Fundamentally, C O M T I F Y uses
Threads as a basic form of communication. A thread is basically a chain of messages, grouped by subject of that thread - resembles closely an email chain or a thread. See how communication happens in a
thread, with messages pouring in:
As you land on C O M T I F Y's web app, you will see three tabs right in front of you -
Shares. Each of these tabs has a specific purpose: Discussions, Task Management and Knowledge sharing, respectively.
Tabs just represent the form in which threads are visible - in threads form in
Threads tab, in tasks form in
Tasks tab and in shares form in
Shares tab. So the basic thread remains the same and only the interface of it differs under each tab.
Hashtags are basically a means of grouping multiple threads (which can lie in different tabs) and are used mostly as projects. Hashtags are also used for super-charging threads, as you will see ahead.
So the hierarchy goes like: Hashtags >> Tabs >> Threads >> Messages
Threads tab for general discussions. For one particular issue / topic, create one thread. This is just like you discuss issues over email chains. A particular thread will only be visible to users tagged in To and cc in that thread (and, of course, to the user who has started that thread).
Once an issue is discussed in a thread and is now to be lined up for execution, you would have conventionally logged it into JIRA or your bug tracking tool. Not anymore! You can drag the same thread into the
Tasks tab to achieve the same objective. When you do this, same thread will now be visible in the form of an excel sheet and expands when row of that task is clicked, showing the comment chain:
Similarly, share knowledge in
Shares tab. Once it is decided that it is to be discussed or executed, drag it to the
Threads tab or directly to the
As you would notice ahead, Threads, Tasks and Shares can be grouped into projects, also known as hashtags.
Let's dive deeper into different components of C O M T I F Y and how they make your life easy.
Each thread (in any tab) has a subject, also called title of a thread. You can change subject anytime by clicking on it - this is very different than a subject of an email thread, which creates a new thread if you change the subject.
Tasks tab, subject is nothing but the taskname.
Shares tab, subject is not visible.
Users form an integral part of any thread. Users in threads fall in following buckets:
To - Users who are directly addressed to, in a thread. In tasks, to users are analogous to assignee. In tasks, only one user is taggable as assignee to define a singular responsibility.
cc - Also known as followers, cc people should know about what's happening in the thread, but might not be actively involved. Just like 'cc' (Carbon Copy) in an email thread. Same is the logic for tasks. In shares, everyone is a follower.
Startedby - User who has started the thread.
Postedby - All users who have made at least one comment in the thread.
Below image illustrates where exactly you can find different user buckets on a thread:
On a task, this is the respective position:
In a share, here's the position:
Here are a few constraints on presence of users in To, cc and startedby:
Below image illustrates the above points:
The wrench menu present on a thread (in every tab):
Let's take you through the details of each item herein.
Add a file - Click to add a file in thread.
Add / Change time - Click to open the date-time popup which will let you add a date-time to a thread or change the existing date-time in a thread.
Leave this thread (Unfollow) - Use this option to get out of a thread or unfollow it - thread will disappear from your interface immediately and you would be removed from To / cc / startedby buckets of that thread. Use it when you don't want to receive messages in a particular thread due to any reason. A handy tool to reduce your communication volume and reduce clutter.
Close & archive publicly - Thread will move from #inbox to #archive for all the users marked in that thread (to / cc / startedby). This thread will then be visible in #archive tag for all users. To be used ideally when the issue discussed in that thread doesn't exist anymore / is executed / is completed and closed.
Archive (just for me) - Also known as private archive. Thread will move from #inbox to #archive only for you - you will now see the thread in #archive. All other users marked in this thread (to / cc / startedby) will continue to see this thread in their respective #inbox, except you. To be used when you would want to reduce clutter from your inbox.
These are the texts which are posted in a thread which are not replies - all grey texts other than comments posted in a thread. Here's a thread that shows posted updates:
Updates are of 2 types:
Non-silent Updates - More important updates, which turn a thread unread. e.g., update when a user attaches a file, update when a user sets a date-time etc.
Silent Updates - Which don't turn a thread unread. e.g., update when a task description is changed, update when a normal hashtag is attached etc.
