With the latest release of Loomio you can define your own templates and workflows, then make them available for others in your organization to use.
This is one of the most significant feature releases we’ve made in a long while, and we’re excited to see what people will do with this new functionality.
- Proposals are now fully customizable.
- We’ve introduced two new poll types:
- Sense check is a simple way to get feedback on a decision before things get finalized.
- Opt-in is a way to ask people to volunteer or participate.
- You can create custom poll types with the terminology and rules of your organization.
- Describe a decision-making process with a thread template, so it’s easy for others to copy and use.
- Start a demo group at any time to see how Loomio works and test features in a sandbox.
Michael has put together a video to walk through it all, which you can watch here:
I’ll do my best to explain the features in more detail:
Proposals are fully customizable
Change the options however you like
One of the most common questions we get asked is how to change the voting options in a proposal. Now you can change them however you like. For example: Change ‘Agree’ to ‘Consent’, remove ‘Abstain’, maybe add something else. It’s entirely up to you.
Define a meaning for each option
Elaborate on what voting options mean with the ‘meaning’ field. You can use this to explain what it means to agree and when it’s appropriate to object. The meaning of an option is displayed right under the name in the voting form:
Find out ‘why?’ with the reason prompt
Now you can define a question (or prompt) for voters to respond to when they cast their vote. As someone votes, they’ll see this prompt above the ‘reason’ field on the vote form.
For example: If someone votes “Disagree” you can ask them to explain what changes are necessary for them to be in support.
New poll types: Sense Check and Opt-in
We’ve learned a lot about decision-making processes over the years. In general the thing they have in common is one or more rounds of feedback before a final vote. Sense Check is a way to get feedback, clarify and improve an idea before moving to a proposal. In some cases you might find that a sense check is the only tool you need to feel confident to make a decision.
Opt-in is a way to call for volunteers or participants. You can define a target number of people you’re seeking. You can ask people to join a working group, or RSVP for the staff social event.
Simple decision process
We’ve put together a guide on Loomio Help: Simple decision process, which shows how to use a Thread, Sense Check and Proposal together, to reach a decision with your group.
Create custom poll types
What if you don’t want to use the term “Proposal”, but something else? Well, now you can define custom poll types. Call it whatever you like, save the specific settings you want, and save it as a custom poll type.
So, for example you could set up a poll type called “Director appointment” with the settings: always anonymous, 2 weeks to decide, and results don’t show until the poll closes.
Thread templates make it easy for people to follow a workflow
If your organization has adopted Loomio as a core tool, it’s likely that there are processes that are repeated regularly. Thread templates make it easy to easy for people to pick up and run a process.
If you have threads which are good examples of a process, you can mark them as templates. When people click “New thread” in your group, they’ll be presented with your templates as starting points, rather than just seeing a blank thread form.
If this feature is useful, we hope to create a public gallery of templates to share decision-making processes between organizations.
Learn Loomio with our demo group: The Oatmilk Co-op
Learning by example is often the best way to learn a tool.
The Oatmilk Co-op is a fictional organization that uses Loomio to make strategy decisions, stay up to date, and coordinate as a membership.
When you start a demo, you’ll get your own private copy of this group - great to observe Loomio in action, or to try out features without creating a bunch of emails for members of your real group!
I think this is my favourite part of the latest release - I encourage you to start one and have a poke around.
Tip for new users: Set a password next time you sign in.
We’ve added a “set password” button to the normal login flow, so if you’re tired of requesting a code to sign in, you can set a password for next time.
Other things on our roadmap include:
- Move loomio.org to loomio.com - you’ll hear about that soon.
- Email to group. Giving each group an email address you can forward conversations to start threads on Loomio.
- Collaborative editing. So loomio is a great place to take notes during meetings and collaborate on threads and proposals.
- Mobile app.
Let us know what you would like to see.
If you read all the way to the end, thank you. I hope you enjoyed the update.
Best wishes from me and the Loomio team.
Photo credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/Fq54FqucgCE