3 Best Slack Standup Bots in 2020 [In-Depth Comparison]

Companies often turn to a Slack standup bot for a couple of reasons:

  • The team, or some portion of it, is remote, so there’s no convenient time to schedule standups due to time zone differences. It’s difficult to get everyone on the same call/meeting.
  • Standups take too much time. They often turn into long decision making meetings, code reviews or water cooler chat.

Fortunately, there are various Slack standup bots that organize asynchronous standup meetings in Slack. This allows teams to get the benefits of standup meetings, namely, understanding what the rest of the team is working on, sharing where folks are stuck, and staying connected, without long meetings or interruptions to workflow.

There are multiple options on the market. We understand that it’s challenging and time-consuming to sort through them and figure out which tool is right for you.

To help you decide, we published an in-depth comparison of the 3 best Slack standup bots (as of 2020).

  1. Geekbot
  2. Standuply
  3. Polly

In this post, we’ll compare and contrast the following in detail:

  • Features/Capabilities
  • Pricing & Available Plans
  • Online Ratings (Capterra, Trustpilot, G2)

Disclaimer: Geekbot is our own service. We’ve done our best to present the information evenly because we want you to make an educated decision. That said, we are proud of our Slack standup bot and built it with the features and ease that we’d want (and we use it every day ourselves). Learn more here and try it free for 30 days to join thousands of companies who use us like GitHub, Shopify, Airbnb, Asana, and more...

1. Geekbot

Key Takeaways: 

Notably, Geekbot has more online reviews than all other Slack standup bot competitors on Capterra, Trustpilot, and G2. We attribute this to Geekbot’s ease-of-use and functionality, which has resulted in a large user base (60,000 users).

Geekbot has a total of 84 reviews spread over Capterra (48 reviews, 4.9 / 5 stars), Trustpilot (23 reviews, 4.6 / 5 stars), and G2 (13 reviews, 4 / 5 stars). In comparison, Polly has a total of 17 reviews and Standuply has a total of 6 reviews on these popular software review platforms.

Geekbot Features/Capabilities

Geekbot has presets for various types of questions you can ask your team. When creating a new standup within the Geekbot dashboard, just select from the list of preset questions:

Select a preset: Most of the settings are pre-filled for certain use cases, this way you can set up a report in just a few clicks.

“Daily Standup” is the most popular preset among users, so we’ll be discussing it in depth in this article. But just in case you’re interested, we thought it was worth briefly mentioning the following presets:

Team Retrospective:

This preset is useful to get a written, referenceable record of team members’ views on how a project went. By using a slackbot, you can perform retrospectives routinely on schedule. The preset questions are designed to understand what went well and what can be improved.

Sales Report:

Report on your sales goals progress and keep a written, referenceable record of your team’s sales performance. Review your sales volume over time and discover trends.

Team Feedback:

Check in and let your team members know how they’re doing. Provide feedback for better or worse.

Meeting Notes:

A run on demand report that helps you sum up the contents of a meeting for others to access.

Mistake Log:

This promotes a learning culture by encouraging everyone to track mistakes and reflect on them. You can filter mistake logs by date within Geekbot’s dashboard and discover common patterns over specific periods of time. Are most mistakes logistical? Are they out of someone’s control? What can your team do to avoid similar mistakes in the future?

Pizza Toppings:

Help your team relax and bond with fun questions. Movies, interests, you name it! This has quickly become one of our most used presets as companies value building team chemistry.

Today I learned:

Use a slackbot to turn knowledge sharing into a daily, consistent routine. Reference a saved written history and filter by specific dates via Geekbot’s dashboard. Exposing team members to novel ideas (on a consistent daily basis) can lead to new innovations and discoveries. With more knowledge, your team can achieve current goals more effectively — or even create new goals they hadn’t thought of before.

Product Changelog:

Any change in product development could have an impact. Use this preset to stay organized and keep track of changes consistently using a slackbot. You can view a record of notable product changes over time using Geekbot’s dashboard, which allows you to filter by specific dates.


Default Questions for the “Daily Standup” Preset:

Default "Daily Standup" Preset Questions

The daily standup preset uses a 4 question format that can be easily modified:

  • How do you feel today?
  • What did you do yesterday?
  • What will you do today?
  • Anything blocking your progress?

