How to use Votum?

What is Votum?

Votum enables you to crowdsource ideas, questions, feedback, meeting agendas, etc. – all inside Slack. It is designed around Votum lists – think of them as your private reddit channels where you can post stuff and vote.

Votum is especially helpful if you need to:

  • Collect questions for all hands/town hall/AMA meetings
  • Collect and prioritize meeting topics
  • Prepare retrospective agendas in advance
  • Collect ideas and run idea tournaments with your team
  • Decide on time and location for your next team activity
  • Vote to prioritize proposals
  • Use Votum Web view to print/present proposals and votes in a meeting
  • Run anonymized voting to ensure everyone gets a voice
  • Collect anonymous feedback/questions

You start by creating a Votum list, sharing it in a channel and calling for contributions from your team.

This tutorial outlines steps for creating a voting list of topics for an upcoming retrospective meeting. There’s nothing special about using Votum for this case, it’s just a convenient way to illustrate the necessary steps.

Step 1 – Create a new Votum list

To start, go to a channel where your teammates are. Type /votum, and you’ll see existing Votum lists in this channel, if there are any.

Click +New Votum list and you’ll get a dialog where you can enter the settings for the list. You can find more info on the various parameters in the FAQ.

When you click Create, your new list is created and you’ll see it shown among lists in the current channel.

Step 2 – Share list in a channel

In order for others to see your list and contribute their suggestions and votes, you’ll need to let them know about it. With every list, you’ll see Share in a channel button. It opens a dialog where you can choose a channel (conversation) where you want your list to be shared, together with a call-to-action message.

When you click Share, Votum will send a message to the selected conversation, including your note.

Since this is just a Slack message, you can also pin it to the channel to make it easier for folks to find it in case of a busy channel.

Step 3 – Add items to the list

Whether you’re looking at the /votum menu with lists in a channel, or the shared list message, you’ll see a View and Edit button. It will take you into the selected list, where you’ll see all the items others have contributed and, if permissions allow it, you’ll be able to add new items and vote.

In our example, you’ll want to suggest a topic for the upcoming retrospective meeting. You click “+ Add to list”, enter a title and description for your proposal and submit it.

The list now looks something like this:

As more people contribute, your list will get more useful, especially if you involve voting. In our example, we’ll have the most pressing issues prioritized by our teammates upfront, so everyone will know what to expect by the meeting time.

Step 4 – Use Web View to present or print the list

Once you’ve collected inputs from everyone, you may want to bring the list with you to a meeting. Whether you want to present it or have it printed out so you can grab some quick notes, Web View is your friend.

When you open the list in Slack, you’ll see a Web View button. Clicking it opens your browser with a list view looking something like this: