simplebooklet updates
simplebooklet updates
simplebooklet.com/

New Dashboard, Slack Integration, Analytics Update

 

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We're rolling out a number of updates this week and for the end of May. This release see's the following new features and improvements to Simplebooklet.

New Dashboard

We've updated your dashboard with a new and improved interface and added some helpful tools and data.

You'll notice right off the bat we've improved how we display your existing Simplebooklets. We've cleaned up their presentation and made the buttons to trigger what you want to do clearer.

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We've also added a new sort feature. You can now sort your Simplebooklets on your dashboard by newest, oldest, last edited, and most opens.

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We've also added some new data reporting for each Simplebooklet. You can see the number of opens, how many pages are in your booklet, and when you last updated your booklet.

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You'll notice that in the top right corner, we've updated the way you access your account settings and profile. We've made this clearer and easier to manage.

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Integrations Menu

We've added a new Integrations menu on your dashboard so you can see all the different ways you can use Simplebooklet with other third party platforms. They are broken into multiple categories depending on how they work. They include reporting, content import, and content distribution. These integrations are all through our platform but its a great way to see everything that you can do and even implement them directly from their listing to your overall account

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Slack Integration

We've added a new Slack integration to Simplebooklet. There are three ways you can use Slack and Simplebooklet together. From the share tab of your booklet, you can post to a specific channel or direct message. This will post your link and cover image to that Slack channel for easy access.

You can also use slash commands within Slack to access your list of simplebooklets and choose which one you want to appear in your channel.

And lastly, you can set up automatic notifications in a Slack channel. Basically, you'll be able to get notified automatically anytime someone accesses your Simplebooklet in the Slack channel of your choosing.

You can learn more about our Slack integration here:

https://simplebooklet.com/integration/slack-info.php

Analytics

We've made per page analytics an opt in feature now. So to collect analytics on your Simplebooklet, you'll need to go into the Analytics tab and toggle on per page tracking. Then we'll start tracking what's happening on each page of your Simplebooklet.

Guest Narrations

Narrated Simplebooklets are turning out to be really effective in driving engagement with your readers. We're seeing 5X improvement in on page and click actions when a booklet is narrated, even with voice only.

We've improved our narration tool significantly for inviting a subject matter expert to contribute to the narration of your Simplebooklet. You can now invite a guest narrator to narrate the entire booklet, or any page you want. Once they complete the narration, you'll receive an email notification that they've submitted a narration for review, and you will also see a notification tag on the invite tool for that page. You can review the multiple submitted narrations, then add the one you think works the best.

Bug Fixes and Performance Enhancements

We've made some improvements to our conversion engine to keep enhancing the ability to convert multiple file formats. We've also made some improvements to some of our flip transitions for mobile devices and a few general database performance enhancements.

Stay tuned for another update at the end of May. Some big new features that are really close to being ready for release.

Narration Invite Update, Video Blur, New Integrations

 

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We've been busy on a number of new upgrades to the Simplebooklet platform. This week, we're introducing the ability to invite anyone to narrate your entire document, even if they do not have a Simplebooklet account. We're also introducing the ability to blur your video background for video narrations, and we're improving your options to import content to your Simplebooklet account through Dropbox and Google Drive integrations.

Entire Booklet Narration Invite

You can now share an invite link with someone that will let them narrate your entire Simplebooklet. Instead of restricting them to only narrate one page, they can now narrate the entire Simplebooklet. They do not need an account on Simplebooklet to narrate your booklet either, making it incredibly easy to get the right subject matter expert narrating your content. You can use the Invite tool in the Narrate tab of Simplebooklet to get your invite link.

Video Narration Blur

If you use video narration on your pages, you can now blur your background of your video. Just like you do in your favorite video conference app, now obscure the background of the room your in to keep the focus on your face and what you're communicating. It's a simple button to click in the video narration tool.

Cloud Drive File Pickers

We've introduced a few new integrations to Simplebooklet. Now, from the dashboard, you can choose Dropbox or Google Drive to access your files (PDFs, Docs, Presentations) and upload them direct to Simplebooklet. We'll grab your file right from your cloud drive folder and start the upload process.

We've also added the Dropbox extension. This makes it really easy to send a file from your dropbox account to your Simplebooklet account. With the Dropbox extension installed, you upload your file directly within your dropbox file folder. You don't even need to start from the Simplebooklet dashboard.

