Loomio User Manual

A simple guide to introduce Loomio and explain how the app works.

Getting Started

An introduction to Loomio, outlining key concepts of how your organization meet, discuss and make decisions together. If you are new to Loomio, start here.

Groups

Learn how to start, configure and administer a Loomio group or subgroup as an administrator.

Threads

Everything you need to know about starting discussions, notifiying people, and keeping everything organized.

Decisions

Learn how to use Proposal and Poll decision-making tools to take a discussion through to a clear outcome.

Your Profile

Configure personal settings to suit the way you like to work.

Integrations

Configure Loomio to send notifications to Slack, Microsoft Teams and Mattermost about new events.

Loomio key concepts

Loomio is a collaborative working space for your organization, focused to help you make decisions to achieve outcomes.

What is Loomio?

Here are some of the key concepts to learn about Loomio.

Group

A Loomio group is a safe place for your organization to meet, have discussions and make decisions about work.

Group page Your Group home page is the first place you see when your arrive. It contains a description of your group; it's purpose, an outline of the work you are going to do, and any other information to help you participate.

Your group will have an image that represents something about your organization.

Subgroups

Subgroups are all about people - they provide a place for a group of people to do their work.

Any natural grouping of people who need to focus on specific work together are a candidate for a subgroup. For example use subgroups as a collaborative space for your working team, project or event, a governance board, a subcommittee or stakeholders group.

Thread

Threads are where you discuss topics, share information and make decisions together.

Threads are used for many purposes. In a board, you will be invited to Threads to prepare for a board meeting, vote on resolutions, approve minutes, discuss a particular topic, ask questions, share reports and discuss any other information important for the board.

Threads keep everything about a topic in one place. Over time you’ll create a useful archive of your organization’s discussions and decisions.

Proposal

One of the key things about Loomio is it's powerful voting tools. These help you take a discussion through to a clear outcome.

A Proposal helps your group progress a discussion towards a decision, where you can have your say by voting.

Simply state what’s being proposed, attach any supporting documents, set a duration for when responses are required by, and invite people to vote.

Loomio is set to automatically remind people who haven't voted 24 hours before the proposal closes. (This can be turned off.)

Proposals help you make clear decisions. They provide a valuable record of the decision, including the discussion that led to the decision.

Other voting tools

There is a range of Poll tools available in Loomio to help you progress a discussion towards an outcome; to ask people to approve something, find a suitable time to meet, or inquire about their preference for options.

  • Proposal: Find agreement on a proposal
  • Poll: Choose from a list of options to find people's preferences
  • Check: Make an offer or ask people to take an action. Think of it as the online equivalent of asking a room of people “Please raise your hand if you…”.
  • Time poll: Time polls make it easy to identify the best time to meet. Enter a selection of times and share the poll with the people involved. Participants tick the times they can attend and the result is a table showing who is available when, so you’re able to pick the best time for your group
  • Dot vote: Prioritise options together by allocating a ‘budget’ of points. This style of poll is useful for groups trying to allocate a limited resource to a number of options (e.g. agenda items, or budget line-items).
  • Score poll: A score poll lets your group express the degree of preference for different options on a scale. People get to express their desire, preference or interest in each option. The poll produces more granular results than a simple majority vote.
  • Ranked Choice: Offers a series of options for people to vote in their preferred order. You can choose the number of votes people can give and rank. Ranked-choice is particularly useful when you have a large number of options or an election to run.

You've been invited!

Signing up to Loomio is easy - you don’t need a password, and your computer will remember you in future.

Invitation via email

Your invitation to join your Loomio group will arrive in your email inbox and look something like this:

Click the Accept invitation button at the centre of the email.

The link will take you to the internet browser on your computer, tablet or smartphone and open a page where you are invited to create an account on the service at decisions.oric.gov.au.

On your computer you will see:

Click the CONTINUE WITH EMAIL button at the centre of the screen.

You will be taken to this page to create your Loomio user account.

Type in your name, so people in your group will recognise you.

Click the CREATE ACCOUNT button at the bottom right hand corner of the screen.

A Loomio user account will then be created for you.

Upload profile photo (Optional)

We encourage you to upload a profile picture which will be displayed whenever you make a comment. This is helpful for other members to easily identify you. This step is optional.

If you don’t want to add a photo now: Click 'Use initials'

Click Upload new photo.

Select a suitable photo file from your computer.

Click Open to upload your photo.


That's it! You should now be in your Loomio group.

When you return to Loomio, in most cases you browser will remember you and automatically sign you in.
However if you have reset your computer or are accessing Loomio from another device, you will be need to sign in again. The simplest way to do this is to sign in via email and follow the prompts.

Write a comment

You can write a Comment in a Thread, and people can reply, react or post their own comment to continue the discussion.

When you have written your text as a Comment in the thread, use Post Comment to instantly publish the comment. Your comment will be visible to anyone who has permission to see the thread. If you want to change anything you can edit the comment.

Get someone's attention with @mention

You can notify people when you write a comment.

Reply to a comment

You can reply to someone's comment. Your reply is published in the thread and an email is sent to the author of the comment.

Reactions

Reacting to a comment is a great way to encourage and acknowledge a comment by letting the comment author know how you feel. It is a quick and light-weight way to participate that does not require any text, nor send an email.

Voting

You will receive an invitation to vote via email or by notification in Loomio. Click on the link to have your say.

Voting in a Proposal or Poll is easy, just click or tap on the icon of your choice.

You can vote to Agree, Abstain or Disagree to the proposal. Other options may be available.

State a reason

When voting, you can also leave a Reason to say why you have voted this way. This is optional.

Up until the proposal closes, you can change your vote.

There are many reasons why you might want to change your vote. For example if new information emerges it may cause you to rethink your decision, and change your vote.

Changing your vote

You can change your vote, up until the proposal closes.

There are many reasons why you might want to change your vote. For example if new information emerges it may cause you to rethink your decision, and change your vote.

Once again, you can leave a reason - to say why you have changed your vote.

Results

Results of the proposal are updated as people vote, so you can see how a proposal is trending.

In a controversial proposal it is common to see mixed results, however this does not mean the proposal has failed.

Often the new information revealed during the proposal helps form a better proposal that is more likely to pass.

Outcome

When the proposal closes, the author is prompted to state the Outcome.

This is an important final step to record the result of the decision and let everyone know what will happen next.

A quick tour of Loomio

Lets take an orientation tour to help you quickly understand how to participate in discussions and decisions in your group.

Group page

Your group home page is the first place people see when they arrive. It contains a description of why the group exists, what you will use it for, and any other information that may help you participate.

You can add an image that represents something of your organization and place.

Tabs

Under the group description you will see tabs. Clicking on each tab displays information about:

Threads - A list of discussion threads showing the author, the thread title, category tag, along with some other useful information about the recent activity in the thread.

Polls - A list of the polls and proposals active in your group.

Members - Where you can see a list of the people who are members of the group.

Files - Files and documents that have been uploaded to your group.

Subgroups - A list of subgroups that you are a member of. A subgroup is the collaborative space for a working team, project or event, a governance board, a subcommittee or stakeholders group.

Settings - Where administrators of the group can set and change group privacy and member permissions.

Below the tabs there is a search bar, with filters such as open or closed threads and category tags. The filters help you view a reduced set of information.

If the threads tab is selected, the thread list shows the title of the thread, author, number of replies, and when last active.

The sidebar menu is accessible from the (☰) menu icon at screen top left, where you can see:

  • Dashboard - Open Polls and Proposals and recently active Threads.
  • Unread threads - A list of Threads you have yet to read.
  • Invite-only threads - Private Threads that do not belong to a group.
  • Start a new thread - Where you can start a new private Thread.
  • Your Loomio groups - Where you can easily find your Loomio groups and subgroups.

User settings

Click the down arrow ( ∨ ) to open your user settings.

The most useful settings when getting started are:

  • Edit profile - Where you can edit name, email address, upload your photo, introduce yourself, add your location.
  • Notification settings - Set what emails you want to receive from Loomio.
  • Help - Access Loomio Help documentation.
  • Contact support - Where you can connect with the Loomio customer support team.

Notifications

In app notifications

The bell icon in the top-right is where notifications are accessed within Loomio.

Email notifications

Loomio sends emails to keep you updated on the activity in your groups.

Emails Loomio may send you include:

  • Mention and Replies - When someone @mentions you in a comment or replies to you, you will receive a notification email.
  • Subscribe on participation - If selected, when you participate in a thread you will receive emails for all further activity. Not recommended for most people.
  • Catch-up summary email - The 'Yesterday on Loomio' email includes activity from all your groups and threads that you have not read yet.
  • Invitations to threads, polls and proposals - You may receive an email when invited to a new thread, poll or proposal.
  • Reminders and Outcomes - If you have not voted in a poll or proposal, you may receive a reminder 24 hours before close. You may also receive an email stating the outcome of a poll or proposal.

These emails are to help you participate effectively with your group. The default settings are to help you stay up to date with activity on Loomio but should not overload your email inbox.

If you are receiving too many emails from Loomio, you can change the default email settings. Talk to your group administrator to get the balance right for you.

When you receive an email from Loomio, you can reply directly from your email inbox and your reply will be posted into the Loomio thread. This works for everything except the Catch-up summary email.

Finding Information Quickly

There are several tools included within Loomio to help you find the information you are looking for quickly.

You can use the Search bar at the top of almost every page to search for content relevant to that page.

For example, on the Threads page typing 'decision' in the search bar brings up two threads with the work 'decision'.

Category Tags

Category Tags make it easy to find threads of a certain type or topic.

Tags can be applied when starting or editing a Thread, Poll or Proposal.

Thread page

From your group page, click on a thread to read the thread.

The thread title is prominent, and you can see thread content and comments from other members.

The thread page includes everything you need to know about the thread;

  • the group name, and subgroup name, that the thread belongs to
  • category tags applied to the thread
  • author and thread privacy
  • Seen by to see who has seen the thread
  • Notified to see who has been notified
  • comments, replies, reactions and any polls
  • timeline of key events in the thread, such as polls or proposals

Thread context

The thread context is used to introduce the topic. It will often include background information, attached files or links to online documents, to help you participate in the discussion - just as you would attach a file to an email. The context always stays at the top of the thread.

Thread activity

Seen by shows who has read the thread, and when.

Notified shows who has been notified about the thread, and if read or email opened.

Comments

As you scroll down the thread page, you will see comments and replies from other group members.

Timeline

The thread timeline builds with key activity in the threads. Use timeline to quickly go to decisions or important comments pinned to the timeline.

Poll page

From your group page, select the POLLS tab to see your list of polls and proposals. Alongside the poll name, there is an active icon that changes as the poll progresses, and indicates your vote.

Starting a new group

A Loomio group is a safe place for your organization to meet, have discussions and make decisions about work.

Groups are all about people. So let's think about the people you are going to invite;

  • Who are they?
  • What is the purpose of your group?
  • What work are you going to do together?
  • What objectives do you need to achieve?
  • What do people need to know to participate effectively?

You can start a new Loomio group at any time from the sidebar menu - click on New group.

Group details

Group name

Type your group name. It's best to keep your group name short and concise.

Group handle

By default, Loomio will make this your-group-name but you can choose any unused, alphanumeric handle (hyphens optional). Navigating to the URL loomio.org/[your-group-handle] will take you directly to your group page.

Category selection

You may be asked to select a category that best describes your group, so we help you with relevant information.

When you click 'Start Group' your new group is automatically created!


Group home page

Your Group home page is the first place people will see when they arrive. It should contain a description of your group; it's purpose, an outline of the work you are going to do, and any other information to help people to participate.

  1. In the Group description box write a clear purpose for why you have set up this group and a reason why people should join.

  2. What will you use Loomio for? Describe how you intend to use Loomio and how it complements your existing work.

For example; "We will use this online place for our team to progress our work between meetings, have discussions and make decisions. It will help us engage more effectively and operate transparently, save time in meetings and replace confusing email chains."

  1. Consider what kind of decisions or outcomes you will achieve in this group. Is there a project time-frame you are working to?

For example; “We will use Loomio to prioritize our work and to reach agreement on a way forwards. Our aim is to prepare a draft document to share with stakeholders in the next month, and have a new document agreed by the end of the quarter."

  1. Consider who is in this group. Who is involved and what you expect of each other?

For example; “This is a private group initially for just our board. We encourage you to contribute on threads, and raise new topics by starting a new thread. We will set up a new subgroup for engaging with stakeholders."

  1. Consider how Loomio will complement your existing processes. Are you running a particular decision or workflow process?

For example; “In our board, we will use Loomio to prepare for meetings and agree agenda items, upload draft papers and documents, agree actions and approve minutes, and progress discussions on issues we do not have time to cover during meetings."

Your group home page is also a resource hub

Your Loomio group page is a place to store all of the information, links and files, that everyone in your group needs. Update the Group description field and attach files from your computer or link to content online.

Tip: Group descriptions are a great place to include reasons why you're using Loomio. Saying why you're introducing Loomio can help motivate people engage.

Group Settings

Configuring your Loomio group.

In group settings you can add a group description, upload a photo or image for your group, change group privacy and member permissions, and set thread view default. Only people who are 'admin' can see and edit group settings.

Go to the Settings tab on your group page. Click Edit Group Settings and use the form that appears (click save when done).

Group profile

Upload a group photo

Uploading a photo or image that has some meaning to your group significantly improves the sense of belonging. You can also add a logo which will appear alongside your group name in the sidebar menu. Click on the image and logo to upload your file.

The ideal pixel resolution for the group image is 2048 x 512. But any image with aspect ratio of 4:1 will fit.

Group description

Write your Group description. Use the formatting tools to format your description, attach documents, add links, embed videos and others.


Privacy

Go to the Settings tab on your group page. Click Edit Group Settings and go to the Privacy tab. Click Update Settings when done.

Your privacy settings determine who can find your group, who can see the threads in your group, and how people join.

The recommended privacy setting for new groups is Secret. This means everything is private to those invited members of the group. No one will know about this group (or subgroup) unless you invite them.

If you want the content of your discussions and decisions to be public, change your group privacy to Open. The members list will only be visible to other members.

Many groups also use Closed, to allow people to find your group and ask to join. The Name and Group description as well as links and attached files are publicly accessible in Closed groups.

NOTE: If you have a Closed or Secret group and change it to Open, all threads will become public. Changing an Open group to Closed or Secret will make all threads private.

Open groups may contain secret and closed subgroups.

A member of an open group can see the closed subgroup but not the secret ones.


Permissions

Most of the permissions settings only affect what members can do. Members are the users in your group who are not Admins.

Anyone can join (Open groups)

In open groups you can use the option, Anyone can join, in order for the public to be able to join without any action by any member of the group.

Requiring approval of membership requests (Open groups)

If you select this option, rather than letting people walk in the door voluntarily (self-select to join your group), then admin will have the option to approve or ignore people's requests to join.

  • You can also give group members the permission to approve requests, also in the Permissions tab of Group Settings.

Allow members of parent group to see threads

In closed subgroups you can allow members of the parent group to see discussions within the subgroup. Select, Members of [parent group] can see private threads to enable this feature. This feature is off by default. For more on subgroups, see here.

Members can invite people and approve requests to join

This allows everyone in your group to invite new people in, and approve any membership requests. When it is deselected only group admin will be able to invite and approve new members.

Members can notify everyone in group

When ticked, any Member will be able to use notify and invite people, sending notifications immediately to some, or all, of the group. Unless your group is very big, Loomio recommends you leave this on.

Create subgroups

This allows everyone in your group to create subgroups. When it is deselected only group admin will be able to create subgroups.

Start threads

This allows everyone in your group to start new threads. When it is deselected only group admin will be able to start discussions.

Edit the context of any thread in the group

This allows everyone in your group to edit the context of any thread. When it is deselected only group admin and the thread author will be able to edit the thread context.

Edit their comments at any time

This allows everyone in your group to edit their comments at any time. When it is deselected, a comment can only be edited until someone else participates in the thread.

Raise proposals

This allows anyone in your group to start a proposal within a thread. When this box is deselected only group admin will be able to raise proposals and polls.

Vote on proposals

This allows everyone in your group to state their position on proposals. When it is deselected only group admin will be able to state their position on proposals and polls.


Thread view settings

Thread activity is comprised of all the comments, replies, proposals, polls, votes and other notable things that happen within the thread. You can alter how that activity is displayed in order to optimize the experience for your group. These settings change the default layout for everyone in your group, but can be adjusted for each thread to serve a specific purpose:

Oldest or Newest first

By default, threads are set to Oldest listed with the oldest activity nearest the top. You can change the thread flow by switching to Newest so that the newest activity is at the top of the thread.