You can change the default questions above if you’d like. For example, one of our customers told us they saw success by configuring Geekbot to only ask 1 question: “What would you like the team to know today?”

You can also add this question: “How do you feel?” This allows you to get insights on team happiness (i.e. understand if they’re overloaded with tasks or something is blocking them).

The “Daily Standup” Settings are Completely Customizable:

We created a quick 4 minute video which guides you through the steps of setting up & creating your first standup in Geekbot.

You have control over the following:

“Time” and “Timezone”

Manage standup Time Timezone

You can choose the standup time and timezone. For example, you can set the time to 9:00 AM and if your team is remote/distributed, then you can select “User’s local timezone”. This will tell the bot to contact people at 9:00 AM on their own respective timezone. This is one of the unique benefits of doing standups via slackbot for remote teams: instead of asking people from all timezones to attend at all hours, everyone can answer the questions at a reasonable time, when it doesn’t break their workflow.

“Period & Days”

Manage standup Period Days

You have the option of scheduling the standup weekly, over a 2/3/4 week period, and in the first or last week of each month. Alternatively, you can set it to a one time only standup (not repeated).

“Start time”

Manage standup Start time

You have the choice of either letting the bot contact people exactly on the scheduled time, or waiting until they appear online before sending them a DM. Again, this is designed to not interrupt people at inconvenient times or when they are out of office.

“Engagement summary”

Manage standup Engagement summary

This feature gives teams an overview of who participated in the daily report, who missed it, and who was out of office. You can see the percentage of engagement. If a team member isn’t engaged (i.e. misses 4 standups in a row) then teams can use this info and react accordingly. Standup meeting attendance could be a gauge for employee performance.

“Broadcast channel”

Manage standup Broadcast channel

You can select the channel where the standup responses will be posted. Many of our users create a new channel within their Slack workspace called “Status”. However, you can also use existing channels.

“Participants”

Manage standup Participants

Your team members are automatically imported through Slack, so you can simply select them from a list or type in their name to look for them.

What Happens Once You Create a Standup?

Once you create a standup, all the participants get a notification from Geekbot in their Slack workspace at the date & time you specified. After the standup begins, participants can answer whenever they’re ready. By default, there are no time limits, unlike Standuply and Polly.

Not having a time limit enables team members to complete the standup at a convenient time that doesn’t disrupt their workflow. For example, if you’re in the zone and coding at 2:00 PM, you don’t have to stop working because a standup expires in 5 minutes.

Slack standup DM with bot 2

What Happens After Standup Participants Complete Their Answers?

In addition to the benefits of not interrupting workflow and being conducive to remote teams mentioned above, running standups via a slackbot also has a great benefit of having a written history of responses.

Many customers go back and look at the history of their standups for specific projects via Geekbot’s dashboard or Slack. They determine all the mistakes that occured (i.e. too much research, inefficient communication, etc.). These insights allow them to perform better on future projects and not repeat the same mistakes. It also allows teams to run better meetings (i.e. retrospectives).

In Geekbot, you can view your team’s standup answer history in a few different ways:

  • The answers to the “Daily Standup” report will be published on a Slack channel of your choosing.

Many of our customers create a new/separate channel for this.

Slack broadcast channel
  • Inside Geekbot’s dashboard, you have the option of downloading the answers via a CSV file.
  • The answers will also be saved on the Geekbot web dashboard so you can go back and filter by specific dates & times.

Some of Geekbot’s loyal customers really value the history log since this removes the need to pay for Slack to access previous answers.

Report View page with Timeline
  • You have the option to get a standup summary from Geekbot via email & select the frequency of emails.

For example: if you choose to get a standup summary every Thursday via email, then Geekbot sends a summary of your team’s standup answers for a specific time range (i.e. January 30 to February 6).

Email Summaries
  • You can access Webhooks or our API via the dashboard to send the answers and data to other products/channels like Trello, Asana, and more.
  • Anyone can set up email summaries and the standup answers are always visible to all team members — not just the manager (more on our philosophy for transparency later in the article).
Email digest inbox

Data-Driven Insight

Report View page with Insights

Geekbot offers Sankey diagrams and Gantt charts to gain insight from your team’s Slack standup bot answers.