Narration Invite, Collaboration Notes

 

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It may not always be obvious, but we actually roll new updates to Simplebooklet every 2 weeks. However, we don't always notify our users of the updates and changes. Many of these are to do with improving performance and UI/UX tweaks to make using Simplebooklet easier and simpler. But when we roll some bigger features, we do like to provide a bit more detail. In our recent roll, we've added the following: Invite someone to narrate a booklet page, and, use notes to collaborate on shared booklets in the Edit tab.

Invite a Guest Narrator

This new feature makes it incredibly easy to invite a subject matter expert, a customer, a coworker, or really, just about anyone, to narrate a specific page on your booklet. They don't need an account. You just send them a link, they open it, make their recording, and submit it. You can review it (they can add more than one) and you choose the one you want to add to the page.

We're finding that narrations increase engagement with a booklet by over 500%, so it's a very powerful feature to make your content much more persuasive to your reader. Even using just the audio only version of page narration has an amazing effect on your readers.

Collaboration Notes and To Dos

You can now write down notes and to dos on a booklet you are working on with others in your Simplebooklet account. Each note you create will be labelled with your account name, the date and time you created it. When another user opens the notes, they can see what you wrote, and add their own notes.

It's a useful way when creating a booklet to share input on what needs to be done in working on or enhancing pages of your document.

Narration, Instagram, Image Library and New Chat Support

 

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We're working on a lot of new features and capabilities here at Simplebooklet. We're excited to roll out a few new ones today.

New Simplebooklet Narration

Because of the engagement metrics we've seen with video and voice narrated booklets, we've made an extra effort to make narrating your Simplebooklet, well, simple. Narration has turned out to increase engagement by an order of magnatude compare to just text.

We've created a completely new tab dedicated to adding narration to your Simplebooklet. This new narration studio makes it easy to record video or audio only clips per page. You can set the narration to auto play the moment the page opens, and turn pages the moment the narration finishes. Even cooler, you can add notations to your page and time them to your narration, holding onto your customer's attention even stronger.

Our approach to narration differs greatly from most tools that do this. Often, most are just screen recorders, forcing you to record from start to finish all in one go and stick you with a large video file at the end to share. Sorry, that really just doesn't cut it. Our approach is to add your narration as small clips to each page, so you still share your simplebooklet from a single URL and your reader can interact with it just as they normally would (zoom in, search, tap buttons). Since it's clips, you don't have to try and nail your narration from start to finish. You can even update specific pages at anytime and keep your other narrations. Not only that, you can upload a video file (even from someone else) to add narration from specific locations or from coworkers with specific expertise to the page on hand.

We think you'll find narration a very powerful new feature for your communications.

Instagram Posting

You can now post to Instagram right from your publish tab. You'll be able to post a cover image or a video of your booklet flipping it's pages to your Instagram feed. You'll also be able to add and update the comments for your post. It does come with some caveats from Facebook. You will need a facebook business page and your Instagram account needs to be connected to this business page. But after you set it up the first time, its simple to post your next Simplebooklet.

New Image Library

We've added a new image library feature to adding images. You can now upload multiple images at once to a library. From your library, you can drag these images onto your pages. You can also replace an existing image on your page using the replace function.

Chat Support

We've also upgraded our chat support capabilities. We can now support you with realtime screensharing, debugging, and voice and video chat. We think our chat will be more responsive and we'll be able to solve issues faster that come up for you, our user. With this is also a completely revamped help center, but it's not quite done so a few holes to keep filling in there.

Account Level Analytics

 

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We've just rolled a new feature for Business plans. You can access analytics for all admin and team account booklets from one report. This will help you see all Simplebooklets in one report and their open rates.

With the Account Analytics, you can:

  • Query all admin and team account booklet stats in a single report.
  • Set the date range for this report.
  • Download the report as an XLS file for use in other tools and platforms.

To access the Account Analytics, go to your Business Account Dashboard and in the left hand column, tap the ACCOUNT ANALYTICS menu.

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This will reveal the account analytics tool.

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Video Simplebooklets, UI Updates, and Speed Improvements

 

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We continue to work hard in improving the features and capabilities with Simplebooklet. This week, we're introducing a new Simplebooklet feature and some user interface updates to improve your experience.

Video Simplebooklets

You can now create a Simplebooklet from a Video. This is great if you want to present a video on it's own Simplebooklet microsite, then add it to your collection. Basically, it takes your video url, creates a single page Simplebooklet of that video, then allows you to customize the microsite page the video is displayed on.

