At Postlight we call it the BOTE or back-of-the-envelope. Some people use the back of a napkin. The aim is the same: a quick, simple way to run some numbers. It’s a micro-asset that sits alongside the one-pager or — if you’re feeling really ambitious — a tweet.
The challenge with drafting BOTEs is the tools at hand are just far too big for the job. The use case goes like this:
Load up Excel.
Use a small handful of cells to run some very basic calculations.
Copy paste or screen grab the results and send along.
Close the Excel without ever saving the file.
It’s a cumbersome way to complete a relatively simple task. Also there’s the fact that Excel is very big. Huge in fact. Sure, you’ve got Google Sheets, but that’s pretty big too. They’re both overkill. It’s a lot of software for very little work.
The killer feature of a tool like this is less software. Make it lightweight and rightsized. That was the challenge put in front of Postlight Labs, the internal experimental workshop within Postlight.
The result is wonderfully…small. Introducing Tinysheet. Tinysheet is a lightweight, mobile-friendly spreadsheet. Ten rows by two columns and all the basic math operators you’ll need. It even produces a shareable URL that never gets stored on a server. The numbers are between you and your recipient. That’s it. Try it now.