Zenchat by Zenkit Finds Balance Communication & Task Management

Tuesday, December 8, 2020
Michael Zunenshine
SHARE:

Zenkit is in the news again after dropping its latest application on the work SaaS scene: Zenchat. The powerful but straightforward idea behind Zenchat is to harmonize communication and task management tools.

Beyond Base and To Do

Zenkit has been around as an idea since 2014, though at first, it was just an application builder. Then in 2016, Zenkit got reborn as a more robust project management platform. Eventually, Zenkit split into its two main products: To Do was the “super simple task management” platform, while Base was the more robust project management solution.

But the team at Zenkit still felt something was missing in their approach. Communication seemed to be always outside this closed loop of to-dos, tasks, and projects. Some teams would be using separate platforms, causing annoying app juggling, or worse, disorganized message threads.

The problem here was that any communication was always separated from the relevant task or project by some degrees. Otherwise, chat platforms could be hard to navigate with too many task notes inserted here and there. 

So the minds at Zenkit got to work to think through this chat vs. task dichotomy. At first, they assumed a standard fusion of the two into one platform would be about a fifty-fifty split. Half chat tools and half task/project management. But that felt… well… unnatural.

Tilting the scales towards talking

Think of it: When working, are you spending half your time communicating and the other half checking off to-do lists and moving task cards through your workflows? Nope. Not at all. There’s way more communicating going on.

“We thought it was 50–50. Boy, were we wrong,” says As Peter Oehler, COO of Zenkit. “If you watch the people around you, it’s more like 90–10, or even 99–1. Humans are naturally inclined to chat. To communicate. It holds most of our attention, and it’s a habit that sticks with us not only in our private lives, but at work too.” 

So there you have it. Zenchat is the communication platform with just the right amount of task management built in. It lets teams communicate freely, create and manage tasks directly from chat messages, and makes it easy to tie all relevant communications to their specific tasks and projects.

The Zenchat feature rollout

Contacts and convos

For those already using Zenkit, all your contacts will be automatically brought into Zenchat. To add more contacts is as simple as sending someone an email inviting them to join.

From there, Zenchat feels like a standard messaging app. You can easily have your 1:1 tête-à-têtes with anyone on your list. And creating group chats is as simple as picking a name for the group and inviting members.

Tasks and projects

For more productivity, you can make “Project chats.” This is how you can use Zenchat with other Zenkit apps. You can connect a group chat to a Base project or To Do list of tasks. This way, all communication in the chat will also be stored along with the tasks and projects discussed. With Base and To Do you can sync up your messages with tools like Kanban boards and Gantt charts.

Instant items on a to-do list

One great feature of Zenchat is this: If during a chat, something is mentioned along the lines of something that needs to get done, you could create that new task from right within the messaging.

For example, a team is having a chat about an upcoming marketing campaign to go out to users in the southern states. Someone mentions that they should translate the marketing content into Spanish as well. A task is made with a few clicks that says “Translate text into Spanish” and now that task is part of your to-do list.

And once a task is created, you can quickly edit it, assign it to a team member, give it a due date, or add any other related notes to it.

Dedicated task topics

You can also pop out of a general chat where a task is mentioned, to create a new special chat thread dedicated to the topic of that task. This can remove all the extra messages about a specific task from a more general chat thread, leaving the original chat uncluttered.

Likewise, you can create a chat thread for Zenchat while using Base or To Do. If any task there starts to require more discussion, a few simple clicks migrate all the communications to a task-specific chat back in Zenchat.

Perspectives

At any point, you can get a bird’s-eye-view of all your chats related to tasks and topics. This can be a large overview of everything going on, or you can zero in on chats and topics only related to your tasks on your to do list. It’s also simple to store and search through these chats to refer to them again later.

Keeping the convo going no matter what

It’s getting a bit tiresome to write about today’s situation with the standard opening: “in these trying times of COVID-19…” But the truth is, the way we work has undergone some changes, and we’re not all going to return to the old system any time soon.

Of course, we’re talking about working remotely and working from home. Now that we don’t have the joys of shared water coolers and group lunch outings, it’s going to require a little extra effort to remain a team.

Thankfully, that extra effort comes in the form of new tools, like Zenchat. 

And it’s not only about keeping up with your workmates, but more importantly, making sure that chatting doesn’t interfere with working and gettin’ er done. On the other hand, we’ve got to make sure our tasks and responsibilities don’t get lost in all that talk.

That perfect balance between working and communicating has been struck by Zenchat.

SHARE: