October 26, 2009

Backboard – Feedback, Without the Hassles


Working in a fast-paced office leaves little time for the hassles associated with circulating documents for approval or review. Unfortunately, whether your company is big or small, everyone has dealt with the stress of sending out an important proposal or presentation for feedback, only to find that the document has been misplaced or held up along the way. Everyone, that is, except those who have already discovered Backboard.

Backboard is an application that helps people stay organized at the office by allowing users to securely send files to coworkers for real-time feedback or approval. The way it works is simple. After signing up, you can upload a brochure, graphic, or presentation to Backboard—there’s no need to worry about the type of file, since Backboard works with all the common formats. After answering a few simple questions, you can then input email addresses for everyone who you’d like to review the document. Your colleagues will be sent an email with a link to your document at Backboard, where they will then be able to leave their own comments.

Because your document is being stored online, there is no need to worry about anyone altering its content or losing the file altogether. And because all of your colleagues are leaving their comments in one centralized location, there is no need to compile the edits from dozens of emails and handwritten notes. Instead, you are presented with one easy-to-read Backboard page that features everyone’s feedback scrolling alongside the original document itself. Not only that, but Backboard also has dozens of other features like document security, deadline notifications, and activity alerts that help to organize and simplify your daily life.

Practical Uses:

  • Distribute a brochure to coworkers for feedback
  • Send an important proposal to your boss for approval
  • Ask for help with the design of a new graphic or logo
  • Get an email reminder when your approval is needed for a project

Insider Tips:

  • Hidden feedback feature allows you to leave feedback that only the document creator can see
  • Upload contacts from Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, or LinkedIn directly into your Backboard address book
  • Set a deadline for contributors to leave feedback on your document

What we liked:

  • Straightforward design makes using Backboard easy
  • New feedback appears on your screen in real time, allowing multiple users to add comments at once
  • Advanced security controls are available for sensitive documents

What we didn’t like:

  • Interface could be too simple for some tastes


Company Info:

  • Launched: April 2009
  • Privately Held
  • Headquarters: Mountain View, California
  • Founded by: Increo Solutions
  • Web site:


  • Free trial
  • Three paid plans: Individual for $6/month, Team $25/month, and Enterprise starts at $50/month

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