How Talko uses iDoneThis + Slack + Talko for great daily standup meetings

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By Blake Thorne


Building the future of communication requires a whole lot of — you guessed it — communication.

Especially when the team is spread out across three cities and two time zones.

Talko is a tool for holding one-on-one and team calls wherever you are. It’s designed to work great while mobile, including in and across highly variable mobile networks. The calls can be recorded, tagged and interjected with photos during the call. The whole call and supporting data is then stored and can be easily searched or shared. The company was founded by former Microsoft Chief Architect Ray Ozzie along with Matt Pope, who heads up product, and Eric Patey, who heads up engineering.

When the team at Talko gets together for their daily standup meeting, they turn to three tools to get the job done: Talko, iDoneThis and Slack.

Or as the Talko team wrote in a recent blog post on Medium:

“We use iDoneThis to log what each team member has done and will do. We’ve used and loved it for years now. By the time we do standup, we know that everyone has seen ‘just the facts’ regarding dones and to-dos. So we focus our standup time exclusively on issues, blockers or questions. It’s efficient.”

Talko is made up of 11 people, with about half in Boston and the rest divided between San Fransisco and Seattle.

Here’s how a Talko daily standup happens

1. The team’s Slack account is integrated with both iDoneThis and Talko. Both integrations are easy to set up. Here are some helpful links to get started:

How to integrate Slack + iDoneThistalko-slack
How to integrate Slack + Talko 

2. Team members all along have been recording what they’ve accomplished in a #dones channel in Slack. Or if someone prefers to log a Done through email or the iDoneThis web app, those Dones automatically feed into the Slack #dones channel.

3. Every morning, the team starts a new Talko call from Slack by typing the /talko command in the #dones channel. Everyone’s mobile device rings and they can answer wherever works for them, whether it’s on their computer or phone.

4. With their Dones recorded, the team’s valuable time together is spent discussing issues, blockers or questions.

How the Talko + iDoneThis + Slack system makes for a better daily standup

This system has dramatically improved Talko’s daily standup, one that is hyper-efficient and “focuses near-exclusively on the things that matter,” Pope said.idonethis-slack1

Conversations can focus on issues, blockers and open questions rather than “I did x/y/x,” he added.

Also, having the meeting recorded on Talko and logged into the #dones channel on Slack means members who are unavailable can catch up with the meeting asynchronously.

And when standups are just a rote recital of what someone’s working on, people tend to lose focus. That information is still important, but it can be written out and digested ahead of time via the #dones channel.

When it’s time to get everyone together, they can focus on what really matters.

The result: a better daily standup.


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