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Tips for using Twist with remote teams

Doist is a remote company with over 70 team members in 29 countries. In our journey, we’ve learned a lot about working together across borders and continents. That’s why we designed Twist around asynchronous threads – so that teammates in many different time zones can have calmer, more organized communication. 

Here are a few tips for using Twist with fully remote teams or partially remote teams.

Break the real-time addiction

Your team may have used Slack or other real-time chat apps to get work done in the past. We did too. But since these apps rely on one-line-at-a-time communication it’s difficult to conceptualize big-picture projects. Plus, chats run all day long, making people feel the need to stay constantly connected. This gives teams a sensation of FoMO (Fear of Missing Out) since, if they’re not online, they might miss something important.

That’s why Twist was designed around asynchronous threads. Since all communication in Twist is neatly organized into threads, people can take time to absorb information and respond thoughtfully on their own time.

There’s no online status indicator and no expectation that you have to respond right away. You and your teammates can take your time to write detailed responses without worrying that the conversation will run away from you like it does in group chat.

Twist’s asynchronous model is especially helpful for international teams spread across many time zones. A teammate in Asia can post a thread in the morning, teammates in Europe can add to that thread during the day, and then teammates in the Americas can wake up to an organized, contextual set of topics that they can dedicate time to, one-by-one.

This isn’t possible with real-time communication.

To get your team on-board with the asynchronous mentality, you can lead by example. It’s helpful to start by posting a thread explaining your new, calm, asynchronous approach. Your team may find this to be a breath of fresh air– it can really help boost morale and usher in a more balanced, healthy culture.

You can read more about the benefits of asynchronous communication here.

Replace meetings with status updates

Keeping your whole team in the loop without having meetings (either in-person, or via videoconference) is possible with Twist. Simply create a “Weekly Status” channel where people can post their updates to the team.

With this method, you don’t have to spend time in an often long, often off-topic call. With weekly status threads, you and your teammates can revise each others’ updates when it’s most convenient.

Read more about how to replace meetings with status updates here.

Embrace your General channel and General messages

When you’re working remotely you don’t usually have a lot of “watercooler” conversations (unless you work from a coworking space). Nevertheless, it’s very important to nurture the culture of your remote team by using a “General” channel.

This is where your team can chat casually and share things like links to interesting articles, social announcements (like wishing team members happy birthday), and team photos. For example, in Doist’s General channel, we have a thread called “Where in the world is Doist?” where we share photos of where we are all over the world.

The General channel is an easy way for your teammates to get to know one other, and you may find that it becomes an essential place to discuss big issues and get input from across the team. Read more about your General channel here.

Use emoji and reactions

With a remote team, it’s important to add some personality to your conversations, so we suggest using emoji, GIFs and reactions whenever you can. It’s very simple and a little 👏 goes a long way.

Integrate with a task manager like Todoist

When working remotely, you can’t tap your coworker on the shoulder and ask about their progress with a certain project. That’s why using a team task manager is key.

When using a team task manager, you can easily turn Twist conversations into actionable to-do list items that you can see at a glance. This makes it easy to track progress and identify any gaps that need to be filled in order to reach a goal.

Learn more about how to use Twist and Todoist together.

Want to learn more?

Even though we’re a company with over 10 years of experience working remotely, we still face challenges that are unique to remote teams. 

Over the years we’ve compiled our best tips and tricks to overcoming such challenges in our blog. You’ll get advice on everything to do with remote work; from the big challenges (such as how to manage a remote team) to the small ones (such as tips for how to set up your home office). 

Perhaps you aren’t sure how to set up your workday or maybe you’re a parent who’s not sure how to combine working from home with parenthood. Either way, our Remote Work Guides have got you covered.