The Definitive Guide to Using Samepage
Samepage is built to support multiple styles of project management and team collaboration. Familiarizing yourself with its structure will help you decide which style of use is best suited for your organization.
Samepage has a 3-level hierarchical structure. Shared content such as tasks, files, pages, and conversations are grouped together with people in Teams. Multiple teams can be created within a single Organization.
On a desktop computer, Samepage is laid out with organization-level content on the left, followed by team-level content, followed by the main display. The main display typically shows chat messages, files, tasks, calendar events, and pages belonging to the team you're currently visiting. The color-coded examples below show that you are visiting the CHAT section in the "Everyone" team.
On a mobile device, this structure is laid out in separate screens. The organization-level screen provides access to your teams and more. Upon selecting a team, you'll be taken to the team-level content most recently viewed on your previous visit.
The example below shows that upon selecting the Everyone team, the main display shows the team's CHAT section. From there, you can navigate to other team-level content using the icons at the bottom of the screen. You can always return to your organization-level content by tapping the Samepage icon in the upper right corner.
More About Teams
A team in Samepage is a collection of people and the content they share together. Multiple teams can be created within a single organization, but all teams share the same structure. This structure consists of 5 sections:
A place for the team to chat via text messages. This section can also be used to launch team video or audio conference calls.
A place for the team to share and synchronize files to their desktop computers
(requires Samepage Desktop App).
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.
5. TEAM PAGES
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.
More About Team Pages
Pages are capable of supporting collaboration on a wide variety of content. Pages help teams share and chat about such things as:
- co-authored text
- files stored in
- Google Drive
- Microsoft OneDrive
- calendar events
- spreadsheets & tables
- videos (from YouTube or Vimeo)
- social media snippets
Comments can be added to the page either by posting them in the PAGE CHAT section on the right or by attaching them to specific content on the page. In the example below, you can see comments have been attached to a diagram 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.
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.
What are teams typically used for?
Managing departments - teams are often created for each department in an organization. Typical team names include Management, Accounting, Marketing, Sales, Customer Service, Engineering, etc. This style makes it easy for each department to organize and access their files, tasks, conversations, and projects in one place. With this style of use, teams often create a new page for each project. Project managers use the team's TASK section to see a task status overview across multiple projects, easily diving into pages for more details when necessary.
Managing large projects - teams are often created as a dedicated space for managing larger projects. This is common when people from multiple departments are contributing, or when the project is complex enough to require a large collection of pages, calendar events, tasks, files, and conversations.
Working with clients, contractors, etc. - People outside of an organization can be invited to teams as "Guests". This gives them access to all content within a particular team but does not allow them to access content in other teams. This is useful when an outsider needs access to more than a few pages within a team.
Protecting sensitive content - teams are sometimes created to provide more control over who can access and edit sensitive content. Teams have 3 options when it comes to security. These options are available when creating a team and are available from the team-level 3-dot menu anytime, as shown in the example below (1):
- OPEN - this type of team is visible to every member of the organization, meaning any member can choose to join the team in order to receive update notifications, make edits, etc.
- PROTECTED - this type of team is visible to every member of the organization, but only team members can edit its content.
- PRIVATE - this type of team is only visible to members who've been invited.
The "Everyone" team
The Everyone team is unique. It is the only team created for you automatically, and it stays at the top of your team list. It is also the only team where members of your organization are automatically included. Guests cannot be invited to your Everyone team. This team is for organization members only.
Sub-teams are often used to organize larger projects under a single department or 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.
Members and Guests
When inviting someone to work with you in Samepage, you'll often be given the choice to invite the as a member or a guest. Fellow co-workers are often invited as members. External contributors such as contractors, vendors, and clients are often invited as guests.
Members - members of an organization are free to join any Open team within the organization. They're also free to read content in any Protected team.
Guests - Guests can be invited to any team or individual page except the Everyone team and have the same participation rights as their fellow team or page members. By inviting a guest to a team, they'll have access to all team sections and all team pages. By inviting a guest to a particular page, they'll only have access to content and conversations on the page and will not be allowed to navigate to other content within the team or organization. Guest avatars are signified by a small arrow inside their online status circle.
Getting Notified of Important Team Activity
You'll typically get notifications about activity in teams where you are a member or guest. Team notifications are often triggered in one of the following ways:
- Comments are made by fellow teammates
- Video or audio conference calls have begun
- Tasks have been created or changed (assignments, deadlines, reminders, progress)
- Calendar events have been created or changed (invitations, reminders)
- Someone has been added or removed from a team or page
Notifications can be received in multiple ways:
- Red dots - red dots appear throughout Samepage to indicate where new activity requires your attention. A number inside the red dot indicates the number of messages waiting for you. An @ symbol inside the red dot indicates that you've been mentioned. You can @mention someone simply by typing the @ symbol followed by the first few letters of their name. You'll see options pop up, allowing you to select the correct person. This tends to get the person's attention faster than standard notifications.
- Emails - you can choose to have summaries of unread notifications and event invitations emailed to you.
- Browser notifications - desktop browsers can often reveal popup messages to grab your attention when Samepage is hidden by other browser tabs or windows.
- Push notifications - mobile devices can also reveal popup messages to notify you of new activity, even when you're not in the Samepage mobile app.
Using the Samepage Inbox
Inbox is located above all other organization-level content 1. It brings all of a user's recent and unread notifications together in a single place.
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 2. 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 3. 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.
Communicating with others in Samepage
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, hover your mouse over the organization-level content on the left. Once it expands as in the example below, look under your list of teams for the person you'd like to chat with 1. If you don't see the person you're looking for, click the magnifying glass next to "CHAT WITH" to find them.
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 video icon in the upper right corner 2. In both cases, the other person will receive a notification immediately.
To chat directly with another person on a mobile device, access your organization-level content by clicking the Samepage icon in the upper right corner of your screen, then scrolling 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 audio 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.
3. Team Chat
As mentioned earlier, each team has its own section for sharing quick and easy chat messages. 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.
Typing the @ symbol in Samepage triggers a few useful tools. 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 it it. This will let them know they've been mentioned specifically and will often grab their attention faster.
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 an automatic link to the page, making navigation between related pages easier.
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.
Sharing Files in Samepage
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 chat all support attachments in Samepage. This style is great for easily sharing small files that don't need to be accessed repeatedly and don't necessarily belong to a specific project.
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 only). This section supports file version history as well 3.
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. Through page history, this type of file sharing also supports file version history.