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I'm looking for a chat solution that would feature possibly painless, simple task management, for a small team of 2-5 chatty people to manage their day-to-day activities. Each chat message could be marked as belonging to task (or several), tasks get talked about, completed or given some other status. Chat should be filterable to include or exclude tasks and general chatter, so that a "bigger picture" or plain timeline can be easily seen. The chat might contain a lot of irrelevant conversations, not necessarily linked to any tasks to keep them concise.

Cons of plain chat: people have to constantly indicate what they're talking about, if the chat covers several topics at the same time, and confusion is common. Oh, I thought you meant the other thing. Wait, what did we end up on that task, was that done or left hanging?

Cons of typical tasks: separate from chat. Need to open a task, comment there, comments are only seen by people subscribing that task/project, it's not at all easy to "chat" in task comments, let alone speak about two tasks at the same time.

Simple case:

  • [07:21] [Alice] Bob, can you look at the log to see what's going on? [-task created-]
  • [07:34] [Alice] Also, there's this file that needs translating. [-task created-]
  • [08:15] [Bob] Let's see. [-linked to "Bob, can you look..."-] [-status: in progress-]
  • [08:16] [Bob] Also, hello.
  • [08:20] [Charlie] Hey guys, sorry I'm late. On it. [-linked to "Also, there's this file..."-] [-status: in progress-]
  • [08:25] [Bob] Nothing unusual, what's the deal? [-linked to "Bob, can you look..."-] [-status: halted, notify @Alice-]
  • [08:31] [Charlie] There was an error sometime last night. [-linked to "Bob,can you look..."-]
  • [11:21] [Bob] I guess just a glitch, nothing big. [-linked to "Bob, can you look..."-] [-status: closed-]
  • [12:23] [Bob] Do you guys think we could update the graphics on page 3?
  • [12:27] [Alice] You're right, it could use some work, but not now. [-task created, linked to "[Bob] Do you guys think..."-] [-status: backlog-]
  • [13:53] [Charlie] OK, I'm done. What's next? [-linked to "Also, there's this file..."-] [-status: closed-]
  • [14:01] [Bob] You missed one page.
  • [14:02] [Charlie] No, I didn't. It's just missing.
  • [14:03] [Bob] There was a newer version uploaded.
  • [14:05] [Charlie] Ah damn, right.
  • [14:05] [Charlie] It's not my fault it didn't notify me.
  • [14:06] [Bob] Yeah, the notifications are too short.
  • [14:07] [Charlie] :(
  • [14:09] [Bob] [-links "You missed...", "No, I didn't...", "There was..." to task "Also, there's this file..."-]
  • [16:10] [Bob] We could just use this, http://somesite.com/blah [-linked to "[Bob] Do you guys think..."-]
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Slack seems to offer the features you're looking for. Here's a link that describes ways to keep track of todo's.

Additionally Slack can be expanded with integrations, for example Trello and Zapier.

This page shows the possible commands /trello commands, which would cover adding and assigning tasks. However, moving cards to another list requires Zapier.

By the way, I've no affiliation with the mentioned software, I just remember it worked nicely at my previous workplace.

| improve this answer | |
  • Tried that. A dedicated to-do channel is not really handy, and adding icons to tasks isn't really a good substitute for more verbose statuses. Pinning messages only lets you pin single messages without a way to add more chat to them. – Sinus Mackowaty Mar 6 at 14:49

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