What is Kwil.io?

Kwil.io is a project spun out of Dendri, a project management system for teams who do client work. When we started working on Dendri it quickly became obvious that so much client work is writing. Whether you’re an attorney writing briefs, or a marketer writing blogs, even just taking long-form notes on your clients’ needs can be a stopper if you have to jump from one place to another.

Because we like writing, we decided to build our editor into its own thing. Kwil.io was designed with a few key principles in mind (and a few features still to be built).

Five Principles:

First: we wanted an editor that allowed the quick re-ordering of text and sections. Sometimes when writing a blog post, an article or a brief you realize that your best point is in the middle, but it should be at the top. Instead of copying and pasting, Kwil.io allows drag and drop reordering of any section with a header. You can even change the level of the section from an H1 to an H2 to better organize your work.

This is neat for writing, but for note-taking and knowledge organizing, it’s amazing. Your text stops being something static, and becomes something that can be reordered and rebuilt based on your needs.

Since you can also quickly navigate by your headers, or even rename those sections from the sidebar, the speed at which you can organize your thoughts is unique.

Second: We wanted a way to remember parts of our work and adapt our writing as we went along. As free thinkers sometimes we write with a plan, and sometimes it’s a stream of consciousness. But let’s say you write out your argument, or your call to action. You state your conclusion near the top of your first section.

In Kwil.io you can highlight that section and tag it as a snippet. It will be immediately copied just below your navigation. You can do a few things with a snippet. You can navigate back to that section by clicking on the navigation arrow, so it’s a bookmark that’s hidden from the end product (i.e. it won’t be shown like a header). More important you can view that section from the sidebar while you’re working on another section. Where it gets really cool: you can edit the text in the snippet and it will automatically and simultaneously edit the text in your document. So if you realize, 1200 words later that your conclusion is a bit off, or you need to refine it after plugging in some important research, you can do so without ever going back to that section.

Bookmarks let you move quickly in editing your text

If you’re writing fiction, imagine modifying dialogue near the beginning of your story as you realize how a later passage would better be set up if your character introduced a theme differently. This side-by-side workflow makes life easier.

Snippets can also be saved to your card library. So, if you have a bit of text that you want to reuse later, a call to action, or a citation or even your signature, you can clone it to your library and access it across all your documents.

Third: We wanted an organizational system that made sense when writing. So we built the card library. These cards are simple rich text cards that can contain images, text, links or other media. Any notes or info you might need. They’re resizeable so you can stretch them or collapse them to just what you need. And, they have two user properties: Icons so you can define a type of card “web research,” or “pictures.” Or maybe “characters, places, events.” Whatever you want, you pick the type and you pick the label. Second you can choose any color for the outline of your card, which can be set by default for a type of card, or you can alter any card to any color to make finding important bits easier. Finally, you can add labels to any card. They can include a symbol, a name and a color. The goal is to get you to identify your labels by their symbols so you can quickly see and sort your information. You can always sort your card library by type or label, so you have two powerful ways to organize your info.

Very important card!

The card library by default is universal. You can get to any cards from any document. But, if you’d like to actually work with a card while you write, you can simply drag it from the library onto the sidebar. Then, just like your navigation pane, you can work with the card as you work on your document. Any cards on the sidebar will be linked to the current project and cloned there so you can easily review their info while you write.

Fourth, every document gets a board. The board is a simple kanban board with a few tricks up its sleeve. First, you can specify how many cards wide each column can hold from one to three. Why would you want more smaller cards next to each other? Because you can use this technique to build a timeline or even build out a snowflake method story. You can move from bigger less complex ideas on the left, to more complex nuanced concepts on the right.

Quick sketch of our boards, 1, 2, or 3.

You can also toggle the board to a list view. This data-heavy view lets you view your cards as rows, and being able to see up to three items in a row can be helpful to organize related thoughts quickly. We decided on this single flexible board instead of offering a bunch of different types of visualizations because we believe it gives you the tools to build what you need without being super opinionated on how you get there. That said, if you end up using kwil.io and absolutely positively need a mindmap, or a gantt chart or whatever, reach out, our ears are always open!

Quickly get the big picture from a condensed list view

Finally, documents can be grouped into folders (or lists) and you can choose to share those lists and documents with other kwil.io users or publish them to the internet. If you join our pro subscription, you can create your own domain, so cool.kwil.io could be yours, and then you can publish your blogs with clean permalinks: cool.kwil.io/blog and an article would be cool.kwil.io/blog/awesome-story! Cool! We’re still working out the kinks on sharing in the demo, but this will be turned on before we open the app up for any subscribers.

Who we are

Kwil.io is built by a small group of developers and writers in Philadelphia and Brazil and occasionally other places. We are supported by our community of writers and our other products that let us put resources and energy into the passionate world of writing great things. Write to us!