How to start an internal discussion
Internal discussions enable you to have quick chats with your teammates or with all the teammates of a shared inbox, right in Front. The two types of internal discussions you can have are:
- Discussions with specific teammates that you list in the To: field, and those teammates will see the discussion in their Shared with me section. This is helpful when you have a topic that is not relevant to a specific customer's email or does not need to be shared with all the participants of the customer conversation via comments; instead, you can set a topic and start a new, standalone conversation with your teammates.
- You can also choose a team inbox in the To: field. which gives visibility to all teammates of the inbox. This is useful if you'd like all teammates in a particular inbox to have access to the discussion or if you'd like to create a discussion that should be triaged from the inbox. For example, you could create an "IT Support" inbox and add discussions representing IT issues or questions to that inbox.
When to use comments vs. internal discussions
Think of discussions as an extension of the sidebar conversations you have in comments! They are very similar, and which one to use depends on whether you're working on an external message or a completely internal matter:
- Use comments when you're working with teammates on a client email, SMS, or other message. You can @mention a teammate to ask for help answering the customer's question, to escalate a bug, investigate an issue, etc.
- Use discussions when you're working with teammates on a completely internal topic and there's no external email or message to kick things off. Set a topic like "Planning for our offsite" or "Final draft of meeting deck", invite teammates, and start chatting instead of sending an email or pinging them in a chat tool.
How to create a new discussion
Click the compose icon dropdown and choose New discussion.
In the popup composer window, choose the teammates or team inbox you want to include in the discussion in the To: field. You can add as many as you like, or @mention additional teammates later once you've started the discussion.
Enter a topic in the subject header to help organize your discussions in your inbox. At the bottom of the window, type your message in the comment bar. You can use the same formatting options as comments.
Click the blue arrow, or hit Enter to post your internal discussion message and start the discussion. Close the discussion popup to view it in your inbox instead of a separate window.
When your invited teammates reply, their messages will post to this discussion.
Managing your internal discussions
Internal discussions operate like comment-only conversations. They are similar to other conversations in Front, which means:
You can find all your internal discussions in the Discussions section of your inbox. You can assign, snooze, mute, tag, and archive discussions to stay organized.
You can use the same formatting options that you have for comments.
Discussions are excluded from your rules. For example, if you have a rule set up to notify a group of teammates when you comment @sales, this will not apply to an internal discussion.
Unlike regular conversations, you can change the subject of an internal discussion. Simply click the subject and edit.
Privacy and access
Like all features in Front, internal discussions are designed to help get work done. That means you have flexibility to invite additional teammates to join along the way! Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- You can start an internal discussion with any teammates in your Front account. If your organization uses Teams, then you can invite anyone on Teams you have access to.
Any member of the discussion can @mention another teammate to loop them in at any point in the conversation — including @all to share it with your entire team, just like a comment.
Even if you start the conversation, you can be removed from the discussion using the participants menu. But you can be added again later with an @mention!
Can you use discussions as a to-do list?
Yes! Do you send emails to yourself or add reminders to your calendar to keep track of tasks? You can start a discussion with yourself to manage these to do's from your inbox. Just @mention yourself to start a new discussion for each task, snooze it for later, take running notes, and archive when done!
Are discussions included in analytics?
No, discussions are not included in any analytics reports.
That worked to display all. Thanks?
Is there a plan to have the 'Discussion Topic' evaluated in regular search? It appears that only matches to the contents of the discussion are returned.
Also, if one has archived a discussion then adds a new comment, the discussion remains archived instead of resurfaced.
firstname.lastname@example.org Think of discussions as an extension of the sidebar conversations you have in comments! 🙂 Discussions are a way to start a conversation when there is no client email to kick things off. We'd definitely expect you to keep using comments in the same way when you are determining next steps about a client email. Discussions would be helpful for starting new, standalone conversations about internal processes or team updates, checking in with your team about the status of a project, or other internal communication unrelated to a specific client!