There are plenty of programs out there dedicated to productivity, but so many of them just repackage existing tools. Slack however is not just a useful tool for organising your business day, but also provides new features you didn’t know you needed. This free app, which is available on desktop and mobile in the major formats, is of very high quality and will make you wonder how you managed without it.
Picking up the Slack
The tagline for this app is ‘be less busy’, which really does happen if you use it properly. Sure, you may lose some time while you get the whole team to learn the app and figure out the best way to use it, but overall it will save time and make everyone more productive. Put simply, this is a messaging app, but it’s tailored to conquer the terrible communication problems suffered by most modern offices. The system revolves around channels, which are marked with hash tags. Each channel is given a title, such as #Marketing or #Accounts. When you want to send a message to the Marketing team, you just click on the appropriate channel. When you want to contact a specific person or have a sensitive message, you can direct message or DM that user. This service is comparable to Skype or Messenger, but there are more features too. You can easily transfer files, for example, just by dropping them in. This also integrates with any existing file sharing like Dropbox.
Streamlined and intuitive
A big plus point for Slack is that it’s very intuitive, building off the systems used in common messenger programs, while streamlining certain things to cut down on time spent looking for buttons. This should cut down some time lost to training the team to use it. The program has a very soft, clean interface and modern style. You can also integrate other software to cut down on window-swapping, such as Twitter Google Drive and more. All of these are searchable in your archive along with your messages. The software even indexes inside files, so your searches include the contents of things like PDFs. Another big benefit of this software is that it’s easily synced with your mobile devices, so every base is covered and it can even be set up to notify you of changes. Lastly, look out for little touches like private channels for upper management which demonstrate the thought that has gone into this app.
Speed up and get things done
Slack’s creators claim that customers see an average 48.6% reduction in internal email, which will surely save time. Add to that the fact that the software is free to use for companies of any size and there’s really no reason not to try it out. The company also has a large, dedicated support team to help with integration into your office. Detractors may say that this doesn’t do anything that existing software packages do, but if you like everything in one place, this is a good place to start.