In May, the frenzy of updates for Shelf continued with a focus on making things easier and more intuitive, both for users already familiar with Shelf as well as for anyone just getting started with Shelf – we’re thrilled to have you onboard!
During my previous Product Update, I mentioned some exciting new features we were working on and our Team delivered those and more. Throughout the month of May we released an enhanced feature that makes it easier to perform more advanced searches, completely restyled content previews, and added a way for you to mark your favorite content for faster access. Furthermore, the ability to add content from within Shelf has undergone a redesign and content navigation has seen various accessibility improvements as well.
Ok, that’s a lot to digest so let’s take a closer look at some of the most important changes one by one.
New Guided Tour
We completely reworked the Guided Tour for new users, making getting started with Shelf even easier. The new tour is more focussed on explaining the most important concepts around which Shelf is built.
For existing users as well, we’d recommend starting with the guided tour as this most recent update overhauled and updated a variety of our core features and we think there’s something for everyone to learn.
In Shelf, you have many ways to explore your most important content – use the one that best suits your needs in a given context. With the introduction of our Advanced Search you now have a new option to quickly filter and find what you’re looking for.
For example, I was looking for a particular web link about an innovative way to deal with content sprawl. I remember it originated from a web clipping and I recall it was either Colin or myself who added this. Now, it’s easy to filter this straight from the Search box and you can see how I managed to quickly find what I was looking for in the image below.
It’s really just another way for you to navigate through your libraries that make up your knowledge base. Of course, you can also still use the filters in the left navigation panel just like before.
Navigation and Accessibility
Speaking of navigation, there are a few other changes that we’re certain will make your life easier.
Recently, we introduced the Quick Action Bar via which the most frequent actions can be performed for content you selected. Thanks to your feedback, we decided to perform a restyling that makes accessing these actions faster and more intuitive. The Quick Action Bar has been moved to the left just below the Search Bar and is much more visible now. Remember, it will only display once you select relevant content.
Display of Folders and Content
Last month we restyled the content items on the different Gem List Views. Now, we added a further improvement that separates folders and content so that it’s easier to navigate with a large content structure, for example once you perform a search and want to dig deeper.
Sorting is applied separately for folders and content, based on your selection (e.g. from A-Z or Latest first).
The Preview function allows users to quickly access content without having to open it on a separate page. We gave this function a facelift and now you can see more content at a glance.
The Filters have been polished further for better accessibility and you’ll find the icons to be more representative. We hope you like the fresher colors and increased font size.
We all have favorites – and by this I mean our most frequently accessed content. Let’s face it, even in the most carefully curated library shortcuts can always be helpful, and that’s what we hoped to touch on with our Favorites feature.
You might have spotted some references to Favorites in the prior sections. There are several ways to add content to or remove it from your Favorites, as well as a few ways to access it.
First, to add content to your Favorites, you can use the context menu, the Quick Action Bar or the buttons on the Gem page itself.
Once you favorited at least one piece of content, your Home Dashboard will include a section for Favorites. To see your Dashboard, simply clear all filters (for example by clicking on the Shelf logo on the top left).
Furthermore, there is a new Filter for Favorites on the left side navigation. Once switched on, your current search or any other filter criteria apply only within your favorite content.
Adding Content to Shelf
Adding your most important content to Shelf can be achieved in various ways, for example by linking and synchronizing your cloud accounts – like Dropbox or Google Drive, by using the Shelf Collaborative Web Clipper to quickly save interesting web content while you browse the web, or by directly adding content from within Shelf.
Let’s take a look at how we improved the third option.
Add Content Menu
We introduced a new menu that opens when you click the “Add” button between the Shelf logo and the Search bar. From this menu, you can quickly access the most important actions related to adding content, such as uploading files from your desktop, adding folders and groups or importing content from your cloud accounts. And if you’re an admin of your Shelf account you can directly add new users.
When you want to add individual pieces of content to Shelf, the Touchpad is a good option for this. You can open it by selecting the first item in the Add Content Menu (New…).
The new Touchpad has been simplified to ease navigation. The options to upload files from desktop as well as creating folders and groups were removed as they are now directly accessible in the Add Content Menu (see above). Options for adding content to cloud accounts are now slightly separated at the bottom.
Import Cloud Accounts
The Import Cloud Accounts page underwent a major redesign. You still have the option to either add select content from your cloud accounts to Shelf and synchronize it or you may opt to perform a one-time import which will then not be synchronized.
In case you haven’t connected your clouds yet, it’s easy to do this by selecting “Connect”.
Once you started adding content from your cloud accounts to Shelf, you will see the synchronized elements listed. The list includes the top level elements, so you don’t get overwhelmed by large folder structures that you may be synchronizing. To explore those, open them directly from the list and so can navigate further.
This concludes the Product Updates for May. I hope you’re as excited as we are with all the improvements and new features that made it to your Shelf. As always, we are looking forward to your feedback so we can build the best Shelf possible.
For June, we’ll be putting a lot of focus on even simpler ways to explore and add to your most important content. I’m looking forward to sharing these with you in my next update. Stay tuned!