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How I Used Twist to Drive Internal Communication

And why Twist is so much better than email

Background photo courtesy of drivencareemap.com

As an entrepreneur who has worked remotely for over 13 years, email was my lifeline. I've typically interacted with clients through some combination of email, video, phone, and text, and I've never thought too deeply about other methods of communication.

I used my regular email account until I decided to build my own website and create an email address at the same domain. It felt so good to make my side hustle "official." So when I started sending and receiving emails from my custom domain, I really felt special!

In August 2017 when co-founders and professional coaches Alicia D. Reece and Valerie Jennings reached out for assistance with the launch of their personal and professional development program, the DRIVEN Career Map, it was no surprise that I defaulted to the primary method of communication I've always used: email.

After our introductory WebEx meeting, I submitted my proposal to them, via email. We exchanged a few more emails clarifying the statement of work including content development, marketing collateral, and PowerPoint decks for each session. They also needed to create a logo and build a website, and they were super excited to launch a pilot cohort in January 2018.

Valerie Jennings (left) Alicia D. Reece (right)

DRIVEN Career Map co-founders Valerie Jennings (left) Alicia D. Reece (right)

I love reconstructing business challenges into customized solutions that fit my client's needs. Alicia and Val chose me to help them navigate through the initial phases of building their brand. They trusted me with the DRIVEN vision, and I was confident that I could make it a reality.

However, after about 3 months of emails flying back and forth, I wasn't so confident that email was the best method of internal communication

Email Limitations

I've worked with numerous clients 1:1 over the years. However, in this case, I was working with two clients in two different time zones, so there was more back and forth communication.

There were so many moving parts in the initial stages. We needed to solidify the look and feel of the brand, logo, images, and typography. We had frequent touch points to make sure that we were all on the same page and that the project was heading in the right direction.

We leveraged Google drive to share documents, but we still returned to email to share our thoughts. This didn't seem to be very efficient. I wanted to make our conversations more organized and productive, stay on track with assignments, and keep everyone informed. I began to realize that email was just not cut out for the types of conversations we wanted to have around this project.

I started to search for solutions, and that's when I discovered Twist.

Discovering Twist

I was familiar with project management tools like Basecamp, Asana, and Trello. And as a member of the Remotive Slack community, I considered Slack for internal communication as well. But I wanted to do some research before I presented a solution.

It was important for me to find a product that:

  • Didn't come with a huge learning curve. I wanted to facilitate smoother communication without being a burden to the team.
  • Was compatible with both Windows and MacOS, and had mobile capability for Apple and Android. Ease of use and ability to check in on the go was critical.
  • Felt more asynchronous versus a real-time messaging app. Time zone differences can be challenging, and launches can be stressful. I wanted our communication to be calm, and I didn't want the team to feel like they would miss any important details if they weren't logged in 24/7. 

Since I was already a huge fan of Doist, the makers of Todoist, when I realized that they'd also built a team communication app, I knew that I had to check it out.

In my research, I found some super helpful content that compared the advantages of Twist with the disadvantages of email and Slack. These articles really helped me solidify my decision.

After I decided to try Twist, I knew my search was over.

How Twist Works

From the moment we started using Twist, I felt a shift in our communication as well as my confidence to help drive the project forward. I posted Twist's built-in welcome message to the #General channel -- the default channel that comes with the creation of your first team -- complete with a short how-to video and product guide to help everyone get acclimated.

How Twist Works - welcome message from Twist

Welcome message in Twist. For illustrative purposes.

With so many moving parts, I felt like our communication immediately became much more streamlined. I was no longer scrolling through long email chains to find documents and comments. And I didn't have to search my entire inbox for a message if I couldn't find it in the proper folder.

Now all of our documents and conversations were living under one roof! And I was able to drive the project moved forward in a smooth and organized way.

Here are some of my favorite Twist features:

Organize with threads

Easily one of the coolest, stand out features about Twist is the ability to turn channels into organized threads.

While conversations can be collapsed in an email, so much of the information is buried within the message. Not with Twist. Everything is clearly visible and neatly organized.

Threads keep conversations organized within each channel.

Multiple threads under one channel in Twist. For illustrative purposes.

We seamlessly moved from one iteration to the next until we firmed up exactly how we wanted the 1-page marketing document to represent the program. Twist threads allowed us to have open conversations around content development that helped moved the project forward.

Categorize your channels

By default, Twist channels are set to display in descending, alphabetical order. However, there is a way to categorize channels in a different order, if that's what you prefer.

With this project, each letter of the DRIVEN acronym spoke to a different aspect of the program. So I created a channel experience that reflected our workflow.

By adding a number just before the channel title, I moved the channels out of alphabetical order and into the sequence that I wanted to display for this project.

Here's a short video that shows you exactly how it's done:

Twist mobile

The Twist mobile app made it really easy to stay connected on the go. From in-app messaging, and inbox thread overview, to our friendly neighborhood bot, Ada, who was always there to answer questions, it was easy to keep everyone connected and informed.

Twist mobile view. For illustrative purposes.

Successful launch

The DRIVEN Career Map launch was a huge success! And I know that we couldn't have done it without Twist. Even after the launch, we continued to use Twist as our primary method of communication to track revisions and expand on content development.

I was so excited about Twist's impact on our communication that I mentioned them in a Tweet that was featured in their end of the year newsletter!

The original Tweet was accidentally deleted (oops!) but you can find a screenshot here.

Twist definitely helped me drive internal communication forward and set the DRIVEN Career Map on the road to success.

Is Twist right for you?

If you're looking for a way to amplify internal communication, organize your project(s), and have more meaningful conversations with your team, then yes, I would definitely say that you should try Twist!

Kudos to Amir Salihefendic (the Founder & remote-first CEO of Doist, the company behind Todoist and TwistAppTeam) and the entire team for making such and amazing product that is re-imagining the way remote teams work every day.

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