Team communication

I’m a GTA for a lab section of a neuroscience course. We have the same issues as other teams, perhaps not as bad, but you all know the drill, mail, text, Dropbox, etc. all vying for your attention. Things become difficult to find, etc.
Slack kind of becomes a dumpster for messages, like texts, but more so, and people don’t generally adopt it too well, in my experience.
I was looking at Twistapp, from Doist, and it seems more organized and conducive to communication. I also like that it is developed with the idea that people aren’t going to be at its (and your) beck and call day and night. Problem is, messages aren’t available after a month, and that might be an issue. I don’t see the school paying for our subscriptions, plus it’s untested, and people might reject it too.
Anyone have any low cost, or no cost solutions?

I think before introducing another tool, it would be worth discussing with your colleagues what the issues are with the existing ones and figuring out what to do from there. If you already have an adoption issue with one tool, chances are you’ll have the same issue with the next, and the next, and the…

Trying to solve a cultural issue solo rather than as a community is very unlikely to give you the results you’re seeking.


You’re absolutely right. We haven’t tried Slack, I was just stating past experience. We’re still at the email / text stage, which is what we used last semester (largely a different team). Just looking for options that might help.

Have you looked at something like Asana? It’s a project management tool but handles internal communication as well. I’ve seen great results where companies use this as the main “ecosystem” for managing and communicating about work.


We’ve been on Slack for over a year at work, and it has been game-changing as far as keeping people in the loop, and keeping us out of email. We established some rules of the road, like all the funny stuff goes in random, and there are some groups devoted just to teams, while other channels anyone can join. We have to triage production issues in software and customer issues in general, so Slack has speeded everything up for us. There are a few laggards that still want to live in Exchange with its terrible search capabilities, but 95% of the team is happy in Slack.

I agree with the others that your colleagues need to be on board and active participants in improving communication.

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As an instructor who has imposed used both Slack and Twist in classes I have taught, all I can say from my experience is that the silent majority will not use it and the vocal minority will hate it; ergo, they are losing propositions.

I second @sylumer’s suggestion of discussing, in person, first what the problem(s) is(are) and ask for suggestions from the group. They may want something you don’t, but that always beats setting up something they won’t use.

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Basecamp is free for teachers to use in their classrooms, and I love it.


We use Telegram after I pushed Slack and it didn’t go down well. Telegram is like WhatsApp but cleaner and can be used on iPad as well.

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