For over 30 years, the Office suite has meant a bundle of software including a word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation tool among other apps.
But are those the most relevant tools for a modern office? If you could pick a set of any software to bundle into a new suite, which tools would your modern office include?
My ideal office suite today would include:
Interesting, you could get most of that suite for free—but the base paid plans for everything listed would come to over $80/month. That makes Office 365 and G Suite look like a bargain.
Generally, seems like a modern office suite should include:
A writing tool still feels crucial—though for print documents less so than shared online text. A writing tool with simple ways to publish text online as standalone pages almost feels like a more important need than Word’s page layout tools. Or, on the opposite end, a full page layout tool that made it easy to build formatted PDFs and fancier documents would additionally be more useful than wrangling with rich text formatting tools and text boxes.
Spreadsheets are still the killer PC app—so a best-in-class real spreadsheet is still needed. Coda putting spreadsheet-style formulas inline in text is interesting; would be fun to see more ways to blur the lines between documents and the data they’re built from. And a connected spreadsheet, pulling data in from APIs, would make it more useful in the modern office. But generally, a spreadsheet tool still feels core to an office suite.
Amazes me databases were not traditionally more of a core part of Office, where on Windows, Access was only included in higher priced Office suites and on Mac, Office never came with a database. This is something newer all-in-one office-type apps like Notion and Coda got right with including a database tool. The tough thing in those apps is that a “real” spreadsheet is still equally useful, so an ideal office suite would include both.
Presentations are still needed—but so are reports, to distribute on their own and to put inside presentations. Google Data Studio is interesting here, and would be neat to see more innovation in this space. Deckset is a nice take on turning an outline into a presentation, for simpler presentations.
Then, communications. Email’s still important, as is team chat, so tools for both would be needed. Contacts honestly should get more attention; it’s incredible how little innovation there has been in that space.
Another core part of a modern office suite to me is automation—something like Zapier to tie your work together between apps. Interesting how Coda’s built automation into their documents; something like that could negate the need for a middleman service.
Files are going away to a degree, synced directly inside apps like Notion instead of needing a separate sync service. But you still need to keep track of them, so a file sync tool like Dropbox is still needed.
I would love to use less apps!
My ideal stack:
* Notion for everything besides writing
* Obsidian for writing
* Slack for chat + video
* Figma for design/presentations
* Dropbox for file storage
* Stripe for billing/payments
* Mercury for banking
* Zapier for glue
* Toggle for time tracking
Gsuite I really feel is a modern and complete suite for work. Its super clean, flexible and with certain add-ons you can really get some amazing features like third party apps (airtable, smartsheet etc)
Another tool I would add to modern suite is Zapier.
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