Announcements > Blog > Rock is built for how we work today

Rock is built for how we work today

August 30, 2022

7 min read

Communicating with people has changed a lot in the last couple of years and in addition to working from the office, many teams now enjoy fully remote or hybrid working environments. Unfortunately, most of the collaboration tools used today were not made for those work environments which leads to less productive time, too many meetings, and anxiety & stress.

Collaboration is also no longer limited to just your company and your immediate co-workers. Your team is now a more fluid group of people including agencies, freelancers, clients, or even a decentralized DAO or open source community collaborating outside of a typical company setting. 

With Rock, we are on a mission to:

  1. Make remote or hybrid work “work” – When people are able to communicate both asynchronously and synchronously you don’t need to be online or in meetings all the time. We believe that being able to pick and choose how you want to communicate allows teams to reduce noise while maximizing productivity and work life balance.
  2. Make it easier to work with anyone – Some tools make it too difficult to work with clients, partners, freelancers, and others outside your organization. As a result, many teams end up relying on email or other outdated communication channels. We believe that by removing barriers, working together with others becomes more seamless, more productive and more organized.
  3. Make next-gen communication tools accessible to everyone – Tools like Slack, Asana, Trello, and ClickUp charge per user which quickly becomes expensive and puts these tools out of reach for a large number of people. Controlling costs is even more important given the current economy where every dollar matters. We believe productivity tools should be fairly priced and instead of paying per user you should be able to pay per space irrespective of how many users have access to that space.

The first platform built for the way we work today

In the last 12 months, we’ve talked to hundreds of users and have shipped hundreds of new features and improvements that combined add up to something we’re very proud of. Internally we’ve started calling this Rock 2.0 but you can also think about this really being a next-gen collaboration platform:

  • Messaging + tasks: Rock combines messages and tasks in a way that nobody else does it. Instead of choosing one or the other, you get full-fledged functionality for both making it easier to get work done in one place.
  • The fastest way to start working with anyone: With Rock you can start collaborating with anyone within seconds. Gone are the days of having to figure out  over email how to get everybody set up on bunch of different tools before you can work together. Quick Connect with your own personalized space.new link, and workspaces do away with all that friction.
  • The collaboration front-end for every team: Rock deeply integrates with cloud storage providers, document editors, and videoconferencing services allowing you to continue using your favorite tools in your Rock workflows.
  • No limits on the free plan & radically different pricing: You can do all of this on Rock for free and we won’t limit the number of spaces you can create or the number of people you can have in each space. We have paid plans starting at $5.99 per month per space which still allow you to add as many users as you want without paying more.

1. Messaging + tasks together at last

Gone are the days of having to jump between different apps or hacking together bots and third-party services just to message or manage projects. Rock has a full-fledged task manager alongside a feature-rich chat in every space. 

Chat and Topics mini-app

Topics are one of the most notable improvements to the messaging experience on Rock. Chat messages are great for ad-hoc and urgent conversations, but messages can quickly become distracting and chaotic if you’re not following along in real-time.The Topics mini-app was introduced to solve this issue by enabling teams to discuss in more structured ways. Topics allow you to document information, keep conversations organized, and limit notifications only to those involved in the conversation.

Tasks mini-app

You should be able to manage any kind of project or workflow with the Tasks mini-app. The calendar view is the main highlight of changes in the Tasks mini-app experience. Teams can now view deadlines for projects and schedule new tasks with a time-based view. We have also added a calendar integration for most major calendar services in the PRO plan. This allows teams to visualize work deadlines alongside other important weekly information.

Tap to Organize

By combining tasks and messaging, Rock provides a solution for a bunch of problems teams run into when work happens across different apps. Two improvements that showcase this are Tap to Organize and the ability to @mention anything.

You can move conversations over to topics, notes, or tasks with a few clicks through Tap to Organize. Create tasks out of messages or document information by moving information to a relevant note or topic leaving the chat stream more organized and less chaotic.

Mention Anything

With information organized across different mini-apps, it’s easy to create links directly to information within Rock allowing you to share more context. We have made multiple improvements to the @mention anything feature so teams can more effectively link to information across mini-apps.

Besides a smart object snippet in the chat, teams can @mention tasks, notes, topics, and attachments in the description and comments section of every object. This allows you to jump to the object in question and we even introduced cross-space @mentions so you can interlink between spaces within seconds.

2. The fastest way to start working with anyone

Getting started on a new platform or tool can often be a tedious process. This is especially true if you have to leave behind both your task management and messaging platform. We’ve added some improvements focused on making it easier to invite new people as well as migrate your stuff from other platforms.

Quick Connect with space.new links

Quick Connect is the fastest way to collaborate with anyone. You can set up your space.new link and share it across your social channels, website, or email. When someone visits your link or scans the dedicated QR code, they are directly added to a group space with you. 

Instead of first having to exchange emails and then go into different tools to give everyone access you can now just share your space.new link and get a brand-new space set up so you can work together within seconds. 

Import messages and tasks from multiple platforms

We understand how important it is for users to access past conversations. In order to make switching easier, we introduced import from Slack or WhatsApp. The import feature allows users to take all their data with them, assign messages to people, and directly migrate new users to Rock. 

If your team cannot stop slacking, we also introduced a dedicated Rock bot for Slack that allows you to receive Rock notifications in your different Slack channels. Users can keep up with new tasks, notes, and topics across Rock spaces without leaving Slack.

For tasks, you can import all your project management information from Trello, Asana, Jira, and ClickUp. In addition to that, we have also added an import from CSV option. This makes it easier to convert large databases into individual tasks on Rock.

Bring it all together with workspaces

We introduced a big change to team and space management with workspaces. This feature was added to make it easier to manage multiple users and spaces from a single workspace similar to how you can do this with a Slack workspace or a Discord server. 

Users can set up a workspace for different teams, clients, communities, or other use cases. A dedicated settings panel in every workspace allows you to invite people to the workspace and manage their overall permissions.

3. The collaboration front-end for any team

Unlike other apps out there, we don’t think you want to replace all your apps. Different teams still need access to documents, design files, meetings, or other important information in apps like Figma, Notion, Dropbox, Adobe, Miro, and Zoom

Rock brings all of these together in one simple front-end with messaging and tasks enabling people to discuss, collaborate, and get work done with these external services. 

Editors & Cloud storage

From design files to spreadsheets and other documentation is key for any team so we worked hard to expand the number of services you can add to Rock. 

Users can now set up integrations with Google Drive, Onedrive, Dropbox, and Smartsheet and quickly access important folders and files from within a space. It is also possible to add a Notion knowledge base or Miro whiteboard to the Files mini-app.

For design teams, we added an Adobe Creative Cloud and Figma integration. This allows anyone to quickly access creative files and attach them to tasks, notes, or topics when relevant.

Video conferencing

Meetings and asynchronous video sharing can provide a lot of value when used correctly. Rock offers messaging, tasks, notes, and files for people to discuss in more asynchronous ways, but when really needed, we also provide more synchronous real-time channels.

Start meetings in any space with Zoom, Google Meet, and Jitsi integrations. While you should be mindful of your meeting frequency, it is sometimes better to just talk to someone face-to-face.

We also added a Loom integration to the Meetings mini-app to encourage more asynchronous video sharing. Do you really have to talk to someone live, or is a quick video walkthrough enough?

Automations

Automate the creation of tasks, notes, or messages with a Zapier integration in the PRO plan. With this integration, you can build automations for emails, social media posts, web forms, or other information that create messages and tasks in Rock when triggered. 

For engineering teams, we have also introduced a public API for custom integrations,  Github, Rollbar, and Sentry integrations. This means that you can more easily integrate Rock with technical, product, or development workflows. 

A sneak peek into what’s next

Based on feedback from users, we’re building some of the most requested features which are shipping very soon. From a management dashboard to a time tracker we have a ton of stuff on the pipeline that will make Rock even better for everyone. 

Are there any features you would like to see that are not available on Rock? Let us know in the Rock Support space or create a new space with us through this Quick Connect link.

Celebrate Rock 2.0 with us in September ?

Thousands of hours and lots of hard work went into building all of these features so to celebrate all of this we are doing a special launch on Product Hunt. Our goal with this release is to share Rock with new users, teams, and communities worldwide and hopefully introduce them to a better way of working.

It would mean the world to our team if you can support us by signing up for the dedicated landing page. We’ll make sure to send updates when the date nears and we will provide you with special discounts and promotions on the official launch day! 

You can also support us by sharing the landing page link across social media and tagging us on Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter.

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