Flat or Nested replies

The thread can also be set to display chronologically, as a flat list, where all activity is displayed in the order that it happened, or as nested replies of one or two levels.

Nested replies keeps replies to comments together, and is very helpful to easily see mini-discussions within an overall thread.

Click Save to exit.

Inviting people

How to invite people and manage memberships.

Invite people

Go to your group page and click the Members tab to access member management

Click one of two options

  1. Invite: If you have their email addresses, you can send invitations to each member of your group.
  2. Share: Or you can share the Reusable invitation link via email or however your team communicates.

Allow people to "Request to Join"

If your group's privacy is closed then you share your group URL ie: www.loomio.org/group-name. When people arrive at your group page, they will see the title, the description, and a button Join group to request membership. As administrator of the group, you will receive an email where you can approve the request.

Invite many at once

You can send multiple invitations by entering (or copy pasting) multiple email addresses into the who to invite field (separated by commas or spaces). When you submit the form (ie, click Send) an email will be sent to each of the email addresses you supplied, containing a unique invitation link that can only be used once. This email will be sent in your current language.

Re-send invitations

Follow up on people who don't make it into the group and give them a nudge. If someone has lost or forgotten about their invitation email, you can re-send it from the dropdown menu beside their name on the Members page.

Invite people to Subgroups

You will follow the same process as above.

You can invite people to a 'parent' group, and one or more subgroups simultaneously when you invite them with the Invite people button. Tick the boxes next to the subgroups you want them to immediately be a part of when they join the group. See it demonstrated in the video clip just above.

Encourage people to particiapte

If people join but don't begin to participate right away, you might like to welcome them to the group with an @mention, for example:

“Welcome to the group @Jane :) It's great to have you here! Would you saying a little bit about your work in this space?”

Invite people via their email

Clicking Invite people on the Member tab of your group page will send a single-use link allowing the recipient to start an account in your group or associate an existing account to your group.

You only need to be sure that they go into their email inbox (or Loomio account) to receive the invitation, it does not need to go to their "best" email address (eg, to the email they may already use for Loomio). The invite is not fixed to the email address you sent it to. So if someone already has a Loomio account and you send them an invitation to another email address, they can accept the invitation with their existing account.

Managing invitations

To manage invitations, open the filter/ drop down from the Members tab of your Group page and select invitations; choose the three dots to the right of the invitation/ person in question.

You can also make people coordinators or set their title (eg, "IT Support") within the group before they accept their invitation.

Cancelling invitations

If you entered the wrong email address, or have changed your mind about inviting someone, you can cancel an invitation from the Members tab on your Group page. Select Cancel Invitation from the same drop down () as demonstrated just above.

Managing memberships

Managing members is easy. The following management actions are available from the Members tab on your Group page. Just click on the three dots () to the right of the group member you wish to remove, promote or demote from admin, or assign a title.

Admin

Admin are those people with the most permissions in a group. Admin can add and remove members, grant and remove admin permissions and modify group settings.

Click on the three dots () next to the person you want to make an admin, and then choose Make admin. You will now see that there is an Admin tag to the right of their name.

We recommend that you share the coordinator permission with everyone who is trusted to look after the group. Ideally there is more than one Admin of a group.

Selecting make admin from the membership dropdown menu

Managing subgroups

If you are the admin of a parent group, or organization, you have additional permissions with regards to any closed subgroups.

You will be able to join any closed subgroup by clicking the "Join Group" button on the left of the Subgroup page in question (just under the tabs).

Once you have joined the subgroup, you will also be able to make yourself the admin of that subgroup, just as you would promote anyone to admin (see above).

Note: these permissions do not extend to secret subgroups.

Removing group members

When you click Remove from group you'll be asked to confirm the removal. Upon removal, this user will no longer have access to the group's pages, threads, polls, or proposals. They will, of course, still have access to any emails they had been sent via Loomio up to this date, but they will receive no further emails of group activity.

Leaving a group

To leave a group go to the Group page's Settings tab and click Leave group.

Assigning titles

You can name the role someone has within the group, or identify which organization they represent using the title feature. You or an admin can change yours by clicking set title from the dropdown near your name in the desired group's Members tab. image

You can even have different titles in different subgroups.

Membership requests

If your group's advanced settings allow people to join your group by request, an admin will need to approve each membership request. Group coordinators will receive an email each time there is a new membership request. The link in the notification email will take you to the Requests page, where you can approve or decline the request.

To find pending requests for memberships, navigate to the Members tab of your Group page and click the Requests button on the right.

Subgroups

Subgroups help you organize in teams.

Subgroups help you organize your communications and members so that the right people are engaged in their work together.

For example, you can use subgroups for your organization's

  • governance board
  • working team or a project working group
  • a topic (such as 'strategy' or 'learning')

Unlike tags, subgroups create a separate space for a specific group of people. Tags are a way to organize your threads. Subgroups allows you to change the permissions, notifications, and more for a set of threads and people.

Subgroups work just like groups do, but are located within your group/organization, which we call the "parent group". Most of the features and settings are the same as what you encounter in your parent group. This also means that someone can be part of your subgroup (eg, your board) but not your parent group.

Add a subgroup

To add a subgroup in your group, go to the Subgroups tab.

Click the New subgroup button, give it a meaningful title and decide on the desired privacy) setting, and click Start subgroup. You can now start threads and invite people in.

However, similar to starting a group, you may want to 'prepare the space,' so to speak, for those you will soon invite. A group description, and adjusting any settings including the banner image, can help people feel comfortable in the Loomio group and with the others who will be participating here. Again, this supports psychological safety – proven to improve performance.

Invite people just like you would in a group.

Who can see it

The privacy settings for subgroups follow the same logic as that of any group. A secret subgroup will not be visible to group members who are not invited to the subgroup.

Closed subgroups will be listed in the Subgroups tab of the relevant parent group, and, by default, members of the parent group can request and – upon approval by an admin – join them.

See below for more on privacy.

Manage your subgroups

Permissions

Subgroups can operate independently of the main group. For example, if the subgroup privacy setting is set to Secret, then only invited members can find this subgroup, see who is in it, and see threads.

Subgroups can have their own coordinators, and, thus, the coordinators of a subgroup may not be the same as the coordinators of the parent group.

Any coordinator of the parent group may independently make themselves coordinator of any subgroups therein.

Privacy

Closed subgroups have an additional Advanced setting that allow members of its parent group to see private threads, or not.

Otherwise, the privacy settings are the same as those for groups; learn anything else you need to know here.

arrow pointing to the option for "Members of [Group name] can see private threads"

Invitations

Invite people just like you would invite them into a group. If they're already in your parent group you can just type their name. You can also quickly select everyone from the parent group.

Simultaneously invite people to subgroups and parent group

If you use the Invite people button from your parent group's Members tab, you can invite people to multiple subgroups at the same time by ticking the boxes of those you would like them to join immediately.

Deactivate a subgroup

Coordinators can deactivate a subgroup in the same way they would a group. Learn how to deactivate groups.

Other group options

Export data, set up your Slack integration, and in all other ways use this subgroup just like you would a group; check our help articles on groups for more.

Are subgroups for my organization?

Does your organization have a number of working groups, committees, or task forces? Are there times when you want to alert or ask a question of a department or specific set of people who have responsibility, or are experts, in a certain area?

If you answered yes, then you probably will find subgroups useful.

Subgroups help if you want to…

  • Keep a conversation private to a smaller number of people in your group
  • Keep people from being bothered by conversations that don't matter to them; bonus: subgroups have their own notification settings
  • Make sure to notify all the people related to a specific topic, project, expertise… every time

Group page shows subgroup threads

By default, when you go to your parent group you will see a list of its threads and the threads of its subgroups that you are in.

If you wish to see only threads that were started or belong to the parent group, click the Subgroups tab and select the first option (…without subgroups).

Group data export

How to export your group data.

A simple way to export all of your group's data. You can export it to a CSV, HTML, or JSON file.

Export

Open the Settings tab on the group page and select Export Group Data.

Export group data as CSV

For working with the group data in a spreadsheet, such as with MS Excel or Google Sheets.

