Troopr is an asynchronous meeting software that can be used to run daily standups, retrospectives, and more.
But it may not be right for your team.
So today we discuss a Troopr alternative — Geekbot. Geekbot is free for teams of less than 10 monthly users. For larger teams, Geekbot is $2.50 per user per month (on an annual plan), and $3 per user per month (for month-to-month).
Here are some of the more popular use cases with our customers:
- Run asynchronous daily standups. One of our customers is GitHub, and their Services Programs Team uses Geekbot to run asynchronous standups. They like Geekbot because we make it easy for them to customize the standup to their team’s needs. Specifically, they only run standups twice a week and don’t ask the usual standup questions (see case study for more info).
- Run sprint retrospectives. When you use asynchronous meeting software to run your retrospectives, you can change your approach to get better results. That’s what Danny Varner, Director of Engineering at Vascasa, did when he started running tiered retrospectives.
- Sending out polls. Read our step-by-step guide on how to send out polls in Slack.
- And more. Geekbot has also been used by teachers to improve their personal connection with students and by teams such as GitLab to increase team camaraderie.
How to Run a Daily Standup with Geekbot
After you add Geekbot to your company’s Slack or Microsoft Teams account, you can create your first meeting. We have templates for daily standups, retrospectives, surveys, and more.
For the sake of this article, let’s use the daily standup template.
After you select “Daily Standup,” you can customize all aspects of your standup, including:
- When the standup gets sent out.
- The specific questions you’re going to ask (if you don’t want to stick to the 3 default standup questions).
- Where the standup responses will be posted.
- And who will be attending.
Scheduling Your Daily Standup
Scheduling is easy at Geekbot, and can be made to fit your team’s needs. You can pick on what days (and frequency) you want to have your standup, including:
- 2-week period
- 3-week period
- 4-week period
- First week of each month
- Last week of each month
- And so on — No matter what your scheduling needs are, you can customize Geekbot to work for you!
You can also create a one-off meeting which is perfect for when you need to run surveys in Slack or need to have a one-on-one with a team member.
A Pro for Remote Teams: Automatically Factor in Everyone’s Time Zone
One of our features that’s consistently highlighted in user reviews is how Geekbot can automatically factor in a user’s local timezone.
This has practical benefits for remote teams.
- Whoever is scheduling the asynchronous meeting doesn’t have to worry about time zones. If they set the time for 9:00 AM, then everyone on the team gets a message from Geekbot at 9:00 AM their time. They don’t need to figure out the difference between 9:00 AM London and 9:00 AM Tokyo.
- No one is going to get messages about work during off-work or inconvenient hours. Let’s say you’re on Los Angeles time and schedule a meeting to happen at 10:00 AM your time. But you have engineers in Berlin, who will get the meeting notification at 7:00 PM after they’re already done with work for the day. With Geekbot, this is a non-issue! Both teammates will get the notification at 10:00 AM in their time zone.
Customizing Your Meeting’s Questions
The traditional three daily standup questions are:
- What did you do yesterday?
- What will you do today?
- What (if anything) is blocking your progress?
But you can vary the questions to better fit your team and your sprints.
For example, we recommend that teams start off by asking “How do you feel today?”
This helps give the asynchronous standup a more personal feel — and it also helps you keep a gauge on company culture. (If people keep responding negatively to this question, it signals to you that there’s a problem that needs solving).
Geekbot takes your team’s responses and maps them out on what we call a Team Happiness Graph, which you can view in your dashboard:
Here’s another example of a team customizing their daily standup questions:
GitHub’s Services Programs Team only asks two questions, because they only run their standups twice a week. We share more details about their approach in this case study.
And because you can use Geekbot for more than just standups, being able to customize your questions is a big plus.
With each question, you can also pick what kind of responses you want from your team.
- Plain text responses are great when you want your team to use their own words.
- Predefined responses are perfect for when you want your team to pick one of the available options (i.e., should next week’s meeting occur on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday?).
- Numeric responses are ideal when you want a strictly quantitative answer (i.e., on a scale of 1-10, rate how successful you felt the last meeting was?).
Selecting Participants and a Broadcast Channel
You can manually add specific participants or just sync your invite list to a specific channel.
For example, if you’re using Geekbot to run a one-on-one meeting, then you’d just add the person you want to have the meeting with.
But if you’re using it for standups, then you can sync it to a daily standup channel in Slack or MS Teams (and everyone in that channel will get a notification to complete their responses).
Collecting and Sharing Responses
When it’s time for the daily standup, Geekbot messages each participant the questions individually. Then Geekbot takes their answers and shares them in a Slack or MS Teams channel.
But the meetings you run with Geekbot don’t have to remain in Slack:
- You can have meeting notes sent to your email. If you prefer to do most things from your inbox, then you can use our email summaries, so you don’t need to toggle back and forth between Slack and Gmail.
- You can view the answers in Geekbot’s dashboard. Every Geekbot account comes with a dashboard that has data driven insights. (We cover this in more detail below and on our site.)
- You can set up Zapier integrations. Create the workflow that’s best for your specific situation!
Other Benefits of Using Geekbot
There are other benefits to using Geekbot, including access to a dashboard with useful metrics, Conversational Analytics, and more!
Access to a Helpful Dashboard
With Geekbot, you can access a dashboard with lots of valuable information, including but not limited to:
- Who is out of office: See who isn’t on the schedule for the week.
- Who is “rebounding”: This means who on your team has filled out their daily standup after a period of extended absence.
- Medium debugging time: See how much time your team is spending debugging code.
- Participation rate: See the percentage of people on your team that are filling out their daily standups.
- And much more.
There’s a lot of good information that gets shared in your team’s standups. Usually, this information is said once and then forgotten. That isn’t the case with Geekbot. Because you’re using a text-based format, you can reference previous meetings. We make this really easy with our Conversational Analytics tool.
How does it work?
Per the above screenshot, you ask Geekbot specific questions in Slack, and Geekbot gives you the answers!
Here’s a list of some of the questions you can ask Geekbot.
- Who has worked on bug fixes since June?
- How is @Tara feeling today?
- How is the team doing this month?
- How long has @Lee been working on bug fixes?
- And more.
Final Thoughts: Choosing Geekbot as a Troopr Alternative
Geekbot is free for teams of 10 or fewer.
When you use our free plan, you still get access to all the features we discussed above (and others)!
For teams with more than 10 users, the plan is $2.50 per user per month if billed annually and $3 per user per month if billed month-to-month. Our pricing is fair and transparent, and you’re only ever billed for the number of active users in a month.
Ready to get started? Sign up here!
You May Also Like…
- Video Conferencing Downsides & How to Run Better Remote Standups in Slack
- 3 Best SlackStandup Bots (In-Depth Look)
- Understanding Geekbot’s API
- 12 Best Scrum Tools for Project Management
- 7 Best Alternatives to Standuply
- Geekbot’s List of Zapier Integrations to Automate Your Workflow
- Our SaaS Startup’s Bootstrapped Journey: How Geekbot Went From ZERO to $1m
- 13 Best Microsoft Teams Apps to Make Your Company’s Life Easier
Frequently asked questions
What Is an Asynchronous Daily Standup Meeting Tool?
An asynchronous daily standup meeting tool allows you to run quick and efficient standups inside Microsoft Teams or Slack.