Core concepts

Here's a rundown of the major terms and concepts you'll encounter in Flat and in this guide.

Organizations

An organization is the shared home base where you and your team members collaborate on your work. It's where you configure app-wide settings like team member roles, integrations, and billing details.

Your organization has workspaces, and your workspaces contain topics.

Topics

A topic is just a piece of work to be done. Topics can capture something as quick and simple as “fix homepage typo” or as large and complex as a multinational product launch.

Large or small, every topic has its own page in Flat. It's like a lightweight hybrid of document, status-tracking spreadsheet, and chat room.

If you're coming to Flat from another tool, you might be familiar with a topic being called a "ticket", "issue", "work item", or "card".

You can think of a topic's page as providing a place for that piece of work to "live", capturing and organizing everything about it, like:

  • Ownership: You can capture both the owner — the person who's primarily accountable for the work — as well as additional collaborators.

  • Labels: Attach labels to categorize your topics and make it easier for your teammates to find and understand them.

  • Checklists: Use lightweight checklists to quickly break down a topic into tasks. They can also point to other topics to arrange topics into flexible hierarchies for projects, epics, milestones, themes, or sprints.

  • Discussion: Topic threads let your team talk about a topic — asking questions, making requests, raising issues — without distracting each other all day. And without balls getting dropped. Blockers indicate when a topic is stuck and can't move forward.

There are more optional features you can enable for your organization too, like topic sizes and due dates.

Every topic belongs to a workspace, where it's displayed as a card.

Workspaces

A workspace houses topics going through the same workflow stages. It can be as simple as To doIn progressDone, or as many as you like.

A workspace also has an archive and a trash:

  • The archive is where to put topics after they're completed. They'll still show up in search results, so they're easy to find.

  • The trash is where to put topics that you don't plan to reference again, like ones created by mistake. They won't appear in search results, but you can still view the trash to find them.

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