You'll be prompted to choose a destination on your computer for the CSV file.

Export group data as HTML

For when you want to save the data for archival purposes.

This will open the HTML file in another tab in your browser. If you want to save the file, right-click anywhere on the page and click "Save as".

Export group data as JSON

For when you want to move your group data to a self-hosted Loomio instance.

You'll shortly receive an email with a link to downloading the JSON file.

Import

If you are hosting your own Loomio deployment, and would like to import your exported data:

Copy the .json file to the container instance's import folder:

scp your-group-data.json username@some-domain.org:loomio-deploy/import

Access the running Rails console:

docker exec -ti loomio-app rails console

Call the service:

GroupExportService.import('/import/your-group-data.json')

Deleting your group

From the Settings tab of your group page you can use the Delete group option to remove access and eventually delete all the data from our records. When you delete group, it will be archived from view immediately and is scheduled for permanent deletion in 2 weeks. You and your users will immediately lose access, but may contact us within that two week period if a mistake was made.

Select Delete group from the group's Settings tab, and type the name of your group (case sensitive) as suggested by form's grey, pre-populated text to delete your group.

Deleting your group will also cancel it's Loomio subscription.

When a group is deleted

Two weeks after you use delete group, all the threads, polls, files and other group content will be permanently deleted. This is non-reversible! It is recommended that you export the group data and manually download any important files you have uploaded before you continue.

Starting threads

Get a discussion or decision going.

New thread

You can start a thread by clicking New thread from a group page. When you start the thread, it will be visible to all of that group's members.

start new thread button

Give your thread a title; try to keep it short and to the point. You can always update the title of the thread later.

Use the thread context to introduce the topic. Give background information or links that people will need to participate, and explain what kind of participation you're looking for. The context will always stay at the top of the thread, above the thread's comments, proposals and polls.

Thread privacy

If your group privacy is Closed or Secret then your threads will be private. Private means that only members of the group are able to view the threads started in this group (except when you invite people such as an expert or any guest not currently part of your group).

If your group is "Open" then all your threads will be public, meaning that anyone with the URL can view the thread.

For more on this subject… → Group privacy

Category tags

Category tags (or just “tags”) let you group any number of threads by categories that you define. You can use them to make it easy to find threads of a certain type or topic.

You can apply tags upon starting your thread.

Clicking the add tag button allows you to edit, order, color, and add new tags.

Edit threads to add or remove tags after they're started.

Notifying people

Catalyze interactions.

Effective use of Loomio means knowing how and when to get attention from the group, group members, and even external people your group wants to engage in Loomio to keep everything in one place.

If you ask for attention when it's really important, and avoid it when it's not, people will keep paying attention.

Within a thread

Mentioning people

If you want to get the attention of a specific person, type @, start typing their name, and then select the user you want to mention. Click post or start. You can mention people in comments, threads, or even decisions. They will be notified that you’ve mentioned them.

Replies

When you reply to a comment, you will notify the user you replied to. Find the reply button on the bottom of the comment to which you wish to associate your reply (it will indented or nested under the comment you replied to, by default).

where to click reply on a comment

Note: You can also reply to yourself, but it does not send a notification.

Reactions

On any comment or thread's context you can react to quickly respond with an apt emoji.

Reactions send a notification within Loomio, but do not send an email.

Start a decision

The most powerful way to get attention from your group. Ensure that you have a clear decision description so people know how to participate. Loomio will notify everyone you choose (the whole group, everyone in the thread, or selected individuals) about new decisions, although you can choose not to notify people and let them find it on their own time.

Starting a thread

Notify

When you start a discussion, you can choose to select all members of a group, or a select number of them. When you select the whole group, you can assume it will get everyone's attention. People you invite will get a notification immediately.

You can also invite guests now (or later, as described just below).

Invite People

When you start a thread, your whole group can access it immediately. If you want more people's participation, or want their participation sooner, you can additionally send them an alert via the box that immediately appears when you start the thread. You can also alert people in this way later on via the members button at the thread context's bottom. Exactly like notify, invited parties will immediately receive a notification.

If, for example, the thread is an important announcement and contains information that's ready for the whole group to take notice of, then notify them when you start the thread.

Tip: We've made it quick to select all of the members of the relevant group; click the link with your group's name.

Use invite people to invite guests or experts from outside your group to a specific thread; learn more.

Notify the right people every time

Subgroups are a great way to make it simple to send notifications to a specific set of people. If I click invite people from a thread in a subgroup, I can simply select Members of Subgroup Name.

It's great to remind your working group when there hasn't been much interaction with a thread. To increase the chances of good engagement, check that the thread context and title include a clear invitation, specifying how to participate.

Engaging with threads

Comments and tools such as thread translation and thread emails.

Thread context

The thread context has special status within a thread. It's always at the top, and it's always visible on the page.

Like a comment, you can format your text and attach files or images. Unlike a comment, anyone in the group can update the context (and the title of the thread) by default. This means you can enable anyone to pitch in and help keep things easy to understand and easy to find.

Tip: As the thread grows, update the context with key understandings and information so new people can catch up and participate easily.

The context is like the whiteboard in your meeting room, where you can write the agenda, the hopeful outcomes and how you aim to get there, and take group notes. Learn more about preparing threads and groups for success in our Facilitator's Guide.

Add attachments

Use the paper clip icon, just below the text form, to add attachments from your computer.

Remove attachments

While editing the context, click the X to the right of the attachment's name.

Comments and replies

The most common activity in a thread is commenting. Comments are shared with everyone in the thread – usually this is just the members of your group. First look for Comment and your user photo (or initials).

Make sure that Comment is highlighted, not Proposal or Poll.

Write your comment and press Post to have your say.

Replies are like comments except in that the author of the original comment will be notified of your reply. Click reply on the comment you would like to associate your comment with, as it will be nested underneath theirs – by default – in the thread in which you replied.

You can reply to your own comment in order to nest your reply underneath the comment. Click the three horizontal dots () to find reply in this case.

If Loomio has emailed you a comment and says you can reply to the email, you can reply directly from your email and your message will appear in the thread.

Formatting comments

Use the formatting tools underneath the space in which you write (any form). Hover the mouse/cursor over each item to know what it is. There's a number of format options listed below, and a few are explained in more detail further down.

  • stylize (bold, italics, code block…)
  • create lists (eg, checklists)
  • turn text into hyperlinks - links icon
  • add attachments (from your device) - paper clip icon
  • embed video - play button icon
  • create and modify tables - icon with four squares.

Embed videos

Click the video icon from the formatting tools listed underneath any form (comment, thread…) and paste the link of most modern video hosting websites (ie, Youtube, Vimeo…).

Markdown

To revert to markdown editing, click M↓. If you click this while there is text in the form, some formatting may be lost upon conversion.

WYSIWYG

Click WYSIWYG to return to the formatting tools. This will convert any text and markdown formatting to display how it will appear when posted. PREVIEW also shows you how your text will appear, but without converting.

Checklist

From the lists dropdown, choose Checklist.

Click on the checklist/ tick boxes in order to cross out that to-do from the edit form of any context or thread you have permission to edit. I.e., you cannot tick boxes in someone elses comment.

Editing comments

If you've made a typo, or want to add a bit more information to your comment shortly after you've posted it, click edit on your comment. Editing does not take anyone else's attention with notifications nor unread signals.

Changes you've made will be visible to others via the edited button, so you can see what people have changed in their comment.

If you have new information or are coming back after an extended period of time, just make a new comment, then people who have already read your comment will see that there is new information.

Reactions

Click react on any thread context or comment to share how a comment made you feel, or acknowledge something someone has said, without writing a comment. They're a light-weight way to participate without interrupting the conversation, and they only send a notification within the app (not by email).

Automatic translation

Loomio can translate user content (eg, votes, comments…) from one language into another automatically (with the help of Google Translate). If the author of a comment uses a language other than yours, Translate comment will be available in the drop-down options of the comment in question, from the three horizontal dots ().

Facilitation and Decision tools

There are a selection of facilitation tools and decision tools available to you from within the thread.

  • Proposals are there to help you see if there is agreement about a statement or course of action, and surface the disagreement if that's what needs to happen. Often, you can use proposals to bring the discussion to conclusion.
  • Polls are useful to understand preferences of the group.
  • Use a time poll if you need to get everyone together, and want to find the best time for that meeting to happen.

