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So today, I'm going to help you do that even more. 

I'm hoping that many, if not most of you, have worked with collaborative tools before. Think... Google Docs. 

You know how on Google Docs, you're able to not only work with other people at the same time, but also suggest changes, make comments, etc.? Which is great, but you're limited to only your Google-productivity tools (docs, sheets, slides). What if you could extend this feature to something else? Something you use on a more daily basis?

Pastel 💭

I know for a fact that some of you are designers, some work in marketing, and some with websites in general; and if we can collaborate with G-Suite tools, we should do so with websites too.

Pastel is a visual feedback tool. Literally take the "comment/suggestion" feature on Google Docs.. Microsoft Word.. and put it on a website. Any website. 

In the past, we've had to take screenshots and edit those using markup tools, or even draw things out to explain them further. To then discuss them through Google Docs.. or Zoom.. or any other form of communicative tool.

With Pastel, you're able to create a "canvas". This canvas is nothing more than the project you're working on. If it's a website, simply enter the URL in the text field; and if you just want to collaborate on an image or PDF, you can do that too. 

Choose my smoothie on Pastel

Here's where the magic happens. To show you how it works, I used one of my older projects: Choose My Smoothie

When you use Pastel, there are 2 modes: 1) Browse, and 2) Comment. When you're on the first mode, you can use the website like normal. In Browse mode, clicking on "All Smoothies" (on the header menu) would have taken me to the all-smoothies page.

The second mode, as the title hints, is Comment mode, where you can't exactly "interact" with elements. When on Comment mode, clicking on "All Smoothies" doesn't take me to the all-smoothies page, it creates a new comment. You can see this reflected by the number 1 on "All Smoothies", as well as the left sidebar that lists all comments I have made (for now, just one). 

On a page with many comments, you could browse through the list of comments on the left sidebar, click on each comment to open up more details (what page the comment was on, if there are replies to that comment, and the option to mark a comment as "resolved").

Choose my smoothie on Pastel

You can even toggle the "mobile-view". I went ahead and left a second comment (under the smoothie image, on the 5th grey star), reflected by the number 2. 

Note how this updated my left sidebar too, by showing the page the comment was left on, the comment itself, and even the view (mobile-view vs desktop-view). P.S. you can even change the type of phone you use on mobile-view (take a look at the drop-down menu right next to the sidebar).

Choose my smoothie on Pastel

My favourite feature is that not only can you leave comments, but you even have the option of changing text (to visualise your changes a bit more concretely). 

When you're done modifying this canvas, you can share a link to it. You can use Pastel to create a canvas of any website, not just one you own. I could have used "google.com" to elaborate on today's tech-letter (but... I think Choose My Smoothie is more useful than Google).

Pastel has different pricing plans, with a free option that lets you have unlimited canvases, clients, and a 3-day commenting window (after 3 days, you can't comment on that canvas anymore, but you can always create new canvases) . Of course, there are more expensive payment options that allow for a lot more, but you can look explore that on your own time.

This was a longer tech-letter, but I so wish I'd have found this tech-tool years ago.

Price? Free, with premium options ⭐⭐

Format? Browser ⭐⭐⭐

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