We use Loomio in various ways to run our member-led campaigning organisation including:
- a remote Member Review Panel uses Loomio to review, discuss and vote on whether or not we should run each campaign
- our Governance Board uses Loomio for discussions and decisions on issues that need to be addressed in between their face-to-face quarterly Board meetings
- we used Loomio for our members to ask questions about, discuss and then vote on approval of our financial accounts, an amendment to our constitution and the appointment of new Board members
- we use Loomio to plan for and then make collaborative decisions about coalition campaigns run together with allies
That it is designed specifically to support collaborative decision-making, as opposed to just discussion forums.
That is it simple to navigate, we recently added more than 100 new members to a Loomio group for our AGM discussions and voting threads and the vast majority of them took to it like ducks to water, with no need for much explanation.
That it can be used in a myriad different ways, we can adapt how we use the voting tool to match different kinds of proposals (from a temperature check in a campaign planning discussion through to a formal vote on Board membership)
It's difficult to put up multiple alternative proposals at the same time, you have to do one at a time and work through the discussions on that proposal before anyone can raise an alternative.
I've tried using Loomio for a bunch of different projects over the last couple of years, with mixed success. The problem I've found has been in getting people engaged in discussions. I've recently had great success in using Loomio to help run my Kiwiburn theme camp. Kiwiburn is New Zealand's Burning Man event, and my theme camp, Barrio del Chur, is the largest at the festival. We recently realised that we could generate significant capital through fundraising events, and this opened up the need for formal discussions around how we go forward as a community. We were suddenly in need of a legal entity to hold assets which had previously been privately owned and in need a vehicle for decision making that involves significant chunks of money.
While we are yet to reach consensus in our discussions, Loomio has offered the perfect forum for Barrio contributors to voice ideas that are controversial and challenging to the way we've operated thus far, and to allow healthy discourse around all ideas raised. Our community has operated on a do-ocractic model until now, which generally means that the people who have the most time and are skilled in certain areas end up making most of the decisions. We've wanted to change that for the last couple of years. We've been encouraging people who have much to contribute but are silenced by the status quo modus operandi, Loomio has proven the perfect platform for giving these people a voice and a vote in decisions which affect a project that is dear to our hearts.
And then there's all of the amazing writing that has been produced by the Loomio/Enspiral folks which has supplemented our discussions around organisational development! So many of the key questions that have been raised in our discussions regarding the Barrio have already been dealt with during the conception of Enspiral ventures, due to the comparable flat structures, shared purpose, and people-over-process approaches. There's a wealth of knowledge within this community, and it relates so well to how to use Loomio to make decisions effectively.
ahhhh see above, I guess.
Sign in systems suck! I don't wanna sign in every time I come back, and things have been weird and messy when I have one google account that ties together 3 email addresses (one primary @gmail, two secondary @customdomain), Loomio is attached to the google account but then it freaks out when one of the secondary emails receives an invitation to join a new Loomio.
The inbox dashboard kinda sucks too. it's overwhelming seeing that there's activity in so many discussion threads, I don't know where to start so sometimes I don't start anywhere.
We used Loomio as a Policy Incubator - users would suggest ideas and topics at one end, and polished publishable policy would come out the others.
Loomio really helps bring people together, and gives them great tools to unlock their potential.
Overall I really have been impressed by Loomio, and the solution has evolved with us.
Loomio taps into the collaborative vibe of your community, giving you great tools for decision making.
One of the best things is that Loomio is actively developed - so options you need are often available soon after you need them. Theres a great community of users who have customised and use the tools, so there is great support.
As a mobile user, I have found managing large groups can be difficult on small screens. Loomio have been great at improving the mobile workflows and including desktop class features in smaller form factors, which helps busy admins to keep their community running in the go.
Thanks Jo for the great review! We have more goodness in our mobile app coming real soon :-)
It has definitely made our campaigns more effective. With a widely spread community unable to hold many in person meetings, it has enabled our communications.
Our community groups have found Loomio a valuable tool for discussions and decision making. Instead of getting bombarded by emails and getting stuck in confusing email strings you can separate out your topics into threads and instil some discipline into your campaign. It is also easy to set up a new group for a new campaign. Even people who aren't that good at online comms find this easy to use.
The notifications system - you have to specify your level of engagement each time. I prefer a daily update - that works best. But it's annoying when I forget to set that up and get lots of emails which I'm trying to avoid.
Thanks Vicki for a great review!
You can change the default notification settings for each Loomio group you belong to. Here's a link to our Help: https://help.loomio.org/en/user_manual/users/email_settings/#changing-the-default-for-new-groups
Loomio is an invaluable tool for the P2P Foundation, both internally and for the larger network that we work with. It embodies many of the dynamics and collaborative interactions we try to promote. I can't think of a better fit.
I have been using Loomio for more than three years now. It has always been very intuitive and, with time, it has only gotten more user friendly. The Loomio crew are always there to help out and be supportive.
Initial kinks have pretty much been worked out. I think some people find it hard to adopt, but that may be down to individual bias than any fault on the platform itself.