Find out more about decision tools.

Email notifications

By default

  • you will receive an email with everything you missed the day before as a daily digest
  • you will receive immediately emails for all activity in threads in which you have participated

To change these defaults and more… → Notifications

Setting email notifications for individual threads

You can adjust your email settings per thread, so that you can mute conversations that will never matter to you and get all activity immediately for those critical to you (and everything in between).

To do this, use the subscribe button at the bottom of the thread's context. If you want to see this or learn more about email settings… → Thread email settings & Subscribe

Navigating in threads

Find what you need, when you need it, in a thread.

Context

The thread context has special status within a thread. It's always at the top, and it's always visible on the page. It's typically used to frame the discussion or decision and provide necessary context. Learn more about engaging with the thread context here.

Timeline

The timeline helps you and your group to quickly access content (conversations, questions, decisions…). It is a visual, interactive history of key events, processes, or milestones that helps your group to understand how a conversation evolved over time or to review how a given outcome came about.

timeline with key meetup dates by month

To facilitate this, comments with headers, proposals, and polls are automatically added to the timeline as links. Clicking these links take you directly to this item in the thread. Learn how to edit timeline items here.

The date of the earliest thread activity, and the latest, are not blue but can be clicked to quickly navigate, too! Click on the dates or "Context" to navigate to the earliest or latest comment or to the top (the context).

Thread activity is comprised of all the comments, replies, proposals, polls, votes and other notable things that happen within the thread. There are two ways you can alter how that activity is displayed in order to optimize the experience given a specific thread's purpose:

Oldest or Newest first

By default, this activity is 1.) listed with the oldest activity nearest the top, or oldest first, and 2.) nested, which means a reply will be displayed just under the comment to which it is responding and the proposals and polls will result in a nice list of responses/positions directly under the area where folks engage with them.

The grey text just under the context will indicate in which order the activity is being listed, along with the number of replies.

To change this setting, click that grey text, choose your preference, and save. This changes the layout for everyone, not just you.

Tip: Long threads, for example your organization's 'wall' for off-topic sharing, often benefit from the setting newest first

How replies are displayed

The thread can also be set to display chronologically, as a flat list, where all activity is displayed in the order that it happened. Again, this setting is for all thread members as threads are viewed in the same way by everyone.

"7 replies" and "oldest first" displayed just under the thread context and above the thread activity

Similar to switching oldest for newest first, change how replies are displayed by clicking the grey text under the context to first open Thread layout options, select your preference, and save.

Unread activity

When you open a thread on Loomio you will first be taken to unread (or unseen) activity. When activity items are displayed on your screen, Loomio will take note that they have been read, just like if you see the activity via an email. Unread content is displayed with a yellow stripe on the left side and threads with unread content display bold within thread lists.

Finding the right thread

If you're looking for a thread of the same kind, try clicking the Category tag if there is one to the right of the title of the thread.

Otherwise, you can always use the search.


Not certain which thread to look in?→ Navigating Loomio

Thread administration

Pin thread

If you are a coordinator, you can pin comments to order them and make them easier to find. Pinned threads will appear above your other threads on your group page and will be ordered by the most recently pinned item at the top. You can change position of the pinned thread by pinning and unpinning threads.

You can easily pin or un-pin from the thread preview options, but only from the Group page.

Close thread

To keep the list of discussions on your group page relevant, you can close threads which people don't need to see.

To view closed threads, first navigate to the relevant group page. You will need to use the drop-down just under the Threads tab to change the thread filter from its default of open.

Choose "closed" to view all your closed threads in the thread filter.

Re-open thread

Re-opening a closed thread is done from within the thread's page – again, the three horizontal dots (). See organizing threads for a depiction.

Options within threads

Thread context

Threads are easily updated and edited by those with permission to by clicking edit.

Tip: Double-clicking a thread context also opens the context editor.

Learn more about thread contexts here.

Thread Options and Organizing threads

The following administrative actions may be taken from within the thread, and in some cases from pages that list threads (thread preview options). To find these options, go to the page of the thread in question and use the three horizontal dots to the right of the basic thread actions at the bottom of the context.

Move thread

You may want to move threads between groups and subgroups to keep things organised. To do this, select move to group from the additional options

Delete thread

If you're the admin of a group you can delete any thread – or comments in any of the threads – in the group.

If you started a thread, you can delete that thread, but only your comments within it.

Invite guests to thread

Consult an expert or external party while keeping relevant communications all in one place: Invite them to a specific thread by clicking members, at the bottom of the thread's context. They won't get access to any other threads in your group, just this one. They do not need to already have a Loomio account, and they can participate by email just like all Loomio users. If you do want them to be in the group, then invite them to join from the group page.

You can remove them (or give them permissions) by clicking the dots to the right of their name, again from the context's members button.

Administering comments and decisions

The following are achieved from any comment by first clicking on the three horizontal dots () at the bottom-right of the comment, proposal, or poll in question.

Deleting comments

You can delete your own comments at any time.

Again, an admin can delete any comment.

Select delete from the comment's options ().

Move items

Sometimes a comment is useful, but off-topic for the thread; it may be a short conversation took place that would have been better held in another thread or subgroup. In this case you will want to move one or more related comment(s) and replies by selecting move item in the comment's options (). This will allow you to select any number of thread items, including polls or proposals. You can then add them to a pre-existing thread of your choice, or start a new thread.

Pin to timeline

The timeline helps you and your group to quickly access content (conversations, questions, decisions…). It is a visual, interactive history of key events, processes, or milestones that helps your group to understand how a conversation evolved over time or to review how a given outcome came about.

timeline with key meetup dates by month

To facilitate this, comments with headers, proposals, and polls are automatically added to the timeline as links. Clicking these links take you directly to this item in the thread.

Add, remove, or edit timeline items

To add, remove, or edit timeline items, either click the word pin or unpin at the bottom-right of any comment, proposal, or poll.

To edit the words used in the timeline: unpin and then pin it again; this will give you the opportunity to reword the text that appears as a link in the timeline.

Tip: Highlight the words that you would like to use as the text in the timeline

Archiving threads

In addition to closing threads or moving threads, you can also archive the thread to your local device:

From the thread options (), choose print. Then use your browser's ability to "save to pdf", or copy and paste it into the file or repository of your choosing.

Tracking engagement

Seen by

Just under the thread context you can click members to see who has or has not seen the thread.

Notification history

You can check if someone has been sent an email notification about a thread, decision, or comment. Additionally, you can see if they have opened this notification email or if they saw it on Loomio.

For comments and threads

In the extra options you find from the three horizontal dots (), click See notifications.

For proposals and polls

Click on the dots () under the Results section of your proposal or poll, and then click See notifications to see who has been invited to – and who has viewed the notification of – your proposal or poll.

Here's how it looks if you sent some notifications:

Using proposals or polls

Basics, tips, and tricks for writing and using decision tools.

There are a number of types of proposals, but the basics remain the same for all of them.

Step-by-step for all decision tools

  1. You choose to use a poll or proposal (within a thread)
  2. You name it, describe the question or proposal it represents, and set its duration
  3. You notify group members (typically all, but you may select none or specific...)
  4. Group members participate and share a tweet-length message with their selection
  5. They can change their minds as understanding develops; live results are available
  6. A reminder is sent out the day before closing
  7. The poll closes, and everyone can see the results
  8. The author sets an outcome, notifying everyone of what will happen next.

Title and Details

Writing proposals

Include enough details so everyone knows what it means to agree or disagree.

Avoid combining a range of ideas in one proposal, because people might agree to some aspects but not others and be unsure how to respond. You can break complex decisions down into multiple proposals.

When making a proposal, state your expectations and describe the impact the proposal will have if adopted. If it's a formal or binding proposal it's often worth describing what a 'disagree' or 'block' means.

You might want to explore a few ways of using proposals, for some guidance and inspiration.

Attachments

You can attach files to decisions using the paperclip icon, just underneath the details form. You will be prompted to select a file from your device.

Dates and Duration

When you choose a Closing time, Loomio will let you know the length of time in which participants will be able to participate in the proposal or poll. During this window, people can submit their position or choice and leave a reason, and they can also edit these if they think on it again or receive new information or ideas, perhaps from others' votes.

Consider how the proposal closing time will affect engagement from your group members, and choose accordingly. You might want to time the proposal so it closes before a meeting, or avoid closing over a weekend.

