content. In the example below, you can see comments have been attached to a file 1, and those comments are also displayed in line with other comments in the PAGE CHAT section 2.
On mobile devices, pages and their chat messages are separated into two screens. You can toggle between them by tapping the Chat and Page buttons near the top of the screen.
Creating and Managing Pages
To create a page, select Teams in your dock 1, navigate to the team where you'd like to keep your page 2, select Pages from your team navigation bar 3, and then click "+New page" 4.
Creating Templates from Pages
Pages can be saved as templates to make future use of the same page structure easy. This is especially useful when pages are used for repeating projects that follow a similar format every time. To save a page as a template, simply open the page menu 1, and then select "Make a template" 2. Your page will be saved as a template and is available for use when creating your next new page.
Page list options
By default, pages in a team's page list are sorted with the most recently updated pages at the top, but there are other popular ways to organize a team's page list.
Pages can be grouped together in folders 1. Simply drag a page onto the folder to place it inside. Upon clicking the folder, you'll be taken to a list of pages within, and you'll see the option to go back to the main list above.
Simply place a hashtag anywhere in the page title and you'll see it appear as a button in a page list 2. You can also include multiple hashtags in a title to categorize them in multiple groups. When clicking on a hashtag, the page list will be filtered to only show pages with the selected hashtag.
Sorting & Searching
A page list can also be sorted from A to Z, and it can also be searched for a specific page title. 3
1. Direct Messaging
Text messages and audio/video call invitations can be sent directly to anyone in your organization, creating a persistent & private chat room for the two of you. On a desktop computer, select Chats from your dock 1. Then, in your dock list, look for the person you'd like to chat with 2 or click START NEW 3 to create a new chat with one or more people.
Once you've selected the person you'd like to chat with, enter text and/or attachments at the bottom of the main display and hit enter to send your message. If you'd prefer to connect via audio/video instead, simply click the phone or video icon in the upper right corner 4. In both cases, the other person will receive a notification immediately.
To chat directly with another person on a mobile device, click the Samepage icon in the upper right corner of your screen, then scroll to the bottom. In the example below, you can see that tapping on Annie Higgins 1 takes you to your shared private chat room. From there, you can either send text and attachments or connect via voice call 2.
2. Group Messaging
Similar to sending direct messages, text messages can be sent directly to a group of people in your organization, creating a persistent private chat room for the group. To create a group, click the magnifying glass next to "CHAT WITH" below your list of teams. You'll be allowed to select multiple people to add to the group chat. Please keep in mind that people cannot be added to the group chat after it has been created. If you think the conversation might require more people later, we recommend creating a new Team instead of a group chat.
3. Team Chat
Each team has its own section for sharing quick and easy chat messages (highlighted in blue below). When conversations in a team's CHAT section become bigger than expected, teams often create a new page to continue the discussion, share screenshots, files, and other related multi-media content.
Like all chat locations in Samepage, the team CHAT section supports attachments, emojis, and audio/video conference calls. When a comment or audio/video call invitation is posted here, every team member and guest will receive a notification instantly.
4. Page Chat
As mentioned earlier, comments can be shared on a team page in 2 ways. Comments can be added to specific page content or posted directly in the PAGE CHAT section. In either case, everyone with access to the page will receive a notification instantly.
5. Audio/Video Conference Calls
Audio/video conference calls can be launched from almost anywhere in Samepage. Where you launch the call will determine who is notified that call has begun. For example, launching an audio/video call in a private chat will only notify those with explicit access. Launching a call in a team chat room or on a team page will notify all team members and guests.
Using the Samepage Inbox
Access your Inbox from your dock 1. It brings all of a user's recent and unread notifications together in your dock list no matter where the notification is coming from. Notifications can be filtered down to "Unread only" with the click of a button if desired 2.
Inbox offers 2 main benefits:
Reading notifications in place - Inbox on a desktop computer allows messages to be read without leaving your current location. This allows you to continue working on one page without missing updates on another. To read a new comment using Inbox, simply open Inbox and hover over any red dot 1. A preview pane will appear. It will display the unread message along with any previous comments in the thread.
Clearing many notifications quickly - along with a preview of a new comment, Inbox also displays other relevant information such as how long ago the comment was made, in which team, and on which page. This helps users quickly decide whether or not a notification can be marked as read without navigating to the full conversation. To mark a message as read using Inbox, simply open Inbox and click on any red dot.