Creating threads: Create threads just like email threads. You put a subject, enter people in To/cc (enter their @usernames), enter message body, attach files (if any) and click on Post:
Sharing Snippet: When you click on user icon on threads (see right side of collapsed thread), sharing snippet opens up. This snippet will show which users are tagged in To and cc in that thread. You can drag user pics from To to cc and vice versa. You can also use the cross icon at the top-right of each user pic to remove them. This way, you can even cross yourself out of a thread. You can start typing into input fields to add more users.
Tasks are a manifestation of an excel sheet. Imagine a comment thread created on each row of an excel sheet! Yes, that's what it does. If you track your work on excels, make checklists, plan things out in Google Sheets,
Tasks tab will ease out your life. Let's take you through different operations you can perform on tasks:
Creating Tasks: Just press Enter key in any task. If you are in task composer, just type in the task name and press the Enter key.
Assigning Tasks - You can assign tasks to people using the assignee snippet. Once assigned, you can click on assignee's picture to change assignee. You can also remove assignee by clicking on cross icon on assignee's picture.
Toggle Followers - You can use the Follower Snippet in each task to toggle followers (people in cc). When you click on icon, the snippet expands and you can add more users by typing in the input field. You can also cross existing users out by pressing the cross icon at the top-right corner of each user's picture.
Marking as done - On each task, there is a checkbox provided at the left side. You can click on it to mark the task as done, once it is completed. Marking as done basically sends the task from #inbox to #archive for all users. So you can find a done task in #archive.
Moving Between Tasks - You can move from one task to the other using Up and Down keys of your keyboard.
Toggle Task State - Using this icon, you can set whether or not the comment thread opens when a task is clicked. When clicked, it goes to an 'off' state and
Tasks tab starts behaving as an excel sheet.
Drag-Drop - You can pick up a task from its handle provided in left-hand-side of each task and drag and drop it into other tabs or hashtags. You can also drop them upwards / downwards to set priority.
Shares tab offers you a complete knowledge sharing tool within your team. You can use it like Facebook or Yammer for your personal team - to share what's new, what's exciting, what's usable or what's just fun!
Creating a Share: Just use the Share composer, add users in the user addition snippet (which comes up by clicking on the Torso icon) and click on Post.
Re-sharing a Share - You can re-share a Share by dragging people from the right panel into the Share thread. Alternatively, you can use the Follower snippet. You can also remove users by clicking on cross icon on users' picture inside the Follower snippet.
Hashtags are bundles of threads (which futher lie in different tabs). So a typical hashtag, say #abc, contains some threads (in
Threads tab), some tasks (in
Tasks tab) and some shares (in
Types - Hashtags are of two types:
private tags and
public tags. As evident by their names, they have a visibility enabled for you or for multiple people, accordingly.
How to apply - just drag and drop hashtags from left panel into threads (or tasks or shares), or vice versa. Alternatively, you can type hashtag names into Tag fields - a field on each thread that specifically shows which tags are added to it.
Private Tags are your personal tags. They can be used just by you and no one else. Some of these
private tags provide you with powerful functionalities as explained further.
If you apply a
private tag to a thread (or a task or a share), it is visible only to you (that it's applied) and to no one else. If a
private tag is applied or removed from a thread, an update is NOT posted in the thread. So suppose you have created a hashtag called #boss to collect all threads started by your immediate reporting manager in your organization. You can freely tag threads with #boss without a fear of him ever knowing that you tag threads in this manner.
Create a new
private tag by choosing Create a Private Tag option from the + menu at the top-left corner of central panel.
Listed here are some
private tags we have already created for you to take advantage of them:
Just like your email inbox, it contains all threads currently getting created or under discussion.
All threads (or tasks or shares) you create, by default, fall in #inbox. If you remove #inbox, the thread goes to #archive -
public archive or
private archive depends on whether you have applied #archive publicly or privately.
All threads (or tasks) in which you are present in To bucket - directly addressed to you.
To is analogous to assignee for tasks.
All threads (or tasks or shares) in which you are present in cc (followers).
cc is analogous to followers for tasks. Also, all shares contain all users in cc and not in To.
