MentalZap is a work management system that allows users to stay organized by seamlessly sending notes, events, and tasks simply by reacting to a Slack message with the designated emojis.


Problem Statement  

Slack users who are struggling to maintain their to-do lists in different systems need a way to automate their workflows to help reduce the usage of multiple systems.

Problem Discovery

Technology helped improve and advance our manual method of creating a task to-do list(1). The days of random sticky notes sitting on your desk are over! The overwhelming feeling of multiple unread messages on Slack is coming to an end! Events, notes, tasks, and project management systems can be as simple as the user wants, or it can be as complex based on the user preference. Based on the conducted user interviews, 100% of users utilize more than 2 systems to capture the specific feature needed from each solution.

The solutions can range from, automations, card filing(2), collaborations(3), mind-mapping(4), second brain(5), task tracking(6), event planner(7), etc, the possibilities are endless. All these systems were created with a user specific need in mind. However, these are all great solutions, but when compared against each other, the features are all very similar. Which options you decide to go with, depends on what problem you’re trying to solve(8). Users also monitor ad-hoc pings from Slack(9) from various projects they’re involved with to action any one off action items. 50% of users expressed that most of their action items are derived from Slack channels. Users use more than 1 system because they haven’t found a singular system that can execute their workflow correctly. Users would prefer if their current solutions had integration options so less time could be spent recreating specific tasks for each system.

While users could use no code solutions(10) such as Workato or Zapier, the general consensus was they wanted it to be an overall simple workflow and had no desire to learn another system just to make their current systems a little better.

Data collated from user interviews indicated 100% of users would like to use a singular system but have the capability of 3 systems functionality combined notes, projects, tasks, and events tracking all driven by automations(11).

Research Insights

User interviews were conducted to identify why people need more than one work management system for their day to day.

Based on the collated data, 100% of the users confirmed they used more than one work management system to capture their various forms of data (notes, dates, tasks, projects).

All users were able to identify the gap in their current workflow is due to the lack of automation or built in integrations within each system. When asked why the user didn’t switch to a singular system, 25% of the users expressed not having the time to learn a new system. While 75% expressed that they haven’t found a singular system that encompasses all the necessary automated features that they needed.

Slack was the chosen platform to utilize for this problem space because 75% of the users all worked at a company that uses Slack. When asked how they managed all ad-hoc tasks throughout the day, 50% of the users left the messages unread until they had time to circle back.

When asked what are the necessary features the user needed in order to adopt a new system? 75% of the users said they needed to be able track their action items, calendar, notes and tasks. But there was a heavy emphasis on the need for automation.

Landing on the Solution

Based on the conducted user interviews the solution that this problem space needed was a work management system that is primarily driven by automations. The system also needs to be able track notes, dates, tasks, and projects. It also needed to have an automated workflow that’s triggered in Slack and all events get pushed into a database.

Explanation of Solution

MentalZap is a web application that integrates with Slack to allow users to label any messages by reacting with a specific set of emojis.

In order for MentalZap to trigger the automated workflow, the user will need to select one of the following emojis to label the message type in Slack (🔥,🧠,⚡,🗓️).

MentalZap Features Breakdown:

User Flows/Mockups

MentalZap User Flow

Future Steps

  • Conduct more user interviews and research to widen the sample size
  • Discovery of Lofi and Hifi mockups of MentalZp with designer


Product Manager Learnings:

Jaclyn Tran

I was able to utilize the product manager fundamentals to ask better questions in my current job to quickly identify any gaps in the current workflow. 

Understanding how to identify a problem space has provided me with a new framework to catalyze my growth in the product space.

I learned how to conduct user interviews as a product manager and the answer to the problem space lies within the data.

Throughout this sprint, I was able to sharpen and elevate my skills to become a better product manager.

Designer Learnings:

Developer Learnings:

Developers Learnings:


Full Team Learning