BoxOfDocs is a robust collection of publicly available and privately produced municipal policies, practices and support documents from leading municipal governments across Canada.
BoxOfDocs uses advanced technologies to collect, sort, and organize municipal documents so that you find what you need faster. This means that when you use BoxOfDocs, you save time on repetitive tasks and can focus on higher priority goals!
We use machine learning (artificial intelligence) to visit municipal websites and acquire public content. From there, we cleanse and organize the information we’ve gathered and re-visit regularly to ensure that our database is the most up-to-date source of information available.
BoxOfDocs’ search, filter & sort approach to finding documents means that you have more control over the quality and number of results you see. You will have fewer results, but those results will be truly meaningful and useful to the work that you are doing right now!
We guarantee that you will have high quality, member-supported content. If you are not satisfied with any aspect of the products and services that we offer, we invite you to chat with us to resolve any concern within two business days from the date of contact.
Click the in-app “ask a question” icon to connect with us right away, or:
Call: 1.800. 440.1831
How We Help You
Internet search engines: Whether you notice it or not, you probably spend at least 20 to 60 minutes just to arrive at a handful of documents that may or may not be worth looking at.
Reaching out via phone or email: This can waste not only your time (because you are often waiting for a response for several days after your request), but also the time of your peers that spend their time looking for what you request.
Document libraries organized through your professional associations: Professional associations have tried to solve this problem in a similar way in the past. Several have taken it upon themselves to collect a document library similar to BoxOfDocs, but with one major difference – without the help of advanced technology. Doing this by hand is unsustainable and eventually the documents go stale and the library loses value.
If you decide to use all of above ways to get the best results, you would discover that you lost up to 80% of the time that you could have saved by using BoxOfDocs’ uniquely efficient Search, Filter, Sort approach to finding information faster.
BoxOfDocs can help you streamline your document research by putting the most relevant and up to date documents in your hands in seconds, rather than hours. You spend more time doing high-level research to decide how you want to create or update your documents instead of being stuck on the tedious journey of finding something close to what you really want.
Organizations that use BoxOfDocs have more time to do improved work, but they also have more time to focus on their other priorities. They accomplish more than their peers, not to mention how they are perceived by elected officials and the public that they serve.
YES! Since we save you time, you will feel that sense of relief. Of course, we can only say this about the time that you spend using BoxOfDocs, not those other stressors that you may have in your life…
If you believe in the idea that reducing stress helps you with work-life balance – YES! We hope that we will become a part of your healthy lifestyle goals. The common response we have received from our users is that it has given them back more time to do the things that they enjoy (that aren’t work related).
Indubitably. Perhaps they would never admit this, but there’s a good chance that doing more and producing better-quality work will look good on you and your organization. Will they be jealous? You know it.
We don’t like wasting time, and we know our clients don’t either.
Using our search, filter, and sort technology means that you are just clicks away from finding the most relevant, narrowed down set of search responses. Instead of 50 million results, you may only have 20, with the ability to refine even further by using filters like population, location and document type, all without having the clutter of advertising mixed-in with your results.
Using the same municipal search term with a regular search engine can produce over 50 million results. The top of the results are paid advertisements. As you look down the list you are left with endless sifting, comparable to finding a needle in the haystack!
Plans and Prices
No. We allow our members to pay on a sliding scale based on population. This way we feel that smaller municipalities are given a break on the price because they will naturally have fewer users.
Alternatively, larger municipalities pay more because they will have more active users in the system. BoxOfDocs can be used by very small municipalities (in some cases with 1-3 employees) to very large municipalities, across many departments. There’s no seat limit, unless you choose to set a seat limit for your own organization.
No. Our Premium Membership includes all of the features and benefits that we have built within the current offering.
We are always working with our members to identify future add-ins and improvements that will make BoxOfDocs even better. It’s possible that we may uncover another game-changing approach to how we do things, but rest easy, you won’t be charged anything more than what you signed up for. When the time comes to offer clients more, we will always give the option to try before you buy so that you can decide whether new features suit your plans.
After you have completed a Premium Trial and decide, for whatever reason, you don’t want to continue to use Premium, you and your team will be automatically converted to a Basic Membership.
BoxOfDocs Basic Membership members have limited access to the best of BoxOfDocs Premium features, just enough to give you a small taste of how efficient our search, filter, and sort features can be.
For example, access is limited to only about 10% of Premium BoxOfDocs content and many of the time-saving features like Quick Searches, Peer Searches and Saved History.
