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Build together in Retool with Cord comments and annotations

Abby Barsky
  • Product
an image

Building apps – internal tools or otherwise – is collaborative. But actually working together with your teammates when code is involved is easier said than done. Taking screenshots, adding annotations, sending a flurry of Slack messages, and then adding Jira tickets is nobody’s idea of a good workflow.

In this post, we’ll walk through how to use Retool (a fast way of building internal tools used by DoorDash, Warner Bros, Peloton and more) with Cord. Cord lets you add comments, annotations, and guides directly in your favorite apps – so you can talk with your team in the apps you’re working in. Cord also integrates with Slack and project management tools (Jira, Asana, Monday, etc.) so you can create and manage tickets without leaving your app.

Save time by building internal apps with Retool and Cord

Here’s a few suggestions for how teams use Retool and Cord to build better internal tools without all the back and forth:

  • Write onboarding guides directly in the app. Onboard new members of your team by creating annotations and comments with Cord. Attach relevant files to document how the internal tool works, right inside the tool. This is a lot easier than outdated walkthroughs lost in Confluence or Coda. Plus, teammates can @mention you if they have a question and you can chat directly in Retool– almost like sharing your screen on Zoom, without having to sit through another video call.
  • Create tasks that will automatically appear in Jira or Asana. Anytime you write a comment using Cord, whether it’s to investigate a bug or change a dropdown to a search input, you can make it an Asana or Jira task so it fits right into your workflow (and it will actually get done!).
A screencapture of the Retool UI with annotation pins drawn by the Cord SDK for commentingCommenting, threads, and reactions using the Cord chat SDK
  • Your internal ops team can log edge cases and leave a record of the conversation. The users of your app can record edge cases and leave notes about what was decided inside Retool to increase efficiency and speed up onboarding for new team members who may run into the same issue.

Add Cord to your browser to start collaborating in Retool

Cord is a Chrome extension that you can activate on SaaS tool or website. Install Cord in a few quick steps:

  • Head to app.cord.com
  • Sign-in with Slack (Or, sign-up to be notified when we add Google and Microsoft Teams support)
  • Complete onboarding: Watch a 30 second video, install the extension from the Chrome store, and import relevant Slack messages by adding the Cord Slackbot

A screen capture of the Cord onboarding flow
  • Then, go directly to your Retool app and start annotating with your team!

If you don’t have a Retool account yet, you can sign up on https://retool.com.