Beyond considerations of inclusion (enough time) and urgency (deadlines), you may want to give additional consideration to the date and time the poll closes, as Loomio will send a reminder 24 hours before it closes. You can sometimes improve engagement if your group members receive this at a time when they can respond right away.

You can extend the deadline of an open proposal. This can be a good idea if engagement is active and people are working through the issue, or if engagement has been sparse and you'd like to prompt more participation before concluding. To do so, edit the poll or proposal to change the closing time.

Invite Members

It's good to let people know when you're taking a poll or a vote. After you start your proposal you will see a box allowing you to Invite to vote, where you will have the opportunity to select Members of group or Members of thread, or input the names of some of your group. You can select all and then remove some people from the list. This will send a notification to all those listed.

Invite guests or experts

Similar to the invite people feature, if you input the email of someone outside your group in the invite people to vote form they will be given permission to participate in only that proposal or poll; however, they will be able to see the whole thread in which their participation has been invited (but not any of the group's content beyond that). They will not be able to comment or participate in other proposals or polls even though they can see those that are in the same thread.

Reopen

If a poll closes earlier than what is ideal for your group arriving to a clear shared outcome, you might want to reopen it, setting a new closing time.

Close

Similarly, if you no longer need to let the poll or proposal continue, you can choose close to end it before its closing date. Don't forget to set an outcome so everyone is clear on where you got to and/or what's next!

Proposal options

There are some universal options that apply to most of the proposals and polls that Loomio offers. If you're interested in a specific tool's options (eg, the time poll's if need be option) see the section on the relevant tool… → Types of proposals and polls

Anonymous voting

If you tick the Anonymous voters box, participant information will not be recorded with each response. This means that you will never know who chose which positions or shared which responses.

You can be certain the box was ticked by you, or the person who started it, when you see the text, "Votes are anonymous".

Notify me when people participate

When selected, you will be notified whenever someone participates – within the app, and by email (by default).

Voters may add options

For all polls except the Count. When selected, participants may add their own options when voting.

When users add options the person who created the poll will be notified.

Hide results until closed

Select this option if you want results to be hidden until the poll or proposal closes.

The poll will appear as below until the poll closes.

Once the poll is closed, you will see the results and be invited to leave an outcome as normal.

Export poll

Export the stances and outcome of a poll as a spreadsheet (.csv) file. Click the three horizontal dots () at the bottom of the poll or proposal – you will find it to the right of invite people to vote – and click Export.

Proposals can help in many situations

Don't hesitate to start a proposal just because you're not sure everyone will agree - proposals are not only for when you have consensus, they're designed to surface issues that need resolving and are useful for clarifying disagreements. We have identified a number of ways to take advantage and step towards clear, shared outcomes, from a 'series of small yeses' to 'temperature checks'… → Ways of using proposals


To keep learning how to best use proposals and polls, read on…

Polls and Proposals

Loomio's proposals and polls are desgined to help you move a discussion through to clear outcomes

There are a number of different types of polls. Below the thread context, switch from the Comment box to the Poll to see the variety of unique ways to get your group's input and/or visualise where the group stands on a given topic or question.

The Proposal tool also has a variety of options that allow you to run a number of distinct processes (eg, a 'questions & comments round'), as covered below.

Time poll

Find a time to meet

Time poll makes it easy to identify when is the best time to meet.

Enter a selection of times and share the poll with the people involved. Participants tick the times they can attend and the result is a table showing who is available when, so you're able to pick the best time for the group.

So that you can arrange calls with people in other parts of the world, Loomio adjusts times so they are correct when displayed for each participant.

When you are selecting your times, Loomio will display your team’s most used time zones so you can quickly propose times that suit most members.

If the times don't work, participants can suggest alternatives using the message field. You can then update the poll with new times.

Check

Count how many people have completed a task, or ask for volunteers

Make an offer or ask people to take some action. Think of it as the online equivalent of asking a room of people "Please raise your hand if you…".

There are many ways you can use a check, but only one or two ways to respond: a Tick (✔), meaning affirmative, or an X mark (✘) meaning no or unsure.

You can choose to use just one or the other if that makes more sense; eg, it may not help to receive No responses for an opt-in or volunteer opportunity, in which case you will select the Yes option only

Other examples:

  • I've checked my contact details are correct
  • I've read the document and left my feedback
  • I'm coming to the event
  • I'll join the working group.

A benefit of Count is that it automatically notifies those people who forget to participate, giving people a little encouragement to get the job done.

Poll

Measure popularity or offer a choice

Enter a question and provide some options for people to choose from. People vote for one or more options - depending on if you allow single or multiple choice.

Write any details about the options all together in the details field, then just enter the name of the option in each poll option field.

Examples:

  • Where should we have our Christmas party?
  • Which catering company should we use?
  • What size t-shirt would you like?
  • If we ran a workshop, how likely are you to attend?

Multiple choice

Select the tick box, Multiple choice, if you wish for people to be able to choose multiple options rather than just a single choice off of the list of options.

Score Poll

Express the degree of preference for each option

The score poll is commonly used for general surveys or 'temperature checks', in which electing a single 'winning' option is not necessarily the point.

People get to express their desire, preference or interest in each option. The poll produces more granular results than a simple majority vote.

Examples:

  • How would you rate your interest in these topics for the next meeting agenda?
  • How important is each of these principles to you when considering our team vision?
  • How much would you like to see each of the following speakers at the next conference?

Dot vote

Prioritise options together by allocating a 'budget' of points

This style of poll is useful for groups trying to allocate a limited resource (even time) to a number of options (eg, agenda items, or budget line-items)

Everyone gets a number of dots to allocate against a set of options to represent their priorities. This can build a more detailed picture than a simple poll.

Examples:

  • You're given $100 to spend on the business; how would you spend it?

See dotmocracy.org for more tips and resources about this voting method.

Ranked choice

Rank options in the order of preference.

Offers a series of options for people to vote in their preferred order. You can choose the number of votes people can give and rank. This decision-making type allows people to express their opinion in more detail than traditional polls.

Ranked choice is particularly useful when you have a large number of options or an election setting, where you are concerned with two somewhat similar options 'stealing' votes from one another, resulting in a less popular option gaining the plurality.

Examples:

  • What would you like to eat at the company summer party?
  • Who should be our next deputy mayor?

Proposals

Seek collective agreement

Proposals are great for bringing a discussion to a clear outcome, developing or adopting policy, approving applications, and making decisions with input from others.

With good participation, a proposal creates support within the group to take action.

Participants can indicate their position and give a statement to explain why they chose it.

Change which positions can be submitted

You can change the positions, or options, that proposal participants will have to choose from. There are several configurations for you to choose from.

For example, you might decide to take a period of time for 'questions & comments' before you ask people to respond to the final proposal. In this case, you may even choose to have No voting. While you could invite questions & comments without a proposal, the proposal can be a useful way to create a very clear time box and invitation to comment on this proposal. Using a proposal for questions & comments can also help remind people to participate with the notification sends 24 hours before the poll closes.

Another example: If your group doesn't use a variant of consent-based decision making then you may choose to use a configuration without the "block" or "objection".

Ways of using proposals

Don't hesitate to start a proposal just because you're not sure everyone will agree - proposals are not only for when you have consensus, they're designed to surface issues that need resolving and are useful for clarifying disagreements.

Uncover the controversy

E.g. Let's put a bike stand next to the front desk

If there are two or more competing ideas, propose supporting one. Controversial topics might require a series of proposals to build shared understanding.

Series of small Yes's

E.g. We host the conference; dates and venue to be confirmed later

Break down a complex issue into smaller parts and agree on them piece by piece.

Polarising Minority

E.g. Share our pay rates publicly

Sometimes loud voices can seem like they are representing more of the group than they really are. Raise a proposal to put their views in perspective.

Temperature Check

E.g. Temperature Check: we should change the privacy policy

A temperature check is a way to test how the group feels without concluding a fully realized proposal. Use it when you want to survey opinions, or test a hunch, rather than advocate for a particular position.

On disagreement

'Disagree' and 'block' are often controversial positions to take. We encourage you to see them as opportunities to understand where communication has been inadequate, points of view are under-represented, or as a source of valuable insight.

If things feel tense on a personal level, we recommend that you talk (one-on-one) with the person to hear their concerns.

