How Twist makes teamwork calmer and more focused

Teamwork is an essential part of achieving great things, but it’s not as easy as just getting people in a room. When working with a team, we have to do more than cross our fingers and hope our team will figure out an efficient way to balance email, real-time chat, project management tools and meetings. In fact, this type of wishful thinking often leaves teams unproductive and disorganized.

Here’s why:

  • Email is archaic and keeps team communication locked in private, disjointed inboxes.
  • Real-time group chat is distracting and makes keeping track of important conversations and data nearly impossible.
  • Project management tools often lack compelling ways to communicate between team members.
  • Meetings often become the only collaboration sessions among the team. Teammates need more space to discuss and collaborate, rather than just a few times per month.

This is why we created Twist. We wanted to solve these team communication problems and we feel that we’re on the right track. The Doist team consists of more than 100 people in over 30 countries and has been able to work in a calm, organized and productive way since we switched to Twist from Slack and email in 2015.

With that experience in mind, here’s how Twist compares to other teamwork alternatives, and why using Twist will help your team work better together.

Twist vs Group chats

Group chats are fast and fragmented. It’s difficult to know what’s been discussed in which context and where. Conversations– which are sometimes held across multiple messaging apps– move on without you unless you’re constantly checking your notifications.

In Twist, team members organize their discussions by topic. This means that conversation threads only contain the relevant people and allow for focused conversations.

Because communication in Twist is asynchronous, users don’t feel the need to respond right away. There are no “online” or “offline” status indicators and teammates know that they can take their time to come up with a thoughtful response, instead of feeling pressured to respond right now.

Twist vs Email

While email can be useful for smaller conversations, it isn't as effective for teamwork. For instance, important team discussions are often hard to find later on. The email thread gets buried over time and it isn't accessible by people who are not in the original thread.

Later, when another teammate needs to find the information, they need to ask the original email's authors to forward it over. The newcomer then has no way to join the conversation in a natural way: They would have to reply-all, even though they were not a part of the original conversation. Finally, since email is rarely well organized, it takes a lot of searching to find what you're looking for. 

With Twist, everyone can view conversations as they unfold, and respond on their own time. Conversations are public by default, so new teammates can easily join Twist and catch up on all the team’s important discussions. No more forwarding lengthy email chains.

Twist is a shared place for all your team’s communication– your team can easily stay up-to-date and everyone can find the information they need without having to ask around.

Twist vs Meetings

Meetings can be useful, but they often aren’t. You pull a bunch of people away from work to discuss issues in person that, afterwards, need to be typed up and distributed. Usually, another discussion gets tagged onto the “meeting minutes” email thread, making organization an even more daunting task.

Twist is a perfect way to have those conversations. Raise the issues, discuss them thoughtfully and come to a conclusion right there in the thread. It’s easily accessible later by anyone who’s interested and can be revisited if you want to change your decision days, weeks, months or even years later.

Twist Teamwork Tips

Here are a few more tips for using Twist for calmer, more focused teamwork:

  • Create a “Weekly update” thread so that your team can post a short message about what they worked on last week, and what their plans are for the upcoming week.
  • The General channel can be a useful place for threads that pertain to the whole team, such as important HR announcements like welcoming new team members, big picture messages like quarterly updates, or important announcements like new partnerships.
  • When you want to have a casual, short-term conversation with one or a handful of people you can use messages. This way, you only notify the people with whom you need to speak, rather than the whole team. A general rule is that if the message is sent to 3+ people, it’s best to post a thread.
  • At Doist, we encourage people to logout of Twist when they’re on vacation or away. We believe strongly in balancing work and free time, and we’ve designed the app so that it’s easy to disconnect and recharge. Read more about our work-life balance philosophy.
  • Share inspiration and ideas about deep work with your team. It’s easy to think that you’re working hard when you spend 8 hours connected to a group chat room, but solving complex problems and moving projects forward requires undivided focus. Twist is just one piece of that puzzle.

We hope that using Twist will inspire your team to have calmer, more organized and more productive teamwork.

If you’re interested in hearing more about how Twist can work for your team, please feel free to contact us at feedback@twist.com.