Once we set up our team, we knew we needed a place to communicate. We were using everything to communicate. Google hangout chat windows, emails, text messages, and to our surprise, things were getting lost.
I watched a video about Slack (I think it was this one).
It was time to give it a try, so here’s my Slack review:
What Is Slack?
Slack is a team messaging tool. Like a chat window, you can talk back and forth, but Slack divides conversations. Along the left-hand side of my slack bar (or browser window) are hashtagged user groups. Any individual in a large team can belong to several smaller chats. Kathleen and I talk about the day’s activities on #random because we’re the only two people working full time at our company. #General is for areas that are company-wide. On this channel, we share ideas and concerns that involve the entire group. Then, we have separate newsletter and website chats if they’re about one channel.
So What’s Different?
So far, Slack sounds like text messaging, doesn’t it? It is…and it isn’t. For me to have this many conversations and split them easily would require several windows. In Slack, I just move between topics on a single screen. At first, I thought this wasn’t a big deal. It is. We’ve had much tighter chats during the day because it’s easy to communicate. Plus, my ISP was getting mad at me for using so much bandwidth since our company began (I’ve seriously received my last warning from them that they’re going to force me to use a larger cable package because I participate in so many video chats with Portland). Slack reduced our use of Google Hangouts.
But There’s More
What’s better? We can also easily share documents. Often Kathleen will create graphics for us, and I’ll write pieces or show notes. Kathleen can send me the graphic to look at, or I can send her photos to edit. Sharing via Slack is as easy as using any other tool….except because I can do it all in Slack, why would I open another tool? No need. Once again, it shaves a few seconds off of my day that I can work on worthwhile projects instead of managing technology.
This isn’t a long review, but it doesn’t have to be. We STILL haven’t explored everything that Slack and do. Currently, we’re using two tools to manage our day, Slack and Flow, and of the two, Slack is the one I don’t have to keep remembering to use. It integrates itself into my day nicely. If it had a to-do list attached, I’d love it even more….but what do I know. Yesterday I noticed a range of commands I can use in Slack that I didn’t even know existed. I can’t wait to see what else this simple looking but powerful tool can help me with next.