What is Slack and Why Should I Use It?

October Cool Tool Tip 2: What is Slack and Why Should I Use It?


Do you routinely find yourself in email hell, trying to follow complicated email threads with attachments that all have to be transferred to project or client folders?

Our cool tool this week—Slack—may be just the thing you need to bring all of your team, project or community communications together in one sweet, well-organized place.

Recently I’ve been using Slack to lead a mastermind-type course, and its immediacy makes it far superior to a private Facebook private group. Slack offers many more functions, including easily searching messages. My friend who has a creative agency made a commitment to try Slack for two weeks and it ended up central to their internal communication and with clients. I am so impressed with Slack that New Tricks will transition to it soon.

[Hop on over to New Tricks…]

Slack is a communication app. You set it up for a specific client, groups or project, and you can send real time messages, posts and even documents that are organized and easily searchable.

The easiest way to see how Slack works is to watch a few YouTube videos, then give it a whirl. First, though, let me tell you why you should check out Slack.

  1. You can set up a Slack group for each team, or join a Slack team that invites you to participate. You can switch easily between teams; the toggle is located in the top left corner of the screen.
  2. Within each team, you can channel messages by type. A channel is a chat room based on a project, topic or group. You might set up a General channel, a Feedback channel or a channel for each client project. All related communication gets added to the channel, including posts and files.
  3. Channels can be marked private for selected Slack team members. The default is public, so any team member can access the channel.
  4. Each team members sets up how and how often to be notified of Slack chat messages.
  5. Slack lets you send private direct messages to a member or multiple team members to be read in email, much the same as direct messages are handled in Twitter.
  6. A huge number of apps integrate with Slack, allowing great functionality. Google Drive is one example. Integrating Google Drive with Slack allows you to share Google Docs in Slack through a simple link—you don’t have to access your Google Drive to read it. When that document gets updated in Google Docs, the file automatically syncs with the file linked through Slack, so what you are working on stays current across Slack and integrated apps.
  7. Google Hangouts is another app that integrates with Slack, and this is particularly handy when you need to see or share the screen with a Slack team member. With the push of a button in Slack, you’re connected.

Have you found a cool tool that has transformed a key aspect of your web-based business? If it’s made your work more efficient, and saved you time or money, I’d love to hear about it! You can contact me [link here].


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