Over the past few years, lots of companies have transformed the way they communicate by using Slack. It’s one of the key apps that we use at Dr Logic for our team. We also use it with some of our clients. The good news is that you can start using it for free.
Slack has apps for macOS, iOS and also for Windows/Android. You can use it to message individual people in the business or create channels for specific topics where other people are involved. You can share graphics or other files in the discussion and search past messages. Slack also supports person-to-person voice calls. If you switch from their free to a paid team, group calls, video conferencing and screen sharing are also great features.
What sets Slack apart from simple messaging apps is that it lets you segment discussions into “channels”. A channel can either be public so that everyone in the company can see it or private, so only invitees can participate. Plus, you can have “direct message” conversations with a few individuals.
What’s great about Slack channels is that they’re easy to create. They bring together all communications relevant to a particular workgroup, project, or topic. You might have a private #marketing channel for everyone in that department. A private #annual-report channel for the people who need to put together that document, and a public #facilities channel to talk about the stationery order or a printer jam. This is far more effective than an organisation-wide mailing list. You only need to be in the channels that are relevant to you, rather than having to read the weekly missive about the work fridge etiquette!
So how do you keep up on discussions? Slack has flexible notifications, letting you choose at the top level to be notified about everything; just direct messages, mentions, or keywords. Slack can divert notifications to your mobile devices automatically. And your mobile device can have unique settings to make sure you aren’t alerted outside of work hours unless you want to be.
Slack provides lots of other features that can prove useful for companies or teams of any size. You can share and comment on files of any type. Or create “posts” and get others to edit them collaboratively. We particularly like the integration with G Suite, which is far more effective than sending attachments around in email.
You can integrate a whole host of apps into Slack, so it can act as a single dashboard for the business. There are some great integrations for CRM systems such as PipeDrive (get alerted for new leads). With Stripe, set it up so you know when your clients have paid, or if a payment was declined. Or even use it to monitor competitor tweets or new posts on your favourite blogs.
We’ve been using Slack at Dr Logic for the last four years. If you’d like some help or advice about whether it’s the right tool for your business, please get in touch.