Meet Compose - A long-form communication tool for teams
Published May. 19, 2020 by Andy Leverenz in News
I'm incredibly excited to share the beginning of a new journey we call Compose.
Compose is a communication tool designed to get teams communicating calmly and collaboratively all while embracing asynchronous work habits. You can view our plans and pricing if you'd like to take it for a test-drive.
Most teams today rely on synchronous communication to get work done. This was true for a previous company I worked remotely for that produced software for a large audience. We'd receive announcements, updates about the team, the good times, and the bad times all within an instant message. On top of this real-time communication protocol, we would have meetings scheduled sometimes daily that you were expected to attend. It was draining, especially for an introvert like myself.
This need to always be "online" seemed like a great idea until I noticed how unproductive it was making me. I began to feel uninspired to wake each day to start the process over again. The constant pull taxes you harder than you realize and began to harm my stress and anxiety levels. I was finding myself downright depressed.
“Work is work, it's not meant to be fun, you just gotta do it”
My father always said, “Work is work, it's not meant to be fun, you just gotta do it”. While I agree with his wisdom, I question this idea. Why does work have to be such a drag? Does making progress on something mean you have to sacrifice your stress, sanity, and desire? I think not.
Make it meaningful
In my typical work-day there are patterns where I am most efficient when it came to getting meaningful work done. This was common in the early morning hours before lunchtime. This block of time allowed me to focus and make real progress. During this block, I had little distraction. No apps open, phone on the charger, and noise-cancelling headphones on. It was beautiful.
Looking back I realized this moment was when I made the leap to a new employer from my previous position. The employer embraced asynchronous communication wholeheartedly. I loved it. Imagine, no Slack, hardly any meetings, and no expectation to always be online. I hit the jackpot. It opened my eyes to creating something that embraces this construct wholeheartedly.
Compose is our answer to embracing asynchronous work with long-form communication. Its inspiration lies in the feeling I got when I was let free of what I like to call synchronous prison. Unread notifications, overflowing email inboxes, meeting requests, calendar invites, and more shift your context outside of getting meaningful work done. You're suddenly juggling a huge amount of small tasks that puts stress on your mind and body. This creates work in itself and ultimately destroys any ounce of productivity.
What Compose Is
At its core, Compose is an organized space to communicate with your team(s) asynchronously. We believe communication shouldn't happen in the knee-jerk response way we're all accustomed to with instant-messaging tools.
Taking the time to craft a message or a response to share insight, ideas, or other concepts takes a few iterations to get right. Only once you're ready should you publish for team feedback and review.
Compose encourages long-form discussions using a Message and Response pattern.
You can organize messages and responses into buckets we call "Boards" to make it easier for your team to manage.
The interface uses familiar patterns of tools you might already use. We took the good parts and combined them into our solution to scratch our own itch.
Use Compose within your personal account or add multiple teams for communicating across larger landscapes.
What Compose isn't
We believe in the concept of keeping things simple when it comes to communication. Because of this we decided to make Compose handle only the communication portion of a team's process. Does this mean you'll need to group compose with other apps? In most cases, yes. You can even pair this tool with your favorite synchronous tools to keep things interesting. When you need to step back and communicate in a deeper more meaningful way, try Compose on for size.
- A complete project management tool
- An instant messaging tool
- An issue tracker
- An all-in-one tool
- A document editor
The road ahead
Compose is still in very early beta. We invite you to check out our plans and pricing to get a glimpse of what's to come. We'll be sharing our journey and our process on this blog so do check back often.
Future plans include:
- An enhanced message editor
- Smart notifications – Our enhanced notification feature where you can dictate when and what notifications you receive.
- Deep work mode – Block out everything and just write.
- A mobile app (Android, iOS)
- Columns - Drag and drop Compose boards to organize them even more.