Solve the challenge of team-document building with Jotsy for BlackBerry PlayBook [VIDEO]


Editor’s note: We recently caught up with the Jotsy™ team to learn more about their new app for the BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet. Check out what they had to say below!

Anyone who has ever marked up a contract or presentation – or has had to manage inputs from a number of different sources – can benefit from using Jotsy. On the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, Jotsy users can load and easily annotate files, and save their modified documents back to personal or shared folders.

Jotsy is an innovative app designed to address the market need for an easy means to annotate documents on a BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. Jotsy allows users to annotate documents offline and synchronize local files with PC, enterprise or cloud storages. Jotsy provides an intuitive “Bear Paw” menu specifically designed to optimize the tablet experience. The first release of Jotsy supports PDF files on the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, with future versions of Jotsy providing further storage options and other features such as collaborative annotation workflow, managed document distribution, improved navigation, and a few other surprises. Check out the video below to see a Jotsy demonstration that took place at BlackBerry DevCon Americas 2011.

[ YouTube link for mobile viewing ]

How it will impact your business

BlackBerry® remains a leader in secure enterprise collaboration and information sharing. In keeping with these important requirements, Jotsy provides the enterprise user with the on-board annotation features they expect in addition to unique server-side document management capabilities. Jotsy is also designed to allow customers to synchronize with documents stored locally on their PC, or on third party cloud storage services.

Jotsy fills the need for ready access and easy annotation of PDFs that are shared amongst people in a workgroup. Design efforts were focused on developing a very simple UI that provides users with immediate access to the most common annotation types, along with file transfer processes that support remote storage. Building with HTML5 technology gives Jotsy the unique ability to manage inputs from each contributor as discreet pieces of information, similar to transparencies on an overhead projector (remember those?!). With these pieces in place, Jotsy will be uniquely positioned to support the back-and-forth kind of interactions that take place when many people work on the same document.

The structure and mechanism behind Jotsy is designed to allow for direct distribution and management of multiple inputs to a common source document, whereas previously multiple versions of notes were sent over multiple emails to everyone for review. Jotsy provides the right combination of efficient annotations on the BlackBerry tablet and collaborative document development. Abilities to support different document types, manage inputs from different sources, and manage document distribution are also on the Jotsy roadmap.


Jotsy 1.0

  • Ability to sync and access documents stored locally on your PC
  • PC-based access to documents stored on any of your accounts
  • “Bear Paw” navigation within the app for easy access to text boxes, highlight styles and pen colors
  • Pagination, jump-to-page-number, and “dogear” current page for future reference

In future releases, Jotsy plans to further develop the ability of the Jotsy application to access cloud and enterprise storage devices directly from your BlackBerry tablet without the support of PC connectivity. In addition, Jotsy has been designed to manage annotations and enable collaboration amongst work groups, so look for the following in future versions:

  • Management of annotation layers generated from several sources on a single document
  • Managed distribution and access of documents and document sets

Visit Jotsy on the BlackBerry App World™ storefront for a full list of features.

Straight from the experts (interview with the Jotsy team)

Biz Blog: Thanks for joining us! Tell me about the vision behind the Jotsy app.

Tim Dinesen (Jotsy): Developments such as cloud computing and the proliferation of smart wireless devices are starting to combine and create new ways of working and sharing media. As a result we’ve seen movement away from desktop computing and email as the main means of communication, as well as the emergence of web apps and social media as increasingly important technologies. HTML5, the technology upon which Jotsy is built, will accelerate the utility of these technologies by further enabling “anytime, anywhere, On Demand” access to services of interest not just to consumers, but to Enterprise users as well. Jotsy is currently oriented towards document management, and the underlying technology can be easily applied to a number of interesting product ideas.

How do you see this type of collaborative work tool integrating with and improving existing workflows within organizations?

Just as we see a shift away from desktop to smart mobile, we see a shift away from the traditional views of “integration” and “workflow”. We take the view that Jotsy will be associated with any number of core document management and storage platforms through web services.

Do you see the tablet form factor as an opportunity for these types of collaborative tools to increase productivity for businesses?

Without question, tablet form factors with Wi-Fi® or mobile connectivity is game-changing technology that will not only substitute desktops as the principal means of web access, but will enable new ways of doing work. And these applications aren’t limited to businesses – imagine evidence to the point of care in hospitals, a textbook-free school curriculum, or remote sales teams having immediate access to documents. These new ways of doing things are made much more practical with tablet form factors and HTML5. This is the space that Jotsy occupies.

What does the future hold for Jotsy?

We want Jotsy on every BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, to start. Beyond that, Jotsy will be a family of document conversion and managed distribution services, with the purpose of supporting collaborative workgroups using a diversity of solutions.

Where can businesses or end-users get a hold of Jotsy?

The latest version of Jotsy for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet is available on BlackBerry App World, and the required PC synchronization component is available for download at Both of these are free, and have full annotation functionality. Future paid versions will have some of the more advanced collaboration, security, and document management capabilities we’ve described above.

Do you regularly review and annotate documents in your work? How would you see Jotsy contributing to your productivity? Share in the comments below.

About Luke Reimer

@Luke_Reimer is a Senior Marketing Manager at BlackBerry helping to design, launch, and manage enterprise marketing programs - particularly concerning content across digital mediums. Beyond spreading BlackBerry goodness in enterprise communities, you can find Luke cooking up a storm, out on his motorcycle (when Canadian weather allows), or digging into a good science fiction book.

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