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Introducing Chat

Andrew WilkinsonLast Updated: August 31, 2015

A better way to talk at work.

We want to make working together better, and an important part of that is making work more visible. When teams use Flow to plan their projects and follow tasks through to completion, it all happens in a place where everyone on the team can see it.

Open communication leads to great things. Everyone on the team feels more involved, and each person contributes more than they could have if everyone were trying to work on their own. So while we’ve built Flow around tasks, we believe that clear and visible communication is the true, underlying foundation of a happy and productive workplace.

Creating the best way to organize your team’s communication around tasks was our first step, but we know that the valuable conversations we have at work aren’t always about specific tasks. They’re loose conversations about what comes next, and they are happening in all the wrong places.

They take many forms: neverending email CC threads that get buried under a mountain of other email. Meetings that eat up whole afternoons, leaving a gibberish-covered whiteboard. Or maybe in a messaging app, with no clear route to turn decisions into actionable tasks.

No matter where they happen, these conversations almost always improve the work everyone’s doing. Some of the greatest insights happen in unstructured conversations, so we think those conversations deserve the same special treatment we already give to projects and tasks. We want to create a place where everyone can participate and follow along with the key discussions that matter to their work.

Today, we’re excited to launch Chat, a new way to chat with your team, right in Flow. It’s faster than email and meetings, and keeps your team’s communications instantly searchable and accessible to anyone.

With Chat, you can use chat rooms to organize your team’s conversations into topics, like we’ve done here:

We have rooms for ongoing discussions (like HQ, where we share company news), and some for specific, shorter-term projects (like Beta Interviews, where we’ve been sharing the results of a recent beta test).

And naturally, our Flow chat room has become the launchpad for all things Flow: nearly every task we create comes out of a discussion we’re having in this chat room.

And speaking of tasks, that’s where Chat gets really powerful. It’s easy to create tasks right from a chat room or direct message. You just hit tab in the message field, enter a task title, and hit return to create a new task. Best of all, the whole chat room will get notified about the new task right inline in the chat window.

Just like that, you’re done. A conversation inspires a task that will keep things moving forward.

You can also chat with a specific person (or group of people) privately by sending them a direct message. Your teammates can set a status, too, to let everyone know what they’re up to (“Out for lunch, back at 1pm”). No more shoulder taps.

And when you’re actually in the midst of chatting, we made sure that there are plenty of fun ways to get your point across.

There’s message liking, for when you want to show instant appreciation or approval…

…And we’d be remiss if you didn’t get emoji at your disposal. Because emoji is emoji.

There are a ton of ways to use it, but at its core, Chat makes it easy for your team to have conversations about anything—and importantly, those conversations won’t happen behind closed doors, but where everyone can participate.

We think you’re gonna love it, and you can go try it out right now. It’s available now on the web and in our iOS and Android apps.

And by the way, Chat is only the biggest of today’s updates to Flow. We’ve also built a new way to invite your team to Flow (you don’t need to enter a bunch of email addresses anymore), better ways to see who’s on your team and share workspaces, and a brand new way to share projects with guests.

There’s plenty more to come, both with chat and tasks.

Update: Flow has been featured on Product Hunt! They carefully handpick the web’s best new products, so it’s a big honour. We’d love if you’d go check us out.