App highlight: Squarl – first impressions

I got an early access to Squarl application. It is (visioning to become) all-in-one management application that people can use to get all relevant loosely connected bits and pieces into a single application so they can be reviewed and accessed easily later. In short: you can add links, notes and Teams conversations into a single dashboard/portal.

You can organize these bits of info into different collections and add content to them easily from Teams conversations – or using New item functionality. Tagging and categories help you manage and find information across different themes.

Adding a new link – any link – or note is easy. Note that you can not snip-paste a picture to picture part but it has to be a file instead.

If you add a link there Squarl will automatically fill up site information – including the picture.

Adding a message from Teams conversations is done via message extension: the (magic) three dots (…) menu, more actions and Save to Squarl.

You can then add more details about the message.

Adding content to the app is easy. As it should be.

Managing your content

Using the app is easy. You are greeted with a dashboard showing your collections and you can jump between Home (showing your collections), Recent additions and Pinned items using the left navigation in Squarl.

Recently added is a nice way to get back quickly to those items you have added last. Marking items favorite (collection can also be a favorite) helps finding those key ones quickly via filters. Using categories help you to find collections with similar color (content type perhaps).

When you are inside a collection you can find items there very easily using Type-filtering (like Teams collections or links / notes).

Tags connect information into context

Using Tags feature you can connect different kinds of info into the same context. In here it is of course a “demo”

That brings up all bits of info tagged with Demo in the default collection. It looks like that this is useful when working inside a single collection.

Search

Search can find information between collections.

Here Tags can also be used to limit the search result. In this view collection doesn’t limit results.

What is cool, is that this search can be then saved.

And now I have a quick access to these results

And I can see that quick-search on the top area of left menu.

You just need to pay some attention where are you searching from: all collections or are you already inside a collection. In the latter it defaults to the collection you are in and thus already filters your results.

Settings

Using your profile pic you can get to settings

It is here, in settings, were you update your category names and can set up other options. You get to manage (delete) your saved search links here as well.

First impressions

What I did so far is quite a quick and short testing on Squarl. As I am a heavy user on OOB tools like OneNote, Sticky Notes and To Do I find it is not very natural to take a another tool into use.

Depending on your needs, working practices and personal preferences I can see people use this rather than using different tools to collect their bits of info. The good side is that all your relevant info in that tenant is included in one app. The other side is that sometimes you want to have that information in a OneNote that is not that tenant dependent.

To me this requires a personal change to get really started with Squarl. To some this could be a relief and instant benefit because it just “clicks” to their working practices. As they say: it depends.

I will , of course, continue experimenting! This has a lots of potential to add productivity and help managing my day better.

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