Ready Room

It’s not a Stream, it’s a Lake

Post by
Peter Lacey
It’s not a Stream, it’s a Lake

When we first created Ready Room, given that the front and back rooms now shared a synchronized view of the inspection, we made the assumption that team members would value scribe notes that were captured as a continuous stream of time-stamped events. We expected the scribe to type a sentence or three and hit return, type another sentence and hit return, and so on. Shortly after first going live, we added scribe “feeds,” that is, different streams of text that users could tune in to.

Our customers, however, have made it clear that they don’t want a stream, they want a lake; a big piece of paper akin to MS Word or Google Docs that they can type on, edit, and format. 

When our customers speak, we listen. The current release of Ready Room replaces chat-style scribe notes with rich text documents that are automatically saved and shared in real time with other team members.

Create and Edit

Any inspection team member (except, of course, an Observer or Restricted SME) can create scribe notes by clicking the “New” button in the Scribe Notes section on the lower right of the inspection board. This renders a new note with a default title, that is immediately editable by the person who created it. Scribes can change the title, use the single-page, rich text editor to create and format notes, and delete notes.

Users can create as many notes as they like, for instance, one per inspector or one per day or even one per day per inspector. The list of scribe notes is sorted by title.

Although Ready Room does not restrict access to scribe notes to those with the Scribe persona, we encourage users to assume the persona of the function they are performing.

Who’s Scribing Now?

Scribe notes are only editable by one person at a time. Every other user who views the scribe note will see a live view of the note as it’s being updated by the scribe. If you have a large monitor or multiple monitors, this means that you can keep the inspection board opened in one browser instance while scribe notes are continually updating in another.

When the current scribe wants to relinquish edit privileges, they can click the “Done For Now” button in the upper right corner of their screen. Relinquishing control allows any other user to easily take over scribe duties by clicking the “Start Scribing'' button in the same location on their view.

When a note has a current editor, the “Start Scribing” button is replaced with a “Take over as Scribe” button, which allows a user (after confirmation) to assume editing duties even if some earlier scribe neglected to give up control. In all cases, anyone viewing the note will get a notice that the scribe has changed.

Auto Save

There is no “save” button on the scribe notes screen. Instead, scribe notes are automatically saved approximately two seconds after every pause in typing. Every time a note is saved a notification will be shown briefly at the bottom of the screen and the changes will be broadcast to all other viewers. Team members who are looking only at the inspection board will see the “last updated” time of the note get refreshed.

Delete and Recover

The current editor can delete a scribe note by clicking the “Delete” button next to the title, after which they are whisked back to the inspection board. Anyone actively viewing the deleted note will get a notification that the note was just deleted, but they will remain on the note’s page. For them, a “Recover” button will appear, and if they click it the note will be restored and they will become the current scribe. In addition, deleted scribe notes can be accessed from the “Deleted” tab in the scribe note list on the inspection board and on every note.


Each individual note can be formatted for printing by clicking the “Print” button on the note. Or you can format all active (not deleted) notes for printing by clicking the “open in new tab” button on the note list header. Once rendered, you can click the “Print” button in the upper right (or use the browser’s print functionality) to send the formatted note(s) to a printer or PDF.

Existing Notes

Existing scribe notes from before this release have been migrated to the new format, with the original date- and time stamps and with user attribution. In addition, preexisting notes are woven into the chat stream just like any other chat message (albeit without feed information).

We trust you will value this reimplementation of scribe notes. As always, please let us know what you think. It’s customer feedback that drives product direction.