Outcomes

Record your decisions and share what's next by setting outcomes.

When your proposal closes, you’ll be prompted to set a proposal outcome.

In Loomio, it's not assumed that majority wins - the outcome or conclusion of a decision is up to you to define on behalf of the group. Sometimes it makes sense to go with the majority, but sometimes even one dissenting voice means it's a no.

Group members can be notified of the outcome—see how in the screenshot below—so it's a very useful tool for keeping people in the loop. You can clearly define next steps and name specific actions, or summarize what was learned from the process.

To give a poll or proposal some closure with Share outcome, click on the decision in Previous decisions or from the Decisions page, or when prompted.


**Example outcomes**:

This proposal did not reach consensus because several people were concerned about budget impacts. George and Jimena will do some financial modelling and raise a new proposal next week.

or

I've taken on board everyone's input. As the project manager, this is my call to make and I've decided we are going to extend the timeline by 10 days.


Setting outcomes makes your decision archive easy to search, because you have a succinct statement for each proposal.

After you select Share outcome, you will have the ability to alert group members and/or voters as depicted below.

You can always click on the X, if you are happy for people to encounter the outcome on their own time. Outcomes, like comments, will cause a thread to indicate it is unread.


To keep learning how to best use proposals and polls, read on… → Types of proposals and polls

Your Profile

Configuring your online appearance and profile in Loomio.

Your profile

Your profile page lets you customize your Loomio identity. To visit your profile page select the Edit profile option in the user menu, which is found by clicking on your name at the top of the sidebar; if sidebar is closed, click on the menu icon () to open it.

Uploading a profile photo

When you first create a Loomio account, your initials will be the default image associated with your profile. You can upload a profile photo by clicking on your picture on the profile page. If you have a Gravatar you can set that as your profile picture by selecting Use Gravatar. You can also choose for Loomio to use the photo you use for other common platforms/tools.

Update your personal info

You can update:

  • Your name
  • Your email address - this email receives your Loomio notifications (on, by default)
  • Your username - your username is a name people can use to alert you with an @mention in threads
  • Your introduction - a few lines to let others in your group know more about you
  • Your location - useful for distributed or remote groups so people can get an idea of where others are.

Language settings

Loomio is developed in English, but is translated by volunteers into many languages.

Loomio will detect your browser’s language settings, but you can manually set your preferred language from the profile page.

Resetting your password

You can change your password by visiting your profile page and clicking Reset Password.

Deactivating your account

If you no longer want to receive notifications from Loomio, but think that you may want to access your account again some time in the future, you can deactivate your account.

To deactivate your account

  1. Login to loomio with the email address of the account you wish to deactivate
  2. Visit the "Edit profile" page from the user menu (top right corner of the screen).
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click "Deactivate account"
  4. Confirm you wish to deactivate.

Once your account has been deactivated:

  • you will no longer be listed as a member of any groups
  • comments, proposals and discussions you’ve made will remain but your name will be removed from them
  • you will no longer receive Loomio-related emails

Reactivating your account

If you login to your account with your email address you'll reactivate your account and regain access to your groups.

Permanently deleting your account

Go to the section on Deleting Your Loomio Account

Deleting your Loomio account

How to delete your user account.

To delete your account entirely:

  1. Login to Loomio, and click on your account avatar or initials, at the top right of your screen.
  2. Scroll to the bottom, and click on DELETE ACCOUNT.
  3. A pop up will appear - click on YES, DELETE MY ACCOUNT.

I've deleted my account - what does this mean?

Deleting your account will not cancel your subscription; to stop your payments see Subscriptions.

Loomio takes privacy and data protection very seriously. Here is a link to our policy - if you have any questions about our policy, you can get in touch with us.

When your account is deleted, we remove all of your personal information, permanently. Comments, proposals and discussions you’ve made will remain but your name will be removed from them. We do this because we have an obligation to groups to keep threads and proposals coherent.

It is important that you understand that copies of the data you have generated on Loomio have likely been emailed to everyone in the group - Loomio has no ability to delete those.

Deleting your Loomio account

How to delete your user account.

To delete your account entirely:

  1. Login to Loomio, and click on your account avatar or initials, at the top right of your screen.
  2. Scroll to the bottom, and click on DELETE ACCOUNT.
  3. A pop up will appear - click on YES, DELETE MY ACCOUNT.

I've deleted my account - what does this mean?

Deleting your account will not cancel your subscription; to stop your payments see Subscriptions.

Loomio takes privacy and data protection very seriously. Here is a link to our policy - if you have any questions about our policy, you can get in touch with us.

When your account is deleted, we remove all of your personal information, permanently. Comments, proposals and discussions you’ve made will remain but your name will be removed from them. We do this because we have an obligation to groups to keep threads and proposals coherent.

It is important that you understand that copies of the data you have generated on Loomio have likely been emailed to everyone in the group - Loomio has no ability to delete those.

Merging your accounts

How to merge two accounts together

I have two Loomio accounts under two different email addresses, and I would like to merge them into a single account

  1. Login to Loomio on the account you wish to replace
  2. Open the sidebar > Click your name > Edit profile
  3. Enter in your preferred email address, i.e. the email address corresponding with the account you want to keep
  4. A verification email will be sent to your preferred email address, and all you need to do is follow the prompts from there

This action is irreversible, but you will have the opportunity to make a final confirmation before it occurs

Navigating Loomio

How to find what you're looking for in Loomio.

Top level

There are 4 top level navigation tools within Loomio.

  • Search
  • Notifications
  • Sidebar
  • User menu

When you first arrive or log in you will arrive to your Group page, or – if you are a member of multiple groups or subgroups – you will arrive to the Recent threads page described below.

Search

The search field is easy to find above the list of discussion threads where you first arrive or on most pages. It will display threads containing your keyword(s) in their context, comments or decisions.

From a Group page: If you are on your group or subgroup's page, you can search within that group. The search will exclude results from other groups or subgroups. _If you are unsure how to get to your Group page

From Recent threads: You can search for comments, decisions, or threads from any group or subgroup. Enter one or more key words to find the information you're looking for. If you are unsure how to get to this page, see the video above or Recent threads, below.

Notifications

The 🔔 bell icon, which lives on the top-right, will show all activities in threads you've started or participated in and all @mentions. Just click on one of them to see details or participate. If you check only one thing, check this.

When someone wants to get your attention, they'll send you a notification. This could be via an @mention or an invitation to participate in a thread or poll. More on notifying people here.

If you have unread notifications we'll display the number that are unread over the top of the bell-shaped notifications menu button.

The sidebar is where you find your discussions, groups, and User menu. It will be collapsed by default, but can be opened or closed via the using the ☰ horizontal bars icon in the top-left of the screen.

Pin sidebar

If you pin the sidebar open, then it will be open when you first arrive to any Loomio page, and will reopen (if you have closed it) upon navigation to any other page or tab.

Pin sidebar can be toggled on or off from the User menu (you will see the pushpin icon).

User menu

The User menu is where you can access your user profile page, change your email preferences, find a link to this help manual, and sign out. Find it by clicking your name in the sidebar (see video above for reference, you may have to first open the sidebar by clicking the ☰ icon in the top-left).

  • You can view and update your user profile via Edit profile. Read the User profile page for more information.

  • You can change your email preferences via Email settings. Read the Email settings page to find out how to set things up to your liking.

  • You'll also find a link to all our help resources, including this user manual.

  • You can log out of Loomio, which is recommended if you're not using a personal device to access it.

Easy ways to keep track

While search can be a quick way to navigate directly to something, there's a number of pages that will make it easy to navigate all of your threads, groups, and information

  • Recent threads
  • Unread threads
  • Group pages

These can all be accessed from the sidebar, and each display a different list of threads, or more specifically, Thread previews; learn more about the previews and high-level actions you can use to manage these below, as it's important to first understand the different pages that help with navigation:

Recent threads

The Recent threads page gives you an overview of the most recent activity happening in your groups. You can access this page via the sidebar. If you are a member of multiple groups, the Recent threads page will be your landing page when you sign into Loomio unless you are only a member of a single group.

The Recent Threads page displays content from your groups in an ordered list. Open proposals are at the top, followed by all of the threads from your groups, sorted by most recent activity (Today, Yesterday, This week, This month, Older than a month).

If a thread or proposal title is highlighted with a yellow line along its left border, then new activity has taken place since you last visited and this thread is considered unread.