If you want to get insights on demand directly through Slack, just ask Geekbot using commands such as:

  • “What has @alex done on bug fixes since last month?”
  • “Who worked on bug fixes since May?”
  • “What has @alex been working on since Monday?”
  • See more examples here.

We also offer an AI language analysis tool that reveals the thinking behind your team’s standup answers. AI makes it easy to understand the topics, activities, tasks, blockers, key dates, and timeframes that are trending in the team.

Activity Viewer Month view
Team topics

Geekbot’s Product Philosophy

Transparency 

We designed Geekbot to broadcast standup answers in a public Slack channel that everyone can access — this is one of our main differentiators.

Everything in Geekbot is completely transparent to the entire team and managers can’t set it up so the answers only go to them. While we had requests to add this functionality, we refused to implement it since it goes against our philosophy.

Why Is Transparency Central to Our Philosophy?

Geekbot was originally created due to an internal need. We believed in having a flat team hierarchy with no managers and no leads. Everyone was responsible for their own work.

Geekbot allowed us to know what everyone on the team is working on in a non-intrusive way (unlike physical standups that disrupt your workflow). We think of Geekbot as a digital scrum master that automates the process & helps our team members become self managers.

We believe that team transparency and self-management is the future of work, and our product reflects that.

Non-Intrusive Bot

We designed our bot to not be intrusive using custom, personal reminders:

Personal Reminders

If you forget to answer the scrum questions in Slack, then you can set up Geekbot to remind you after 30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours, 3 hours, 5 hours, or 8 hours. Each team member can choose their own follow-up reminder frequency.

For example, if your standup is at 10:00 AM, then you can set up the 1st reminder after 30 minutes and the 2nd reminder after 5 hours.

Note: By default, personal reminders are turned off at Geekbot. You have to activate this in your settings.

Geekbot’s Pricing & Available Plans

  • 30 day free trial option. You can sign up here.
  • $2.50/ per participant/ per month (if billed annually).
  • $3 per participant (if billed monthly).
Pricing

Geekbot’s Online Ratings (as of March 2020)

As we previously stated above, Geekbot has more online reviews than all other Slack standup bot competitors on Capterra, Trustpilot, and G2. We attribute this to Geekbot’s ease-of-use and functionality, which has resulted in a large user base (60,000 users).

Geekbot has a total of 84 reviews spread over Capterra/Trustpilot/G2. In comparison, Polly has a total of 17 reviews and Standuply has a total of 6 reviews on these popular software review platforms.

Capterra

  • 48 reviews
  • 4.9 out of 5 stars
Geekbot capterra comment
Geekbot capterra review
Geekbot capterra reviews

Read all 48 of Geekbot’s Capterra reviews here.

Trustpilot

  • 23 reviews
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars
Geekbot trustpilot reviews
Geekbot trustpilot review

Read all 23 of Geekbot’s Trustpilot reviews here.

G2

  • 13 reviews
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Geekbot G2 review
Geekbot G2 reviews

Read all 13 of Geekbot’s G2 reviews here.

Tired of standup meetings that last too long, disrupt your workflow, and are difficult to schedule due to time zone differences? Increase your team’s productivity and sign up for a free 30 day trial of Geekbot here.

2. Standuply

Key Takeaways:

Standuply is strong in terms of having meticulous managerial control. Managers can make all the standup answers go straight to them (instead of being broadcasted to a public Slack channel that the whole team can see).

It’s a good option for larger organizations that are less interested in transparency and simplicity. Instead, it’s better for companies that want the option to limit answers to certain people or managers.

Standuply Features/Capabilities

In this section, we’ll discuss Standuply’s Slack standup bot in detail. However, it’s worth mentioning that they also offer the following features:

  • Retrospective Meetings
  • Backlog Grooming
  • Planning Poker (technique for agile teams to estimate task times)
  • Feedback Reviews
  • Data Integrations (Integrate Standuply with GitHub and Gira to create Agile charts)
  • Team Polls

To run a standup, you can pick your schedule:

Standuply 01

You can choose the meeting participants & customize the default standup meeting questions:

Standuply 02

You also have the option of using data requests to capture data from 3rd party apps:

Standuply 03

Once you create a standup, all the participants get a notification from Standuply in their Slack workspace at the date & time you chose.