It's great for sharing videos outside of youtube, google drive and vimeo, so you can put your own logo and URL on the video you share, while also customizing the actual display of the video. Since it's also a Simplebooklet, you can layer additional content on top of the video (such as hotspot links, text, buttons) to make your video have clickable actions.

It's also a really useful tool for adding a video as a standalone piece of content on your collections page.

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To try using this new tool, go to your Simplebooklet dashboard, and select UPLOAD VIDEO to get started.

User Interface Updates

We're always working on improving the placement and presentation of our tools to make it easier to make and share your Simplebooklets. In doing so, we've cleaned up the toolbars in the EDIT and DESIGN tab, plus made some updates to various popups and modals around the platform.

Speed Improvements

The bulk of our effort over the summer was working on improving the load times of your Simplebooklet. In doing so, a lot of this takes place in the background so your readers will see the benefits in improved loading and responsiveness of your Simplebooklet.

We have also made it possible for you to activate or deactivate some of these improvements. To turn on or off these new features: Lazy Image Load, Loading Indicator, and Deferred Page loading, go to the DESIGN TAB and select PAGE ACTIONS. You can toggle each one on or off depending on if you want to use it or not.

As well, stay tuned as we plan on a big release at the end of September.

Faster Loading Simplebooklets

 

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A quick update to let everyone know we've made a significant improvement in the load speed of larger booklets on our platform. We are now using a faster process to display content, revealing the current on screen content of a booklet before the entire booklet is loaded. This allows your reader to start reading and flipping pages even if the entire booklet has not loaded into their account.

This is applied to all new and existing booklets in your account, so there is nothing to adjust on your part.

We've Been Busy

 

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Though I haven't been updating our release notes as often as I should, this post will encompass all the latest we've added in the past two months.

New Features

We've made some big feature additions to simplebooklet in the last two months. These include:

New Transitions

We've updated our transitions to give you more options. You can now turn on or off the center fold shadow in the soft page flip transition. You can also display double page booklets with the first page being double page (previously it could only display as a single page before opening as a double page display). This should give you more

New Languages

We've added Swedish and Korean to our language options in the navigation elements of your booklet.

Collections

Can now be customized to hide all sharing and title options, and only display the cover image on the collection page.

Improved Canva Integration

You can now replace a Canva designed booklet straight from Canva. Update your design in Canva, then use the simplebooklet plugin to replace the existing booklet with the new version. You can also edit canva designed pages with canva directly in the simplebooklet edit tool. Tap the small canva logo in the top right of your page, and we'll open that page in the familiar canva editor.

With Canva, you can also add new pages to a booklet in our EDIT tab but use the Canva editor and templates to create the new page. Simply tap the NEW PAGE button, and select a template from Canva, edit in their inline authoring tool, then save it as a new page in your simplebooklet.

Crello Integration

We've added crello to our authoring integration tools. It works similar to Canva, in that you can now use Crello templates to create a page (or multiple pages) in your Simplebooklet, and take advantage of all their great authoring and design features.

Upload Your Own Narration

You can now upload an audio or video file from your computer to use for your per page narration. So record yourself on your phone, add it to your page, and then set it to autoplay when that page is first opened. We've found video narration makes a huge improvement in engagement with your cusotmer and brings an unique authenticity to your booklet presentation.

User Interface Improvements

We want simplebooklet to be the easiest and the simplest tool for turning PDFs into amazing online content easily shared from a single, branded weblink. So, as you have probably noticed, we've made a number of user interface improvements to our platform, for both the author and the customers you publish to.

New Preview Screen

We've improved our preview tool. It gives you a better sense of what your booklet will look like to the typical reader in a typical browser on a laptop.

Better Onboarding

We've made a number of improvements to the steps and explanations for those just starting out with Simplebooklet.

Clarity on Plans

We want our plans to be as transparent as possible. So we've restructured how you choose a plan and what you can do with that plan. Now, when you choose a plan, you first select how many booklets you'd like to start with (these are the number of booklets you can have published live simultaneously). You can add more to your account as you need them and replace any of them at anytime.

Once you know how many booklets you want to start with, you can decide which plan features you will need. For example, if you want to sell your simplebooklets, you'll want the Business plan. If you want to collaborate with others, you'll want the Business plan. If you want to apply your own custom domain and videos, you can start with the PRO plan.

We've also made it clearer the benefits of switching to an annual plan.

Performance Improvements

We're doing a lot around the performance of our booklet loading speeds, resolutions, and animation functionality.

