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Take Control of Your Notifications Like Never Before

Mark NicholsLast Updated: July 8, 2016

Focus on your tasks, or collaborate with your team? With our all-new notifications upgrades, the power is totally in your hands.

We understand that most of the time, you need to closely follow your team’s updates. At other times, though, you just need to focus on your work and tune out notifications. Our goal with this big, big update is simple: we want to give you more control over how much you’re bothered by Flow while you’re trying to do your work.

If you want to receive more notifications, you can. If you want to receive fewer or none (get ready for the magic of Focus Mode), you now have that option. These new changes give you ideal flexibility both ways.

There’s lots to cover, so let’s get into it. Here’s what’s new:

Focus Mode

These days, we’re overloaded with notifications—to the point where it’s a daily struggle just to do our jobs. When we’re always being digitally nudged and prodded, where do we go to actually get stuff done and focus on a single task?

That’s the centrepiece of this big notifications update: an amazing new feature called Focus Mode, which lets you mute all incoming Flow notifications for a chosen amount of time.

Consider Focus Mode a break from the distractions that come with working alongside a busy team. It’s a polite way of saying, “I need to go and get some stuff done right now, so please don’t bother me.” And best of all, it’s incredibly easy to use. Hit the switch, select an amount of time to focus, and get to work. That’s it.

While you’re in Focus Mode, we’ll save up your Flow notifications for you, and you’ll receive them when you come back.

Your status will change while you’re in Focus Mode to this…

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…and if someone still tries to contact you in Chat while you’re focusing, they’ll get a friendly message telling them that you’re busy right now, and that you’ll be back soon:

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For anyone who has felt the sting of having a mountain of tasks and no place to get them done, Focus Mode is a life saver.

All new desktop and email notification preferences

At the top level, we wanted to give you more granular notifications over what you’re notified about while you’re trying to focus on your work. So behold: your new notifications preferences screen, accessed by clicking the bell (where you read your notifications), and then hitting the gear icon.

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Here, you can exercise serious control over what you’re notified about on your desktop and via email. You can even choose to be notified of nothing, if you want. That, my friend, is up to you.

Updated iOS notification settings

Since you’re exercising such rigorous control over your notifications on the web, it only makes sense that we’d give you the same control over push notifications on your phone, too.

In both the Tasks and Chat apps, you can now control the types of push notifications you’ll receive on your device. And of course, Focus Mode can be turned on from both apps.

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Smarter bell notifications

Here’s a big point of frustration that we were very happy to fix.

Let’s say you had two new notifications to review.

Previously, the moment you clicked that bell, the badge would disappear… before you’d had a chance to review each notification individually. Flow would figure you’d just seen them all, and didn’t need to remember what was new or not. That wasn’t very helpful at all.

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Now, you’ll be able to carefully review each of your notifications—and your badge count will only be reduced when you click the notification and check out what’s new.

Conversely, if you just want to give them a quick scan and clear the notifications, click “Clear all” and you’ll be home free.

Chat room settings

If your team’s Chat is anything like ours, there’s a constant stream of activity in the ‘Cats’ chat room, and an equally steady (but more relevant to work) stream in the ‘Product’ chat room. Well, if you wanted to mute the ‘Cats’ out of your life for a while, you can. You can also increase or decrease the amount of notifications—email or desktop—you’ll receive from that chat room.

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You’ve told your dear co-workers who are flooding your notifications with cats to take a hike for the last time. Rejoice!

A new ‘split badge’ in the chat sidebar

Chat rooms now have a nifty split badge. It’s a badge cut right down the middle, which you’ll see only when you’ve chosen to be notified of ‘All chat activity’ in a chat room.

On one side of the split badge, you’ll see the total number of messages to get caught up on; on the other, you’ll see the number of mentions that need your attention:

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Mentions on the left, total number of new messages on the right. It’s a smart way of knowing not just which chat rooms are the highest traffic, but which really, really require your attention first.

Reducing push notifications

Previously, the amount of push notifications we were sending was a little overwhelming. You used to get them for everything, but now we fine-tuned them so that you’ll only receive notifications for the most important stuff.

Reducing email notifications

Many of you receive notifications about your tasks and chats via email. But much like with push notifications, this could very quickly become overwhelming—especially with a busy team.

The problem? Flow would send you those email notifications immediately, regardless of whether you were offline in Flow or not. Now, email notifications will only be sent when you’re idle or offline in Flow. And better still, they’ll be grouped together to reduce the sheer number of emails that we’re sending your way.

Like notifications!

You’ll get a notification when someone likes one of your comments! Because really, who doesn’t enjoy seeing that their comment was worthy of a like?


Well, there you have it. This suite of updates to how you control notifications in Flow should make it easier to manage the sheer amount of information coming at you in Flow. Now, you can see more notifications when you want to collaborate with your team—and when you’re ready to dig in, you can switch on Focus Mode and focus intently on a specific task.

Focus on your tasks, or work with your team: it’s always been up to you, but now, it’s 100% under your control.

Enjoy!