Welcome back to New App Fridays! Every week I review an app and share my thoughts.
This week, we Twist
When I first read about this week’s new app, Twist, my interest was immediately piqued. An app from the same people who made Todoist, my go to task manager, and something other than Slack? Yes, please.
I had long been a fan of Slack, mainly because I hate email. Slack had gotten a little clunky for me, though. And while Slack IS easy to use, I found many people were intimidated by it. It was hard to convert others to using it. If people can’t use something with little to no training, they’ll return to what they know – emails, texts, and Facebook.
I’m an admin for a local grassroots group, and we use a secret Facebook group to communicate and plan events. In all fairness, I *hate* Facebook, but I understand its a necessary evil. For event planning though, it’s a personal nightmare for those of us who are Type A and/or Anti-Facebook. When I read about Twist, I felt a twinge of hope that THIS service may just be the ticket to converting my fellow group members to get off Facebook and into an efficient app that didn’t intimidate anyone and was widely available.
I convinced two fellow group members to join Twist as a trial run for an upcoming event, and decided we would evaluate and roll it out to the group. One of my team members has designated herself as the “if I can do it the rest of the group can too” evaluator.
We were not disappointed.
Twist has a free version that fits our needs, and they also offer a paid tier if you’re looking for more. For this post and our needs, we stuck with the free version.
EASE OF SET-UP.
Super simple. Create an account using your Google log-in, then get to work. Download the app to your mobile device, and you’re all set. I did find you have to create an account on your computer or tablet, not in the app. Not ideal, but not a deal-killer.
THE NUTS & BOLTS
Twist is similar to Slack in its general hierarchy – here’s a helpful graphic:
Where Twist SHINES is using threads, though, instead of everything in one channel all willy-nilly. Slack had introduced threads, but the threads were then mixed in with the rest of the messaging, and it was clunky. Twist streamlines this by sticking to threads, THEN comments and files.
We created a few generic channels – General and Reference, then event-specific channels. Let’s take a look at one of our events channels.
I created the event channel using the event name for its title (what a concept!), then I started adding threads – one for the press release draft, one for invites to other groups, another for suggested language for the FB event page, and finally, one for our event graphic. Everything was organized, and everyone was able to review, add feedback, etc. It was organized and easy to find, easy to comment, and it just WORKED. When the event is over, we can archive the channel and keep our workspace open.
Our Reference channel is for things we may often need – for instance, I uploaded a file with our local press contacts. Now, everyone on the team has a place to look when they need that info, and if they have an addition to make or a question about a contact, they can just add a comment. Our General channel is for well, general things. We added a thread for ideas, and we also use this if we get a call that needs team input.
Where does Twist REALLY shine where Slack fell short? The mobile app.
Truth be told, Slack works better on a desktop than its mobile device. The mobile experience for Twist is so user-friendly and simple to use – its not crowded like Facebook, its very easy to use, and it just WORKS.
Actually take a break and snooze notifications. Twist even warns you if you’ve got a team across time zones.
Integration with Todoist
This was the final selling point for me. The Todoist integration is a GAME. CHANGER. If someone posts something that I need to work on, one click and I could add it to my list – even with labels, dates, etc. And, AND – the task appears in Todoist with a link back to Twist for quick reference. Be still, my little geek heart.
Slack Had These, Too
You can also message privately with other team members. This can be helpful for some conversations before they go out to the group, yet keeping them in the same workspace.
You can star threads you’re actively working on to keep them front and center. This, to me, is better than starring channels.
Slack went INSANE with these, but Twist keeps it simple (thumbs up, thumbs down, heart, smile face, laughing face, wow face, sad face, angry face, claps, and confetti). Slack had a million different options, and just giving a simple “okay cool” reaction became a chore.
Take it Wherever You Go
You can use Twist on your phone, computer, the web, etc. You can also snooze notifications, set days off, and more.
Twist has a great Help Center that can practically hold your hand through the entire process, but my “tech-challenged” friend didn’t even have to use it.
If you’re over Slack, or haven’t found it to be the right fit for your team, give Twist a try. We’ll be expanding it out to our other group members soon, and I’ll be pushing any group I’m in to use it. Not only am I keeping the iOS app, I downloaded the Mac app and put it on my iPad. In other words? Twist is definitely a keeper.