Jump straight to the “wrapping up” conclusion for a TL;DR
Daily Standup Apps 🐧🐧🐧
Whether you’re a startup with less than 10 members or an enterprise scale company with multiple teams or departments, it’s critical that you have a system in place to help keep your team aligned on a daily basis.
Without a consistent way to stay in touch, it’s easy for things to slip through the cracks. Especially when you have a mix of co-located and remote team members (e.g. working from home while self-isolating, visiting family for an extended period, or fully remote members etc).
Which is why asynchronous daily standup solutions are so popular right now. They’re a great way to consistently check-in with your team and prepare for your face-to-face meetings (whether in-person or over zoom).
Here are some of the best standup apps on the market right now:
Team alignment is our top priority here at Questmate. We want every team member to be able to leverage their own expertise and intuition, while also being able to filter each of the hundreds of micro decisions they make each day through the lens of the same shared outcome-focused goal.
Questmate’s daily standup app provides a consistent way for teams to set their intentions for the day, reflect on yesterday’s progress and mention any blockers they’re facing 🥳
Get what you want out of your meetings by choosing the questions you want your team members to answer (or use our standup template). There are many formats to choose from, including short-text, long-text, checklists, selfies, video updates and more!
Whatever standup app you choose, it’s a good idea to pick something that makes it as easy as possible to:
Assign team members easily. With Questmate, assignments are as simple as adding someone’s email or mobile number.
Create flexible schedules. With Questmate, you can schedule your standup quest to be sent out at almost any frequency you can think of with our standard weekday scheduler (pictured below) or for our more technical crowd, a cron string scheduler.
Leverage your team’s collective wisdom 🤯
One of the major benefits of using a standup app is that you can revisit the entire history of your team’s standup responses. This’ll help you spot common questions asked and blockers faced.
Questmate’s daily standup app lets you auto-post your standup responses wherever your team prefers to hang out (e.g. post to any Slack channel).
Browse the entire history of standup responses for every team member by day in the Questmate app. You can also do this on Slack, though there’s something to be said for being able to tab through responses without the distraction of all the other messages in between.
Build the features you wish you had 🚀
If you have some coding experience, you can write a script to do something with the standup responses. Questmate has a built-in escape hatch (powered by Scriptable) where you can code your own features to fill in any gaps that other tools might not solve for you.
E.g. We have a QuestScript that appends a penguin to the end of our standup title every time one of us completes our team huddle check-in (standup) 🐧🐧🐧
You can write a script to do anything you want, or ask us to write one for you! (Pssst, we can also help you send messages to places we don’t support natively yet with QuestScript. E.g. Discord, Microsoft Teams etc).
Geekbot is an adorable little AI-powered chatbot that lets you run standup meetings in Slack or Microsoft Teams. At a time of your choosing, specific team members will receive a private DM containing the first standup question. Once they’ve provided a response, the next question is asked and so on until completed. Once the standup is completed, a copy will be posted on a dedicated channel for everyone else to see.
My personal favourite feature of Geekbot is the ability to ask Geekbot questions like “What has Steve worked on since Monday?” Or “What is the team working on this week?” to get a summary of previous responses.
You can set local time zones, so that team members in different timezones don’t get a morning standup notification at midnight.
Geekbot also provides data-driven insights including a visualisation of your team's mood based on the kind of language they use in their standups with the help of AI.
The questions are asked one-by-one in a specific order. It isn’t possible to answer them in a different order, or edit previous responses before they have been submitted.
If you want to write a response in a list format (e.g. multiple tasks, blockers, reflections), you have to be careful not to hit enter without holding down the shift key so you can go to the next line. Otherwise you risk triggering the second question when clicking enter before you’ve finished responding to that question. This is something you can change in your Slack settings though.
Range describes themselves as a “place for remote & hybrid teams to check-in with each other, both async and real-time”. The default team-check-in consists of a traffic light system mood tracker, a space for planning your top 3 priorities, a space to talk about the progress you have made recently, and a prompt that changes from day-to-day.
One of the coolest things about Range is that you can pull in tasks directly from your favourite productivity apps like Asana and Github etc (75+ integrations mentioned). You can drag and drop items that are suggested into your daily check-ins.
Range comes with built-in prompts that change each day to bring different things into focus at different times of the week (e.g. weekly focus, blockers, gratitude, and things to celebrate during the week). You can create custom team-specific prompts too.
Range lets you add icebreakers and mood-sharing prompts to your daily check-ins to show that they’re not just about work.
Spending time choosing which tasks to pull in, or having to think about how to respond to changing prompts can add extra time to the daily standup, which is typically intended to be quick and in a standardised format.
Sometimes the prompts aren’t sensitive to people who have different working hours. For example, people who work during the weekend hours may receive the Monday check-in question “how was your weekend” which is typically aimed at people who only work Monday to Friday.
Jell is a dual-purposed tool. It lets you answer daily team check-in questions, and set team-wide goals and OKRs. Jell describes themselves as a tool for automating your daily standup meetings for Slack, Microsoft Teams & Web.
Jell lets you set goals and OKRs for your team, and gives you the ability to link daily activities to those goals, so you can track your progress along the way. The main idea is to keep your team’s goals front of mind instead of tabling them for a quarter or a year. This is something we talk about in our post on fixing team alignment.
Jell provides a Slack bot to ask the daily standup questions, similar to Geekbot where you answer each question one-by-one. You can choose whether you want to complete your daily Standups via Jell itself or within Slack.
When filling in your daily standup, you can create a list of future tasks you want to get done, and pull them into your daily check-in when it’s time to do them.
The text fields are only one line high when typing, so it can feel restrictive when writing out longer form text like reflections or lists of actions.
Polly is a way to send polls to collect data from your team over chat. They have integrations for Slack, Microsoft Teams and more. When participating in a Polly Standup, your team members will be sent a message in their team channel with a “Start Polly” button. After clicking, a window pops up with the standup questions.
Results can be submitted directly in the polly thread on Slack or Microsoft Teams etc, in your DMs or to your email inbox etc.
Polly lets you edit your responses after submitting them by reopening the poll, making edits and resubmitting.
Having fun is not allowed. You’re not able to add emojis or other symbols into the surveys! 😱Though their adorable parrot logo may just make up for it 🦜
You can only fill in the standup poll when prompted to do so, which means if something comes up to disrupt your schedule you can’t fill it in later.
Wrapping up 🌯
The best way to keep your team consistently aligned whether you’re fully co-located, remote or a mix of both, is to use a mix of face-to-face and asynchronous (in your own time) strategies (Hummel et al, 2013).
This post has been all about the latter, amazing daily standup tools that help your team check-in with each other and get even more value from their face-to-face meetings, having prepared with the help of any of the following 5 standup apps: