How to organize your channels and threads

When collaborating on a project, your whole team needs to be able to easily find the relevant information and conversations. Channels and threads are a perfect way to keep your discussions organized, browsable, and findable. But it's important to name and organize them clearly, so the entire team can find what they need quickly.

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach. To start, try organizing your channels by project, team, topic, time, or client. Here's how: 

Project-based channels

Creating channels for every project allows you to have a specific place for each working group in your organization. Teammates will easily be able to understand the channel setup and find the channels and threads that are important to their day-to-day work.

For instance, at Doist we have several channels for the various projects related to Twist. Each channel contains the app name (Twist or Todoist) and the team name (Relaunch or Keyboard Support). We also use the same color for all Twist threads and another for all Todoist threads, to allow for quick scanning. That means all these channels are grouped together and are visually recognizable from other projects (like Twist Inbox Update or Todoist Templates).

When you create a new channel, it’s a good idea to let people know by posting and pinning an introductory thread where you explain the goals of the channel. After that, any team member can start threads on any topic and notify relevant team members. (See tips on naming threads below).

As your team grows, it’s helpful to create a channel guide that explains how to create channels, naming conventions, and colors. It’ll help keep your company-wide workspace organized.

Team-based channels

You can also create channels based on specific teams within an organization. This gives each team a space to discuss ideas, share inspiration, or make smaller, one-off decisions. In short, anything that isn't connected to any specific project yet.

A few good examples might be channels for your design, marketing, or finance teams.

An idea that starts in a thread might turn into a project. At that point, you can create a new project-based channel and move the original thread to the new channel to keep all the relevant information in one place.

Topic-based channels

You can create channels based on a single broad topic like Coding Best Practices, Languages, or Education.

Topic-based channels are useful for company-wide socializing around a theme or discussing a topic of broad interest to the entire team. Feel free to experiment with topic-based channels to see what works best for you.

Time-based channels

You can create channels based on time, such as August Client Work, September Agile Cycle, or First Quarter Plans.

This is great if you are in a time-sensitive workplace, like an accounting firm or a software company. You can keep conversations completely separate for different time frames.

Client-based channels

If you are a client-facing organization, you have a few options on how to build channels so you can manage each of your clients. You can use just the client name and break out each team (like Sales and Marketing) in individual threads.

Or try the project method above, but just on a per-client basis, for clients that require many moving parts. For instance, if your client is named ABC, you could have channels like ABC Accounts, ABC Proj Mgmt, and ABC Sales. You can choose red for their color and they will show up together.

General tips for naming your channels

  • Channels are listed alphabetically. This is good to keep in mind when determining how you’ll name your channels. You can use preceding words like Finance or Client to group channels together.
  • If you organize your channels by time, you can precede the title with the timeframe for the project. For example, if you have a quarter three design project, the channel could be named Q3 | Design Project. That way, additional channels related to Q3 will show up together in alphabetical order.
  • You can organize your channel list further with color-coding. This is useful to help visually distinguish groups of channels. For instance, our Todoist channels are red and our Twist channels are blue. This makes it easy to find what you’re looking for at a quick glance.
  • Keep your channel names short and still provide plenty of context with channel descriptions. Learn more.

Organizing your threads

Once you’ve set up your channels, it’s time to get to work and start conversations within them (remember that it's a good idea to have one thread for each topic). Here’s some basic information about threads and some tips for naming them.

Tips for naming your threads

  • Keep important keywords near the start of the thread’s subject line. This makes it easy for users to understand the topic at a glance. It’s especially useful on mobile devices where titles are often shortened due to the limited screen size.
  • You can use square brackets ([ ]) as a way of distinguishing thread subjects. For example, at Doist, we use them when identifying whether a thread is about the macOS version or the Windows version of the Todoist app ([macOS] Development and [Windows] Changelogs).
  • Go ahead and use emoji in thread titles. They're especially useful when announcing a victory. 😀👏🎉

Here are some other key articles about channels and threads in Twist.