Getting started with Markup

An overview of projectsHow to use the project readmeCreate and update views in projects Take notes and upload data
What to use a note forCreate a new noteUse fields to add structured data to notesOrganize notes with viewsCreating a blank note view
Transcribe video and audioFormat your notes and transcriptsFormatting and keyboard shortcutsAdd structured data with fieldsCreating a new blank note or insight viewHow to use canvas layoutManage project notifications
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Help homeMarkupGetting started with Markup

Take notes and upload data

In Markup, research data is stored in ‘notes’. Notes can contain text, images, audio, video, tables, a transcript from an audio or video file, and more. Notes are intentionally flexible to support a wide variety of research methodologies and data formats.

What to use a note for

Depending on the type of research you’re doing, a note could represent many things. Here are a few ideas to get you thinking:

  • Raw notes taken during a customer interview.

  • Videos and transcripts from usability testing sessions.

  • Qualitative customer feedback imported via a spreadsheet.

  • Survey responses imported via a spreadsheet.

  • Tweets imported via our Zapier integration.

Create a new note

Once creating a note view for your project, open the view and select + New note to create a new note. This will open a new page for you to start working on your note and import your data.

You can also create hundreds of notes at once by uploading a spreadsheet (Import structured spreadsheet data), or create notes in real-time by connecting an app via Zapier (Connect apps to Dovetail with Zapier).

Use fields to add structured data to notes

Structuring your data with Fields can make it easier to organise your content and find it in the future. With fields, you can define attributes like your customer’s name, age, segment, and company. For more information on fields and suggestions on how to make the most out of fields, see Add structured data with fields.

Organize notes with views

By default, new blank projects contain a single note view. The default layout for the view is a board layout (like a Kanban), but you can change the layout at any time using the (•••) button beside the view's name. When you use a board layout, you can also change how data is grouped by clicking on the Group by button. Read Create and update views in projectsto learn more about views features and the Group by button.

How you organize your notes depends on your unique needs and your data type. For example:

  • Board layout is excellent for visually organizing interviews or other data into groups that represent stages in your research project, types of data, or a particular attribute like customer type.

  • Table layout is helpful for quickly updating field data across many notes, as you don’t need to open each note to update field data. It’s also a great layout if your notes contain shorter form content like NPS or survey answers — you’ll be able to see a preview of each note’s content without needing to open it.

  • Canvas layout is perfect for visually organizing or clustering your notes and can be great for collaboration. If you’re using single-select, multi-select, or people fields, you can cluster notes automatically using Smart arrange. Alternatively, manually arrange cards as you see fit.

  • Grid layout and list layout are great layouts when you don’t need structure. Order content using drag and drop or automatically sort by an attribute. Grid layout presents your notes in cards and shows a thumbnail of interviews or images your notes contain. List layout is minimalistic and shows each note on a single line.

At Dovetail, we like to use list layout for research planning documents, board layout for our interviews, and table layout for NPS responses and product feedback.

Any new notes you add are stored in a database of notes within your project, and you can use views to see all or just a portion of the content you've added. Note views in a new blank project will display all your data by default, but you can easily filter views to show a portion of your data, provided you're using filters to structure your notes.

A project can have multiple views. New views you create will show all your notes by default, and you can use filters to show a subset so that each view contains a different set of notes. A typical use case for this is using views to manage different kinds of data (e.g. NPS, product feedback) or to manage different rounds of research in a staged research project. Read on to understand how to create views that show different content.

Creating a blank note view

It's common for research projects to contain a mix of data and note types. As in the example above, you might have a project with multiple rounds of research, a project with various data types, or you might be in the habit of using notes as planning docs and interviews. Regardless of your need, creating views that show different data is simple, provided you use fields first to structure your data.

If you already have notes in your project, newly created views will show all your existing notes. To set up views so that they show different types of content, you'll need first to set up a note field so that you can filter your views. 

For example, let's say you wanted to create a new board for different projects. Start by opening a note and create a single-select field titled 'Research round.' Then, create select options for each project, e.g. 'Round A,' 'Round B,' 'Round C.'

Grouping this newly created note board by Research Project will place all your notes in the Uncategorized group. From there, you can move each note to the correct group based on its research project. Then, update the filter in each view to just show content from one round of research, and adjust the Group by setting to suit your needs.

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Benjamin Humphrey

Co-founder / CEO

Chloe Blattmann

Product Manager

Article info

Last updated 6 September 2022
5 min read

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