I’m Slack but what is Slack?
If you work within a team or just need to communicate within your own organisation you’ve probably realised that this can be a difficult task at time.
Emails get missed, people aren’t on top of everything that is happening within the business and communication generally doesn’t happen anywhere near as much.
This is where Slack (www.slack.com) comes in. Slack allows you to not only add in your own employees as part of the “team” but also external providers. With collaboration becoming more and more prevalent these days it’s important to be able to work with others in an easy, managed manner.
Instead of having to sort through multiple email boxes to figure out what people are communicating it on you now have a communication program that everyone can have access to, yet if you need to do private communication that is still possible as well.
Here is a screenshot from when myself and a friend used slack to collaborate on a business that he was running at the time:
(If you want to know how to add another person to your Slack team here is the link https://get.slack.help/hc/en-us/articles/201330256-Inviting-new-members-to-your-Slack-team)
Slack organises your communication into channels that you can decide upon, create descriptions for and share in. It allows you to share files, code, video, GIF’s and more within the app itself & the other advantage – its completely searchable. (Note that there are limits to search on Free Accounts – more info on pricing here: https://slack.com/pricing) Outside of public channels you also have the ability to direct message between yourself and others, or create private channels or private direct messages.
Slack also has a lot of nifty features such as reminders that allow you to set one off reminders for your colleagues or recurring reminders for yourself – https://get.slack.help/hc/en-us/articles/208423427-Setting-reminders
Supercharging Slack – A few Tips & Tips
Slack is great alone but paired with other tools it becomes even more amazing. One of these tools is Zapier – so what should you do with Zapier and Slack? One of the best things I’ve set this up for is to gather all of a businesses social content into one channel. We have a channel in slack called #social – using Zapier we have created a “Zap” that posts into our #social channel whenever a new photo is posted to Instagram, a new post occurs on Facebook or whenever we tweet.
Why did we do this? This allows our entire team to see what content we are producing on social media and encourages them to engage with it – because from Slack we can click out directly on to the content we have created regardless of what network is was posted to.
I encourage you to look around at what else you can do in Zapier as it is an incredible tool for automation. Also be on the lookout for any services you already use that may have their own Slack integrations.
If you write a blog – or if you want to monitor your client blogs Slack has its own built in feature called /feed – this is the “command” you can issue to slack to ask it to watch out for new RSS feeds from a particular site. If you have slack – try this out by adding our blog – simply enter the command below in the channel where you wish to receive the updates and press enter:
If you have client blogs you want to see regularly I suggest you add a channel called #clientblogs then use the feed command above to feed their blog into it.
If you’ve got files you regularly need access to access in slack – its as simple as pinning them to a channel. This way you can open the channel details and click on “Pinned Items” to see anything that has been pinned. However as mentioned above – you also have an incredibly powerful search in Slack which could probably find whatever file you want anyway.
Want to bring attention to something or someone in slack? Thats easy slack has two ways of doing this – if you want the attention of everyone that has joined a channel simply type @channel – click on the button that shows up then type your message and press enter. To gain the attention of a single user simply type @username and follow the same process.
What does Slack work on?
This has to be one of my favourite features of Slack – it works on a variety of platforms (iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Linux, Mac, Windows, Web) and – it looks the same regardless of what device you are using.
So if you’re thinking about something to use other than email for communication be sure to check out Slack – remember a free version is available but I would say that you’ll love the product so much that you’ll be happy to pay for it.