New Image Management

We've now implemented webp (google's image format) with fallback to jpg for older browsers. What this means is we are able to reduce the size of most images by close to 70%, yet actually improve the quality of the image being displayed. This will not only improve what your reader see's on the screen, but also reduce the bandwidth required to send your booklet, and therefore speed up the loading time of your booklet.

Also, for an older browser, we'll still maintain the jpg images to ensure that your photos and images load for those visitors as well.

Code Overhaul

This is a bit of an ongoing process. We're removing a lot of legacy code in our app to improve the loading speeds for the visitor. We're also implementing just in time code practices as well so your booklet isn't carrying extra code for features you aren't using.

Loading Speeds

A big improvement we're hoping to release within the next week mainly affects larger booklets with many pages. We're adding the ability to open and start viewing pages before the entire booklet has been loaded. This should speed up the time between loading the URL and when a reader can start interacting with your Simplebooklets.

New Templates For Pages

 

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We've just added Canva page templates to the Simplebooklet Edit tools. Now, when you add a new page to your Simplebooklet, you can choose from the 1000s of templates designed by Canva. It's a great and easy way to get professionally designed layouts to add to your Simplebooklet.

When adding a Canva Design template to your Simplebooklet, you choose the type of design you want to add, then we'll open the Canva design tool so you can customize it with Canva's amazing library of tools. Once it's ready, you just tap the SAVE TO SIMPLEBOOKLET button and your new page is added to your Simplebooklet.

What's even better is you can edit it as well. Simply tap the Canva button beside the page, and it will open your page in the Canva Designer so you can update it (correct spelling mistakes, change fonts). Once you've made your update, save it back to your booklet and you are good to go.

We think you'll find this a very powerful new tool to create additional pages in your Simplebooklet or even to help you get started on a new Simplebooklet from scratch.

Narration Uploads, Video Library, New Onboarding, and much more

 

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We've been hard at work this past month completing a number of new feature updates to Simplebooklet. These include the ability to upload video and audio narration for your pages (instead of live recording on your webcam), a new licence free video library to add more video content to your pages and add some ambient experiences, a new free forever plan option at the end of the sign up trial period, and the ability to set youtube and vimeo videos to autoplay and auto stop on page flip.

Video and Audio Only Narration Uploads

Previously, you could only record video and audio narration directly from your webcam and computer microphone. We've now added the ability to upload your own video (mp4) and audio only (mp3) files to your page narration. This should open up a lot more opportunities to use narration as a big part of your booklet presentation.

Great use cases include realtors recording video clips inside the property and then adding them to the property feature sheet, clips from actual stage presentations added to powerpoint presentations, and video recordings of individual instructors for each page of an e-learning guide.

You can record your video or audio on any device (computer, mobile device), then upload the video file into the NARRATION tool found in the DESIGN tab. You can have one narration per page in your Simplebooklet.

Video Library

Videos are a great way to set a mood and create ambience around your page presentation. Now you can search for a video by mood, subject matter, or location, and then add that video to your page. These videos play automatically and can be set to loop, creating a wonderful piece of ambient content on your page.

These videos can be fully styled with the style tool. So your videos can be different shapes and sizes to best fit within your page. Use them to replace generic images on your page.

Videos also support our animation feature. You'll be able to have videos appear after a delay on page open, fade out on a tap, and even bounce or wobble to attract a reader's attention.

Auto play and Auto Stop

An often requested feature, we've now made it possible to set your videos from youtube and vimeo to auto play on page open. This means when the user flips open your page, the embedded video will automatically start playing. Its easy to add this option, just toggle the auto play button when you add your video to your simplebooklet page.

Also, videos will now automatically stop playing when the user flips the page. Previously, videos would keep playing in the background, but now they pause and can be picked up from the last point a reader was watching.

Free Trial Period and Free Plans

We've updating how we introduce new users of Simplebooklet to our platform. As of right now, anyone who signs up to Simplebooklet will automatically start in a free trial of the PRO plan for 14 days. We hope that this gives people a good amount of time to "kick the tires" of Simplebooklet and see if it will work for their organizational goals. We do not require a credit card or any other details from you.

At the end of your 14 day trial, you can choose to sign up to a paid plan or downgrade to our free plan. Our free plan lets you have 1 booklet available for sharing and publishing and does include the simplebooklet watermark in the navigation bar and the last page of your booklet. The free plan is forever, however, you do need to confirm once every six months that you are still actively using the booklet. We want to make sure that your content isn't orphaned and misleading people on the web. You can always switch to a paid plan at anytime.