Typing the @ symbol in Samepage triggers a few useful tools. Upon typing it along with the first letter of anything you're trying to mention, a suggestion list will appear 1. You can then select a person, page, or file from the list to get someone's attention or create a link 2. The @ symbol can be used virtually anywhere and will help you with the following:
Mentioning people - by typing the @ symbol and the first few characters of someone's name, you'll see Samepage auto-suggest a list of people. When posting a comment that contains an @mentioned user, that user will get a special notification. Instead of a red dot with a number in it, they'll see a red dot with the @ symbol in it. This will let them know they've been mentioned specifically and will often grab their attention faster.
Mentioning files - files stored in a team's FILES section can be @mentioned on pages and in comments. @ mentioning these files automatically creates a link for easier navigation. To @mention a file, simply type the @ symbol followed by the first few characters of the file name. You'll see it pop up in an auto-suggestion list. Select it to have Samepage create a link to the file for you.
Mentioning pages - by typing the @ symbol and the first few characters of another page's title, you'll see Samepage auto-suggest a list of pages. Upon selecting a page from the list, Samepage will create a link to the page, making navigation between related pages easier.
Assigning Tasks - while typing on a page, you can assign a task to someone using the @ symbol. Simply start a new line with open and closed brackets, like this: . Then hit the space bar and type the title of a task. Then hit the space bar again and type the @ symbol followed by the first few characters of someone's name 3. When you see the correct person auto-suggested, select them and hit Enter. A task will be created on the page and assigned to the correct person automatically.
Sharing files on Samepage can be done in 3 ways. Each way has its own unique advantages.
1. Chat attachments
Direct messaging, group messaging, and team chats all support attachments in Samepage. This style is great for easily sharing small files that don't need to be accessed repeatedly.
2. Team FILES section
Perfect for sharing larger files that are accessed regularly. Files in a team's Files section 1 can be synchronized to desktop computers 2 so they can be edited offline and changes can be synced with the team automatically (Samepage Desktop App required). You'll be able to view file sync progress by clicking the "Synced" button that will appear in your dock when file synchronization is in progress or complete 3. This will load the status of your synced files in your dock list 4. Whether files are updated on your hard drive and synced to Samepage or opened and edited from within Samepage, each file's version history will be accessible under it's 3-dot menu 5.
2a. Synchronizing team files
By using the "Sync to computer" feature in a team's FILES section, all files and folders in the section will be copied to your local hard drive. If multiple team members synchronize a team's FILES to their computers, a saved change to a synchronized file on one person's computer will automatically update other users' local copies. Although users will only see the latest version of a file on their hard drives, Samepage provides users with access to all previous versions of a file in the FILES section. New versions of a file are added to the file's history automatically each time a change is saved. To learn more, please visit this help article.
3. Page files
Files can be dragged and dropped onto a page or embedded from other file-sharing services such as Dropbox and Google Drive. This style of file sharing is useful when using a page as a project headquarters because it supports having comments attached to the files 1 and allows them to be surrounded by other relevant project content such as tasks, text, etc. Any comments made on a file also show up in line with other project comments in the page chat section 2.
Files on pages can be edited in place if you're using the Samepage Desktop App. If one team member is in the middle of editing a file when another user tries to do the same, the second user will see a message that the file is currently locked for editing by the first user. Through page history, this type of file sharing also supports file version history. Each time a file on a page is changed, the old version becomes a part of the page history while the new version takes its place on the page automatically.
Working With Tasks
Depending on how your organization uses Samepage, tasks are typically managed in one of three ways:
1. Tasks on pages
Teams that typically create a new page for each project tend to put their tasks right on the page 1. This has a few unique advantages. First, this allows comments to be attached to a task. Comments can be made directly on a task simply by placing your mouse over the task and clicking the comment button that appears on the right. Second, this allows tasks to stay grouped together with other project content, such as maps, files, co-authored text, images, diagrams, etc. This often helps to provide more context to the task. These tasks also show up in the team's task list 2 with links to their pages for easy access.
Tasks can be created on a page in 2 ways.
- On a desktop computer, hover your mouse over a page and look for the "+" symbol following your mouse cursor around. Once you click it, you'll see "Task" among the options. On the Samepage mobile app, navigate to a page and tap the green "+" symbol in the lower right corner. You'll see the option to create a new task in the green bar that appears across the bottom of your screen.
