Getting your organization started with Zulip

Use this as a checklist to get your organization off to a great start.

Organization settings

  • Add an organization icon and description to customize your login/registration pages as well as how your organization appears in the desktop and mobile apps.

  • Do a quick review of all the organization settings available.

Create streams

Most messages in Zulip are sent to streams. Streams are similar to chat rooms, email lists, and IRC/Slack channels, in that they determine who receives a message. A few suggestions:

  • It's often better to start with fewer streams, and let the number of streams grow organically. For small teams, you can start with the default streams and iterate from there.

  • For large organizations, we recommend using a consistent naming scheme, like #marketing/<name> or #mk/<name> for all streams pertaining to the marketing team, #help/<team name> for <team name>'s internal support stream, etc.

  • A #zulip help stream can be useful for providing internal Zulip support and answering questions about Zulip.

  • For open source projects or other volunteer organizations, consider adding default streams like #announce for announcements, #new members for new members to introduce themselves and be welcomed, and #help so that there's a clear place users stopping by with just a single question can post.

  • Add clear descriptions to your streams (especially public streams).

A few relevant help center articles:

Understand topics

Zulip’s topics are life-changing, but it can take a bit of time for everyone to learn how to use them effectively. It helps a lot if there are at least a few people who understand the conversation model at the beginning.

Topics are lightweight and do not need to be managed. Anyone writing to a stream can and should start topics for new conversations. "Old" topics naturally lose visibility over time, and do not need to be deleted.

Set up integrations

Zulip integrates directly with dozens of products, and hundreds more through Zapier and IFTTT.

The integrations page has instructions for integrating with each product.

Familiarize yourself with Zulip’s feature set

As the administrator of your Zulip organization, you'll be the initial expert teaching other users how to use Zulip.

Invite users and onboard your community

  • Delete any test messages or topics you want to delete.

  • Configure allowed authentication methods, and invite users.

  • If you have an existing chat tool, make sure everyone knows that the team is switching, and why. The team should commit to use Zulip exclusively for at least a week to make an effective trial; stragglers will result in everyone having a bad experience.

  • If everyone is allowed to edit topics, encourage a few people to help rename topics for the first few days, while everyone is still getting used to the new conversation model.

Bonus things to set up