Standuply 04

What Happens After Standup Participants Complete Their Answers?

  1. You can configure Standuply to deliver results via a Slack channel, email, Webhook, or Excel.
  2. You can export the answers history and team analytics to a PDF.
  3. You can use Webhooks to send answers & data to other products.

In comparison, Geekbot offers both Webhooks and an API so that users can build custom features and create their own workflows.

Standuply’s Pricing & Available Plans

Standuply has a free plan with 3 respondents and three premium plans starting from $7/month. The more respondents, the higher the price.

Standuply 05

Standuply’s Online Ratings (as of March 2020)

Capterra

  • 4 reviews
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars
Screen Shot 2020 02 24 at 4.53.10 PM

Read Standuply’s Capterra reviews here.

In comparison, Geekbot has received 48 natural reviews organically over time on Capterra and 23 natural reviews organically over time on Trustpilot due to our large user base and easy-to-use product. Geekbot’s simplicity and great UX are a constant theme in these reviews.

G2

  • 2 reviews
  • 3.8 out of 5 stars
Screen Shot 2020 02 24 at 4.55.57 PM

Read Standuply’s G2 reviews here.

In comparison, Geekbot has received 13 natural reviews organically over time on G2 due to our large user base and easy-to-use product. Geekbot’s simplicity and great UX are a constant theme in these reviews.

3. Polly

Key Takeaways:

Polly offers a Slack standup bot that does the job, but doesn’t offer as much robust functionality as Geekbot and Standuply.

This makes sense, because a standup bot is just one of Polly’s features — their product doesn’t exclusively revolve around Slack standups, unlike Geekbot and Standuply.

Polly is a great Slack app for measuring and collecting feedback at scale using surveys for various workflows inside of Slack (not just daily standups).

While it may be pricey, they offer survey workflows within Slack for:

  • Employee onboarding
  • Employee engagement
  • IT Helpdesk Health
  • Slack Adoption
  • And more!

Large enterprise companies can extract the most value from all of Polly’s different workflows.

Polly’s Features/Capabilities

Polly delivers standups in a survey format:

Polly 01

This is different than Geekbot’s and Standuply’s chatbot format. Some customers prefer to chat with a bot since it’s more fun and casual:

Slack standup DM with bot 3

Polly sends reminders to nudge team members that haven’t completed their standup answers:

Polly 02

You have the option to select how to get your standup reports:

Polly 03
Polly 04

Once the answers are completed, you also have the option of accessing the records online via a web dashboard:

Polly 05

Polly’s Pricing & Available Plans

Polly offers various plans ranging from $29/mo all the way to $79/mo (billed annually). They also offer a custom enterprise plan.

Polly 06

The reason Polly can get more expensive than competitors is that it doesn’t just offer a Slack standup bot — it also offers a variety of other features to help run surveys within Slack for things like employee onboarding, Slack adoption, IT helpdesk health, interview candidate feedback, etc.

If your main use case is first and foremost a Slack standup bot for automating and improving standup meetings, then we think a solution focused on that use case (like ours) makes more sense.

As we’ve already mentioned throughout the article, it’s worth reiterating that Geekbot also offers several unique features such as:

  • Data driven insights powered by AI algorithms.
  • Team-morale tracking and insights to determine the overall happiness of the team.
  • Ability to create custom surveys & questionnaires with your own questions and send them out to the team.
  • Ability to view data history of past standups, surveys, questionnaires, etc.
  • Ability to create and keep track of meeting notes for others to access anytime via Geekbot’s dashboard.

Polly’s Online Ratings (as of March 2020)

G2

  • 17 reviews
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars
The G2 Online Ratings for Polly

Read G2 reviews here.

As of March 2020, there are currently no reviews for Polly on Capterra or Trustpilot.

Conclusion

We hope this in-depth comparison has helped with your search for a Slack standup bot that enables you to stay connected with remote peers, complete standups faster, and work with fewer disruptions.

Here at Geekbot, we are proud of our Slack standup bot and built it with the features and ease that we’d want (and we use it every day ourselves). Sign up here to try it free for 30 days and join thousands of companies who use us like GitHub, Shopify, Airbnb, Asana, and more.