Cloud storage needs a lot of refinement. There is the redundancy of constant uploads and downloads across all your devices and then there’s the lack of intelligence and context aware processing that was one of the most exciting promises of cloud technology. It remained undelivered. Until now.
By uploading to cloud, files become liberated from the tyranny of slow local storage and limited processing thus sprouting new possibilities. Collected leverages cloud APIs of various services and does real-time contextual search of your files and their content shows up as you type in Microsoft Office or Google Docs.
About the Startup
Collected founders Steve Cotter and Amanda Kroft met in grad school where they were doing their theses on Natural Language Processing (NLP). Amanda had been coding for 10 years and got Steve interested in hacking up software solutions. They began working on a search engine app for cloud storage, “While writing reports and proposals at work, I would often get frustrated knowing that I had written similar things before that I couldn’t find because they were buried in my email, Dropbox, or Google Docs”, says Steve. Collected beta was launched in August 2013 as a simple cloud files search engine but didn’t receive the kind of response they were looking for.
In August 2014, Drew Lessard joined the company as Product Management chief and the team got back to the drawing board. Says Steve, “We realized two things. First, no one wants to stop what they’re doing and search. So we decided to automate this process: instead of you searching for things, we’ll passively and unobtrusively suggest related content using contextual information. Much like how Google Now uses your GPS location to remind you of certain things at certain places, we aim to use current context, like what you’re typing in the document you’re working on, to suggest relevant pieces of content from your other files.”
He continues, “Second, when you’re working, you don’t need whole files. You need usable pieces of content. A file is just one arrangement of content. It’s a container. It’s made up of smaller usable things like chunks of content (paragraphs and slides) that could be useful in another file. These ideas have led us to the current incarnation of Collected.”
Collected is all about making that blinking cursor aware of all your other stuff. It is available as an addon for Microsoft Word and Powerpoint (for both Windows and OS X), Google Drive and Chrome Browser. You just type and a little sidebar pops up that unobtrusively shows the related information (files, snippets and slides).
About their Plans
Collected has a lot of competition from similar services like Docurated, Synata, to help you better manage your cloud content, but they are still stuck in the idea of manual search. And this is where Collected shines and Steve is excited about its potential, “To me, this could be one of the biggest innovations in word processing since the debut real-time collaboration in Google Docs or even the WYSIWYG editor.” Evernote also recently launched a feature called Context that’s supposed to suggest new articles and other notes that are related. “However, we still believe Collected is superior, delivering usable pieces of content, not whole notes or articles, to many more places like Microsoft Office, Google Docs, and across the web in Chrome.”
The app is targeted at content creators – bloggers, writers, marketing professionals or anyone looking to benefit from the productivity boost and time saving that Collected offers. You can try out the app free for 30 days and refer your friends to get 30 more days! Other pricing plans are available on a monthly subscription basis.