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Slack – A Messaging App for Teams: in Review

Slack - A Messaging App for Teams - in Review

It goes without saying, good communication in teams is essential to achieving goals and running an effective business. At Relevance we work with a number of tools for internal communications such as Google Hangouts, Skype, Go to Meeting, Gmail, and the occasional text message.

It’s always been tough to get full transparency for all team members working on the same projects. It’s also not always easy for new staff to get quickly up to speed with ongoing projects. Until now.

Introducing Slack

Slack is a internal communication tool which allows you to work on multiple projects with multiple teams whilst getting complete transparency on the workflow. Contrary to the tool’s name, it’s anything but Slack. It reduces the amount of internal emails your business generates, cuts down the time needed for meetings, gives all members of staff a better insight into each project and reduces the need for so many Skype or Gmail chats.

What I love about Slack?

Reduced emails

First and foremost, I’m a huge fan of #InboxZero (keeping the amount of emails in your inbox down to a minimum at all times: ask me how). Since working with Slack, my inbox has become cleaner and my productivity has improved.

With Slack you can message your colleagues directly, or create groups with the team members you want to chat with.

Channels

Being able to set up channels for multiple projects is a simple but brilliant feature. You can control which team members collaborate on which channels. This way you can be selective about what you see so you don’t end up being notified of numerous messages which don’t concern you.

The channels also allow us to see what’s going on with the overall workflow. This increases and improves productivity and the ability to brainstorm ideas efficiently. The end result is being able to spend more time on the things that really matter… getting the work done!

Remote team collaboration

Slack is also excellent for keeping remote teams connected. At Relevance we have offices and staff all over the world, so it’s important we use the best communication tools to keep in touch with each other. Skype and Hangouts are great for this too, but Slack gives much better functionality for project management communications.

Software integration

There’s not many businesses out there who don’t use Dropbox, Google Drive or some other form of cloud file storage. Slack has integrated with Dropbox and Drive to ensure you’re able to share files as fast and easily as possible.

On of my favourite things about Slack is that you can now integrate with Redbooth task management tool. This means that every time I add a task on Redbooth, it automatically notifies the relevant channel so the whole team working on that particular project gets complete transparency on what’s been done/due to be done.

Mobile app

We travel for work quite often. At Relevance we can be in the office one minute, meeting clients the next, or attending shows and events. Slack’s mobile app is very easy to use and means the whole team and your open projects are at your finger tips at all times. I use the mobile app almost everyday. It syncs automatically with my desktop version of Slack so I never miss a thing.

It’s fun

Thankfully we don’t have too many fax machine users left in the world. That said, communication is often still too formal, mundane and boring. Thanks to the likes of Slack, new tech is making communication more human and much more fun than our past modes of conversing.

From the funny one liners used when the app is loading, to the wide range of emoticons available for your messaging, Slack is bringing back humour and light heartedness to often dull topics.

How much does it cost?

Slack is free for small teams. If you need to search more historical messages, add more storage or use more than 10 service integrations, you’ll need to pay a small amount per user, per month. See the full Slack pricing here.

If you’d like more information on how Slack works, or you’d like help with setting this up for your own teams, get in touch.

You can find more ramblings like this on my personal blog: Web Vibes.

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