TechCrunch (his review) informed me about this new service today called Zoho Writer. Zoho Writer is another service that aims to bring the off-line office environment onto the web. The service is much like Writely, but it does have it’s differences. Not to be harsh, but the main difference is a lot less features. The look and feel of Zoho Writer actually resembles Writely. You get your main page that shows the documents that you have created, shared page showing shared documents, and your trash page showing documents you have deleted as you can see below.

Ignoring the fact that the service is much like Writely, it is a service that does get the job done. Documents are easily created using a WYSIWYG editor, sharing is simple, it has a version viewing to see changes that have been made to the document. It does get the job done.

I’m sorry, but I do not want to write a big review on Zoho as I feel I would just be repeating myself because of my posting of Writely. I don’t mean to be harsh or anything, it’s just that once I saw Zoho Planner, it really hit me hard (seen below).

Above is Zoho Planner. I am sure most of you already can see what this is like (37signals Backpack). The service allows you to plan, organize, and share pages that have todo lists, notes, images, files, etc.. For those of you that use Backpack, you already have this.

I am going to just say how I feel about this service. Both Zoho Writer and Zoho Planner will get the job done. I do however feel that Writely and Backpack are better alternatives and have been in the web scene for a while to build up a good presence. Whatever service you decide to use is entirely up to you though.

What do you think about this? I am interested in seeing how the output of this will be.

2 Comments on “Zoho Writer: Create, edit, and share… Again.”

  1. Ranjith says:

    I would like to clarify few things here.

    Yes, we accept that Zoho Planner looks similar to Backpackit but we have a different direction for Planner than Backpackit. Time will prove this to them.

    We completely disagree with Sam’s claim on Zoho Writer looking similar to Writely. We are working on this idea for last 6 months & we have released this within 2 weeks of Writely release. By the time Writely was released, we were busy doing our QA & setting other things to get our service up & running. FYKI, our first internal milestone of Zoho Writer was released on 11th August.

    Let me tell you how Planner got started. One of our engineer was trying Backpackit for maintaining todo’s. To be honest, he likes Backpackit for it’s simplicity. There was a comment from Jason which triggered him to start his own organizer “The best way to get exactly what you want is certainly to do it yourself”. Any techie user will be prompted to build their own by reading such arrogant comment. IMHO, this is a clear sign of monopoly. We need some extra features. We started to implement the following features above Backpackit features.

    – Setting deadline for to-do’s
    – Adding multiple to-do list on a single page
    – Listing all publicly shared pages
    – Allowing comments in public pages
    – Calender & more

    So this was started as a fun project for our own internal use ( We strongly felt against paying for such arrogance ). Since we felt we can offer better value to users in terms of both features & pricing, we published this service publicly ( we strongly feel that USD $5 / user / month is too much for what it offers ). We would like to get Organizer to masses by offering more free.

    Even if user’s don’t use Zoho Planner, atleast user’s will get better service & better pricing from 37Signals. That’s what competition offers to customers. For example, GMail offered 1GB free space, now Yahoo is offering that. Don’t forget that there were days when users paid for getting more space.

    Let users decide whether they want Zoho Planner or not. But Writely’s claim is 100% false.

    We will leave it for users to decide.


  2. ansia says:

    i really enjoyed reading your post, i found it to be greatly helpfull. thank you and comliments. I ll be back on your blod to read more.