Loomio fills a huge gap in the tech world by offering a simple tool that allows for not only conversations but decisions on issues important to small groups. I use it to run a small community art gallery as well as to participate on a board that governs a small NGO. If we'd had to do it the old way of meeting once a month we'd take much longer to make decisions and they'd be nowhere near as rich as they are now. And this is coming from someone who has been using it since 2012. An essential tool
The founders are truly doing it from a sense of collective goodwill so there is no worry about information leaking out or data being sold or compromised.
Began using on a recommendation for a committee I head. The challenge for us was getting together at a time and place that suited everyone. Because of this, meetings were less frequent than needed and went on too long. Taking action became very delayed.
Loomio enabled us to have our discussions when they were needed and come to quick decisions even if people were on holiday - they could still check in. It made sure everyone was heard and all members committed to the decisions. A very valuable tool that has saved us days worth of time that many of us have very little of.
Wherever anyone is they can still be involved in committee decisions - not geographically restricted.
Used instead of meetings which can be a challenge to get everyone to.
Decisions can be made quickly so plans could be actioned quickly.
Older members initially found the technology a challenge but came up to speed.
Loomio has been so important in helping groups I work with come to consensus on stuff. It reduces back and forth emails and also shows a "paper" trail of how you made what decisions. Great for new people joining the team.
Simple. Does what I need it to you.
Still in development. "Another app" that people have to sign up for
I've used Loomio daily for nearly two years to make decisions with my group. It's been the easiest way for us to convert discussion into action and to iterate to get group agreement. Also Loomio is one of the few organisation that lives its values of non-hierarchy, open source, co-design. ++
mostly we lean about organisational life in hierarchies, so everyone has to be invited into decision making, adding their voice, building new ways of doing things. Loomio makes that easy in very practical and day to day ways. We use it for involving staff in policy creation and signoff, meeting agenda design, sharing minutes from meetings with a whole group, sub committees of the Board use it, and the health safety and wellbeing staff group use it to connect with all staff.
easy, flexible and does the job, super cost effective
features in discussion thread could be richer
Loomio allows our community group to make democratic decisions clearly, fairly and unambiguously. The tools point people towards a consensus position and eliminate arguments over process.
The lack of a mobile app, but that is changing!
Thanks for a fantastic review Kieran!
Yes, our mobile app is coming soon :-)
Warm regards, Michael
Wide array of options and voting formats that allow you to carefully design democratic procedures
Ease of use on mobile devices
Intuitive voting options for complex decision formats
Auto-tabulation for voting
Ease of login flow
Centralized notifications and informative dashboards
I have not run into any issues with Loomio, and I have no complaints.
Thanks Mark for the fabulous review :-) I guess you haven't had to reach us for support If you do have an inquiry in future, we work hard to respond within 24 hrs.
We've been using Loomio for over one year now within our international community to make decisions but also to replace discussions that used to take place on Facebook. It has had a huge impact on how we communicate internally, enabled people that used to be less active to take part in discussions more easily and helped us become much more transparent in terms of make decision making and information sharing.
Very appropriate tools, specifically designed to help, inform and support well-informed, non-hierarchical, consensus-based decisions.
It does not have a mobile app (yet!) although it's probably under development.
Thanks for your great review!
Yes, a mobile app is on its way :-)
It's the idea tool for decision making among people that are not located in the same place. You can organize your discussions and keep everything recorded and tidy.
The poll feature is extremely helpfull for decision making
When the discussion thread is too long, sometimes I miss some of the responses
Thanks Maria for the great review! Our Loomio 2.0 release addresses the problem of long discussion threads, where you can easily see and navigate to unread comments.
I do think that people have to be encouraged to use tools as Loomio. In my opinion Loomio provides more privacy for communities than google applications.
I will always recommend it for groups of people with same interest or professional communities.
Loomio provides a services which is easy to use.
Some users told they can't used it from their phones. Might be the mobile application is not as easy.
Likelihood to recommend
Allows a structure for online meetings that also handles decision making well.
Could be easier to handle group membership, particularly when people forget passwords.
Thanks for the great review Gareth! We have some improvements coming soon for handling group membership :-)
If your group members forget their passwords, you can ask them to use the 'sign in via email' feature when logging into Loomio.
Warm regards, Michael
We're using it on the board of the farmer's market (imagine how contentious 50 different vendors scaled from $5000/yr to $2,500,000/yr in revenue each with attendant worldviews can get).
Participation is easy and keeps us on track and engaged month to month. Would highly recommend to dispersed teams, especially if already using Slack.
Make a proposal!
Clear, focused on decision making
Nothing, yet. Seems like development could be better funded, but I think its open source
Likelihood to recommend
The ability to conduct votes within a committee.
Professional platforms to create discussion topics and make decisions.
Nothing to complain about. It is great for what we use it for.
I like the thought put into the different kinds of decisions one can make with this software. Creators put thought into it.
I'm not partial to the aesthetic but it's functional which is all I can ask for.