BoxOfDocs Premium Members have an all-access pass to documents and features that eliminate the overwhelming frustrations that come with searching the web for solutions that fit your organization.
This means that you have access to:
Quick searches – one-click searches of specific document types and categories.
Peer searches – see what’s happening in the towns and cities that you most frequently want to know about
Saved search history – keep a record of the work that you’ve done and refer to it without having to start from scratch.
Access to the entire BoxOfDocs data set, which is growing every single day.
Part of a community with monthly tips and updates.
No. The number of staff that use BoxOfDocs is up to you!
An Individual Membership includes all of the features of a Premium Membership with the exception of access to private documents (offline documents that we acquire from municipalities through data sharing agreements we have in place). This ensures that data is protected, as agreed upon with our partners and as required under access to information legislation.
All publicly available documents are included in Individual Memberships, but some proprietary documents may not be accessible.
Using Our Products and Services
BoxOfDocs has easy-to-meet minimum requirements. We recommend that you are using Windows X* with Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Safari IOS X* with the latest browser version to ensure the best possible experience.
While we know that some of our users may be using other browsers or versions of those browsers, we can’t guarantee that you will have the same high-quality experience using older browsers. If you find yourself seeing a spinning wheel or hourglass, it’s usually a sign that it is time to upgrade your browser.
BOD is an online web platform that works on all web browsers such as Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari. We support Windows, Apple and Android operating systems.
The search function works like almost any other search engine, with one exception – it’s industry specific. You won’t find advertising or millions of results, just municipal documents.
When you search, filter & sort, you eliminate an incredible number of irrelevant results.
Simple search relies on keyword entry that produces millions of results and paid advertising. When you can add a filter by geography, population, peer groups and document types, you are able to quickly limit results while also increasing the quality of those results.
When you add an additional sort function to results that are already filtered, the quality of your results improves even more. The end product is the best quality documents in a nice tight package.
Our servers are secure and cloud-hosted in multiple locations to guarantee that you will be up and running 99.8% of the time.
Our document count grows as we add additional resources to expand the number of documents in our Premium database. We can add thousands of documents each week and as we build on our resources, that number will continue to grow by leaps and bounds.
Our current document count is shown on our home page.
If you see a “spinning wheel” or an hourglass that won’t stop turning, there’s a good chance that you are using an older browser version. The easiest way (if your enterprise IT staff have you locked-in to an old version) is to get the latest version of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Safari (for IOS).
If this doesn’t resolve your issue, contact us and we will walk you through your issue towards a better experience.
Yes. One of the great things about sharing both publicly available documents and private documents is that it may help you to meet your open data sharing goals as an organization.
Many municipalities are working diligently to provide open data sets to the public (and their municipal colleagues around the world) so that they can save the time and energy that it takes to send information manually via email or using other means (yes – even hard copies, believe it or not).
At BoxOfDocs, we want to make the business of sharing information easy. We would love to work with you to share a Dropbox, Google Drive, or One Drive cloud link, or any other ways that are easy for you to contribute.
Once you’ve shared your data, it is revisited regularly and kept current. As a member of the BoxOfDocs community, you do not have to maintain data sets from data that you have collected from other sources in the past.
That’s up to you. Google Drive, Microsoft One Drive and Dropbox are a few that you may use.
Publicly facing documents are currently the easiest to share. Once we have your permission to load your publicly facing documents (you need to give us consent), we can also have a conversation about connecting to other documents that would help your fellow BoxOfDocs Members.
After that, we can schedule regular visits back to your website (using machine learning) to see if your documents have changed. If they have, we replace what was previously in our collection with the most current/relevant documents that you have available. If you haven’t updated your documents on your website in awhile, nothing will change on our end.
Once you are logged-in to your BoxOfDocs Administrator account (make sure that you are the administrator, if not, talk to your administrator to gain access).
Within the “Accounts” drop-down menu at the top, click the “User Accounts” option. Then, in the top right, click the red “New Account” button.
Once you have clicked on the button, you will be prompted to add the new user’s details (which also allows you to select the type of user (user or administrator).
Watch our “Add a Municipal Account User” video here
Yes. We recommend that you have at least two administrators so that you have a back-up in case one of you is not available at some time in the future. You can add as many administrators as you like.
Administrators are responsible for setting up the accounts of the users within your organization by designating users’ role (User or Administrator), email address, username, and level of access.