- While typing on a page, start a new line with brackets . Then hit the spacebar and type a task title. Then hit "Enter" and the line will be converted to a task. If you'd like to assign it to someone, start a line with brackets, hit the spacebar, type a title, hit the spacebar again, and then type the @symbol followed by the first few characters of someone's name. When you see the correct name auto-suggested, select it and then hit enter. A new task will be created and assigned to the user you specified.
2. A team's Tasks list
Team tasks won't always belong on a page. In some circumstances, your team may find it more convenient to simply create a task in the team's Task list 1. With the exception of being able to comment directly on the task, all other functionality is the same as a task on a page. Feel free to assign tasks to one or more people, set deadlines & reminders, and add additional details.
Tasks on this list can be sorted by due date, priority, or name. You can also filter the list by searching for specific terms 2.
To create a task in this section, simply click the "+ New task" button near the top left corner of your team Task list. Your new task will be visible alongside any tasks that live on team pages. Those tasks have a link to their page underneath the task details 3.
3. Tasks in your dock
Each user has their own private Task list 1. This section shows all tasks assigned to you, regardless of where they're located. This section also makes it easy for you to create tasks for yourself without having to navigate to a specific team. When you highlight any content on Samepage, you'll be given the chance to convert it to a task. Those tasks are also stored here.
To create a task in this section, simply navigate to it and click the "+ New task" button near the top left corner of your screen.
Viewing others' task lists
The Tasks button in your dock also allows you to see a list of tasks assigned to other members and guests. Any tasks assigned to them in a team accessible to you will be visible here. 2
Desktop & Mobile Apps
The Samepage Desktop App
Of course we all want quicker access to our collaboration tools, and the Samepage Desktop App for Windows and Mac makes it possible, but it also offers extra functionality.
File Synchronization: The Samepage Desktop App allows you to synchronize files in a team's FILES section to your hard drive. When other team members do the same, you'll share updates to files automatically. No need to send, upload, or download. The copies on your hard drives will be updated as soon as someone makes a change.
Audio & Video Calls: Not all web browsers support the technology used for audio and video calling. The Samepage Desktop App, however, will have you joining conference calls with your co-workers and customers in seconds.
Notifications: Desktop notifications make it easier for you to see important messages and updates. It's the best way to make sure you and your team are responding to questions and updates as soon as possible.Download the Samepage Desktop App for Windows or Mac here.
The Samepage Mobile Apps
The Samepage mobile apps allow you to do almost anything you do on a computer. Available for tablets and phones, the mobile apps allow you to co-author documents, assign & manage tasks, chat via text or audio call, and above all, stay up to date on your team's progress.Install the Samepage Mobile App for iOS or Android here.
Integrating More Apps
Samepage is capable of integrating with over 1000+ popular 3rd-party apps. Through the use of Zapier, updates and information from apps like Salesforce, Slack, Hubspot, Marketo, Twitter, Facebook, GitHub, Gmail, and more can be brought into Samepage in various ways. This can be an extremely powerful way to automate workflows and consolidate information & conversations in a single place. Currently, other apps can automatically perform the following actions in Samepage:
- Create a new page & optionally post a comment on the page
- Create a new team or sub-team & optionally invite team owners, members, and guests
- Create a new team task in a team's TASKS section & optionally assign it to someone with a due date
- Post a new chat message on a page
- Post a new chat message in a team's CHAT section
How can automation be used?
Business activity feed: Sales and marketing teams often automate the posting of new team chat messages when important business activities take place. For example, a sales team might like a notification when a particular account reaches a milestone. A marketing team might like a notification when a website visitor signs up for something important. In either case, information can be sent to Samepage in the form of a chat message including details and links to records in other platforms like Salesforce or Hubspot.
Customer support: Because teams in Samepage can support guests, Samepage customers often use teams as a place to collaborate with clients, contractors, vendors, etc. Customer support teams often use Samepage to chat online with their customers via audio/video calls or instant messages. Teams help keep client interactions separate and private, but they also improve response times and support team transparency. With the use of Zapier, your customers creating an online support ticket through your website for the first time can automatically trigger the creation of a new support sub-team in your Samepage account and automatically invite the customer along with appropriate members of your support staff.
Here are a few ideas on popular Zaps to create with Samepage:
For more on Samepage integrations, visit our integrations page.
For more information on connecting your Samepage account to Zapier and integrating apps, check out the help article or watch the video below.