New App: Improve Team Communication with Flock
Sometimes you need the group's opinion. When you're planning a new project or just trying to figure out the best way to resolve an issue, talking it over with others on your team will help you uncover best practices and find a better solution. And sometimes, you just want to figure out what to order for a team lunch—and need a quick consensus.
Team chat is perfect for those instantaneous communications. Drop a message into a team chat conversation, and everyone can chime in with their ideas. What's tough is separating those replies from the rest of the ongoing conversations—and taking action on the suggestions. It's like shouting in a crowded room, and trying to listen to everything being said at once.
Flock is a team chat app that tries to solve this with a number of built-in productivity tools. At it's core, it's much like the team chat apps you know and love. There are public and private group chats, along with direct messages where you can talk one-on-one with colleagues. There's a built-in Appear.in integration to jump on a quick video call. And there's a Recent Chats list in the sidebar along with search to help you find the conversation you want.
Dig just a bit deeper, though, and you'll find the tools to help you make decisions and act on them. In the top left corner above your chat list, there's a Start a chat button to quickly kick off a new conversation. Type in someone's name to invite them, press Tab, then add someone else to build a quick group. While you're talking, you can chat as normal, or reply directly to someone's message with their original comment shown underneath, forum-style. You can also share your ideas easily with Flock app integrations that let you automatically share files into chats—or that can show a list of files in the sidebar to share into your chat with a tap. Or, write up something new in a longform note with rich text formatting. You can even turn your chat into an email list, with a unique email address and Flock's Mailcast feature to broadcast an email to everyone in that chat team.
Ready to make the decision? Just add a quick poll from the 3-bar icon under your chat box so everyone can chime in. Then, you can add to-dos to the list in the sidebar, assigning tasks to people on your team and setting a due date. Those tasks will be shared in the chat, and will stay in each team member's sidebar for quick reference. And, Flock will remind you of those tasks along with your normal message notifications. And you can close out the chat once you're done—no need to keep a million open chat channels all the time.
It's an easy way to chat with your team, pull together ad hoc teams, and take action on what you discuss all from team chat. And to keep it all from getting overwhelming, there's a Do not Disturb feature to turn off notifications—and let teammates know why you're not answering.
Team chat is a great way to get your coworkers talking and making decisions quickly, without waiting for everyone to check their email inbox. And with Flock, you can turn your conversations into decisions and get work done right from your chat.
Originally published June 28, 2017; updated July 13, 2018 with new pricing and screenshots