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Todoist's Slack competitor is for people who hate constant notifications

A new team communication app called Twist has a way for people to get more done at work: fewer notifications.

Created by Doist, the team behind productivity app Todoist, Twist’s biggest differentiator is that it’s based on asynchronous communication. With an interface that feels more like a message board, Twist has channels, which then contain threaded conversations underneath. The threads are meant to encourage in-depth conversations versus one-line interactions, and every response in a thread can be set to notify the entire group, or only certain people. All notifications are centralized, and appear in the Inbox, located in the top left.


Twist communication tool

Image: Doist

Twist, which launched in beta in January and opened to public today, also does away with an online presence indicator altogether. Online presence indicators, says Doist, become an expectation tool — when you see a teammate online, an immediate response is anticipated. Likewise, if a teammate is not online, a person is more likely to postpone sending non-imperative information.

The company believes that without an online presence indicator, the act of messaging functions rather differently. While it admits that conversations happen over a slower period of time, Doist wants Twist to encourage more “real work” by not distracting people with scattered pings and real-time messaging.

The company says it drew inspiration from initiatives like Time Well Spent, “a non-profit movement to reclaim our minds from the race for attention,” and best-seller Deep Work, which says that people are “spending their days instead in a frantic blur of email and social media, not even realizing there’s a better way.” In other words, Twist has devised a way for people to mindfully disconnect, which Doist says allows for deeper work and more meaningful interactions when teammates check in.

With everyone trying to one-up Slack (which now boasts about 5 million daily users) by focusing on real-time accessibility, Twist’s approach is certainly nonconforming, but could be useful for large-scale projects or remote teams.

If you’re interested, the platform is free, with a couple caveats, like only one month of archived and searchable messages. The Unlimited tier costs $6 per user per month if paid monthly, or $5 per user per month if paid annually, and includes unlimited archives, file storage, and app or service integrations.


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