All threads (or tasks or shares) which you did not read yet. Once you read them (open them), they lose #unread.
To mark a thread as unread after reading it, just apply #unread to it again (by drag-drop or typing into the thread's tag field).
A powerful scheduler and reminder. When you apply #time to a thread (or task or share), a date-time popup opens up. Select a date-time from that popup to easily set a date-time to that thread. You can also use 'Add / Change time' from thread menu to open this popup. Here's a common way to use it:
The popup also contains two tabs -
public. As you choose the tab while setting the date-time, the visibility of set date-time varies accordingly. So each user in a thread can set her own private date-time, while only one public date-time can be set. Setting date-time can be handy in following cases:
As you apply #attachments to a thread, a file attachment window opens up. Just upload files you need to attach to a thread and make threads a repository of files, completely searchable later:
You can also add files by dragging-dropping them onto threads or by using 'Add a file' option in thread menu
Serves as an archive for threads (or tasks or shares).
Archived threads are not shown in other hashtags and are hidden from all views except #archive.
Tasks marked as done are actually moved from #inbox to #archive for all users in that task (
public archive). Similarly, you can send threads to
public archive once the discusion within that thread is complete.
If you privately archive a thread, it moves from #inbox to #archive, but only for you. For other users, it is still visible in their #inbox.
A thread (or a task or a share) can be either in #inbox or in #archive for one user at one point of time.
Just like Starred in emails, #pinned lets you stick threads on top.
#pinned also helps you keep track of certain threads, maybe for followup or reminders or for other purposes.
When you compose a message inside a thread but don't post it, your message is autosaved and #drafts is auto-applied to that thread. So #drafts serves as a repository of threads in which you have saved an unposted message.
Public tags are the tags which can be visible to multiple people. So you can use
public tags as:
Public tags travel with threads. So if you have created a thread and have applied a
public hashtag #abc to it. So #abc will start getting visible to all the people marked in this thread (irrespective of To/cc) in their left panel.
Create a new public tag by choosing 'Create a Public Tag' option from the + menu at the top-left corner of central panel.
Right panel of the app contains the users who are present in your contact list.
Now C O M T I F Y follows the logic of contact lists, also followed by Gmail or Facebook - address book or friend lists. So basically the users you invite will be auto-added to your contact list (and you will be added to theirs). Also, the users whom one of your contacts creates a mutual thread with, are also auto-added to your contact list. Your contact list is visible in your right panel as listed as the pictures of users.
You can carry out the following operations with users visible in right panel:
Building your team in C O M T I F Y is simple. Just follow these steps:
/myreferralspage where you will see three tabs. You can use any tab to invite your team - invite by sending emails, invite by sending your team mates a joining referrral link or by sharing through social networks. In fact, any method that you use on this page, by default contains your referral link.
C O M T I F Y has an intelligent thread sorting algorithm which enables you to achieve focus in your work. Let's take you through it in greater details:
As you can observe, the default sort order is based on a priority defined by hashtags. The current sorting order followed by threads is:
So this means that unread threads will be visible on top, followed by Pinned threads, followed by threads which are started by you, followed by threads in which you are in To which are followed by threads in which you are in cc.
In case a thread contains more than one of the above hashtags, it will fall with the hashtag which has a higher priority. For example, if a thread contains both #to and #unread, it will be visible at the top as #unread is placed at a higher priority.
Tasks tab has a custom sorting order enabled - prioritization by drag-drop.
This means that
Tasks tab follows the default sort order (as explained above) till task priority is disturbed by drag-drop of a task in a particular hashtag.
So basically you can order tasks in any hashtag view by dragging-dropping tasks above or below.
You can search for threads (or tasks or updates) from the search box present at the top of central panel.
You can search for users from the user search bar present at the top of right panel (user panel).
Start typing the @username and start getting the results below.
Currently, we let you search only in your contact list, and not outside of it.
This guide is an attempt to document how C O M T I F Y functions. Always in WIP, we would be grateful for your suggestions on this - if it fails to explain something clearly or if you think something should be added.