Unread threads

The Unread threads page shows all threads and proposals that have new content since you last visited, sorted by group. You can access this page via the sidebar. You can clear unread items without reading them by hovering over the thread preview and clicking mark as read.

Group pages

Because Loomio is a place for your group, we have designed the Group page to be the hub and dashboard for your group.

Group pages are where you start threads, where most of the action happens.

By default, your group page lists all of the open threads in your group. You can use the thread filter on the left to show…

  • threads that are archived or closed
  • only the unread threads
  • all of the threads, open or closed.

Category Tags help you sort threads

View all the threads that belong to a category by using the other thread filter. These options are created when people tag threads.

You can also access this filtered view from within any tagged thread; simply click the tag (the category you're interested in) from the thread's page.

You can always select All tags to exit the filtered view you accessed by choosing a tag from the filter menu.

Search in your group

You can search the threads and polls in your group; read more above.

Viewing your groups

All the groups you belong to are listed in the sidebar on the left-hand side. This allows you to easily navigate to or between them by clicking their name or logo.

Subgroups will not have a logo, but will appear directly under the organization, or parent group, that they belong to. Click their name to see their page just like you would for a group.

Understanding thread previews

To help you stay on top of everything, the thread preview gives you the most important context for the thread; learn more… → Thread administration.

There's a number of features that can help you in… → Engaging with threads

Exploring public groups

You can explore, and request membership to, public Loomio groups by visiting the Explore groups page; click on this option in the sidebar to get involved.

Sign into Loomio

Creating an Account, signing in, and troubleshooting.

Creating a new user account and signing into an existing account both start from the sign-in form:

sign-in form

User accounts are identified by email address

Loomio user accounts are identified by an email address. If you sign in via a third party such as Google, we'll use the email address of your Google account.

This means you can login via email even if you login via a third party to begin with.

Creating a new user account

It's recommended to sign in via Google or Facebook (if you use those services) because for most people it's faster, more secure, and less complex than using a password. Another benefit is that you won't need to manually upload a profile photo. Loomio does not read other information from your sign in provider (see our privacy policy).

If using a third party sign in isn't right for you, signing in via email is well supported too. Use the email address that you want to receive Loomio notifications with.

Sign in via email

When you sign in via email, you'll be sent an email with a link (or a code) to sign in.

sign-in email

Forgot your password?

  1. Go to the sign-in, put in your email address.
  2. Click Sign in with email
  3. Click Send sign in email
  4. Retrieve the code that Loomio sends to your email (Subject, "Sign in to Loomio") and paste that into the form that appeared.
    Now you're logged in. Change your password by…
  5. Go to edit profile and change your password; you can follow these instructions.

Tips for a better experience

Set a password

If you don't want to check your email to sign in, you can easily set a password. To do this, take the same steps you would to change your password.

Don't create more than one user account

Remember to use the same email address each time you login, or you may end up with two user accounts, which will cause permission errors when you're checking notifications.

Sometimes people think they need two Loomio accounts because they have two groups and they want to keep things separated; However, Loomio is designed to support belonging to multiple groups with one user account.

Merging user accounts

If you do find yourself with more than one user account, you can merge them.

You can accept an invitation sent to another email address

Invitations are not tied to the email they are sent to. If someone sends you an invitation to an email address other than the one you use for your Loomio user account, you do not need to create a new user account or get the invitation re-sent.

Just click the invitation link and replace the text in the email form with the email address you would like to use, or the email address of your existing account, as you proceed.

You can sign in with email even if you first signed in via Google

After creating an account via a third party (eg: Google), you can still sign in with email. Just enter the email address associated with your Google account into the Email address field and Sign in with email.

Linking a third party to an existing user account

If you want to sign in with a third party (eg: Google) but you already have a Loomio account with another email address, you can link your accounts. To do this, just sign in via your preferred third party, Loomio will recognize it's your first time using that sign-in method. Enter the email address of your existing account and Link accounts when you have the choice between this (don't click Create account).

Troubleshooting

I can't see any of my groups!

To fix this: Sign out then sign in again with the email address you normally use Loomio with.

Why does this happen? This can happen because you participated in a poll when you were not signed in; Loomio creates a guest user, so you can participate without signing in. When you sign in later, we confirm the authenticity of your vote and connect it to your registered user.

Every time I visit Loomio I have to sign in!

Ensure your browser is not deleting cookies. If you find that you're logged out of Loomio every time you visit, your browser may be configured to delete cookies when you close the browser window. Cookies are the way we recognize you when you use Loomio, so deleting them means you need to identify yourself (ie: sign in) every time you visit.

Here are screenshots of what correct cookie settings look like:

Chrome cookie settings chrome cookie settings

Firefox cookie settings firefox cookie settings

Safari cookie settings safari cookie settings

Slack integration

Connect your Loomio group notifications to Slack.

Loomio can send notifications into your Slack channels when new discussions, proposals, comments, votes, and outcomes occur. Get key updates, at the right time, on important discussions and decisions.

After choosing the Slack channels where you want to receive notifications, and from which Loomio groups or subgroups, you will choose which kinds of events you want that channel to be notified of (comments, polls, outcomes... see below). Read on for step-by-step instructions for integrating.

These webhook integrations are currently in public beta testing, we would like to hear your feedback about how it works for your group.


Start by visiting https://api.slack.com, signing in if you are not already, then clicking Create New App

Give your Slack app a name

Add incoming webhooks support

Then enable the function

Then add a new webhook

Select a channel

Copy the webhook URL to your clipboard

Go to Webhooks in your Loomio group settings

Select Slack, give it a name, paste the URL, and save. You're done!

Select notifications

Along with the ability to choose which events in Loomio will create a post in your chosen Slack channel, you can also choose whether you'd like a snippet of the text from the comment, proposal, outcome, etc. by using the first option.

Loomio is not created by, affiliated with, or supported by Slack.

Microsoft Teams integration

Connect your Loomio group notifications to Microsoft Teams.

Loomio can send notifications into your Microsoft Teams when new discussions, proposals, comments, votes, and outcomes occur. Get key updates, at the right time, on important discussions and decisions.

After choosing where you want to receive notifications in Teams, and from which Loomio groups or subgroups, you will choose which kinds of events you want that channel to be notified of (comments, polls, outcomes... see below). Read on for step-by-step instructions for integrating.

These webhook integrations are currently in public beta testing, we would like to hear your feedback about how it works for your group.


Visit https://teams.microsoft.com then click Apps

Search for "webhook" in the search field, then click Incoming Webhook

Click "Add to a team"

Type and select the channel you want Loomio notifications to appear within.

Give it a name, such as "Loomio notifications", then click "Create"

Copy the URL it gives you, you'll paste it into Loomio in the last step.

Go to your Loomio group Settings then click Webhooks

Select Microsoft Teams, give it a name, paste the URL, and click Save.

Select notifications

Along with the ability to choose which events in Loomio will create a post in your chosen channel, you can also choose whether you'd like a snippet of the text from the comment, proposal, outcome, etc. by using the first option.

Loomio is not created by, affiliated with, or supported by Microsoft.

Mattermost integration

Connecting your Loomio group notifications to your Mattermost team chat.

Loomio can send notifications into your Mattermost channels when new discussions, proposals, comments, votes, and outcomes occur. Get key updates, at the right time, on important discussions and decisions.

After choosing the Mattermost channels where you want to receive notifications, and from which Loomio groups or subgroups, you will choose which kinds of events you want that channel to be notified of (comments, polls, outcomes... see below). Read on for step-by-step instructions for integrating.

These webhook integrations are currently in public beta testing, we would like to hear your feedback about how it works for your group.


Start from your Mattermost team in your browser. Then open the Integrations settings page.

Click "Incoming Webhooks"

Then click "Add Incoming Webhook"

Give it a simple name, select the channel for notifications to appear within, and click Save

Copy the Webhook URL to your clipboard, you're going to need it the next step.

Visit your Loomio group Settings page, then click Webhooks, then Add Webhook.

Select "Markdown (For Mattermost..)", give it a name, paste your URL from above, and click Save.

Select notifications

Along with the ability to choose which events in Loomio will create a post in your chosen channel, you can also choose whether you'd like a snippet of the text from the comment, proposal, outcome, etc. by using the first option.

Loomio is not created by, affiliated with, or supported by Mattermost.