Slack is a communication tool that also doubles as a collaboration and project management tool. Keep this in mind next time you are about to dismiss it for an alternative. However, since 2013, it has grown to accommodate some tools that make the two possible. Even though it is a perfect tool, it comes close due to its ability to integrate apps to enhance its performance. If you are planning to use Slack for business, whether an established enterprise or an SME, you won’t be disappointed. It is great in collaboration and even better in communication.
Slack is extremely easy to use, set up,…
Slack is extremely easy to use, set up, and navigate. My company has been a user of Slack since their inception and I’ve seen lots of features that’ve been added in that time. They just seem to get it. They know what people want and are always striving to provide it.
You want calling? Boom… got it. You want gifs? Oh boy, do you get some gifs! You want to make your own custom emojis for those inside jokes or common sayings around work? You got it!
I could go on and on, but overall Slack is an amazing tool that¿s helped communication immensely in our company. We’re very remote friendly, so having the ability to stay in communication with my colleagues around the world is key, and Slack makes that happen seamlessly. They also have many features that allow you to set your own work/life balance and stick to it with ease.
It’s become such an intragal part of our company’s communication that I couldn’t imagine life without Slack.
If you get the free version of Slack, you get many of the features that the paid version gets, but one of the biggest drawbacks is you’re very limited to how many historic messages you can see. If you belong to a group who’s on the free plan, it can be tough since you’re unable to see messages that you may have missed.
Another downside is that the search functionality is a little weak. It’s not terrible, but it could be greatly improved as it’s sometimes really tough to find what you’re looking for.
This app is absolutely essential in my…
This app is absolutely essential in my office! I work in Communications/Marketing and without Slack, it would be an endless frustration trying to communicate with other departments and even members of my own team. It almost makes email obsolete for us. Particularly, it is really great at integrating other apps/programs like Google, and will allow you to embed documents right into the different channels (chatrooms basically) which keeps everything easy and in one place.
Something a bit quirky but amazing is that when you put hex codes in, it actually swatches the colour for you (as a designer this is so much fun). And definitely the best part of it is having separate chatrooms so that you can coordinate conversations about events, departments, or anything else and it stays completely organized.
A couple of things I’d like to see improved are: 1) The listing of direct messages/people in the app (its kind of just like a really long list, and for an organized app, it’s weird that that part isn’t organized) 2) Clearer direction for threads (you wouldn’t actually know you can start a thread unless you have been using the app long enough, so sometimes conversations can get a bit convoluted with people replying at different times in the same channel)
The way all of the different…
The way all of the different communications between you and your teammates are sorted. I really like that there are ‘public’ groups that anyone can join as well as private threads between you and 1 or 2 other team members.
There are also a ton of addons that can do different things like schedule events, track todo items, or compile everyone’s lunch orders. A lot of the addons are really useful and easy to use.
There aren’t a lot of cons I can think of.
The only thing I can think of is that every once in a while, Slack goes down for an hour or two every month of so.
I’m not sure what the cause is, but at least it gets resolved relatively quickyl.
Slack makes communication a lot easier between team members.
It allows for public discussion in channels, as well as private communication between 2-3 team members.
Slack also makes it easy to document conversations that have happened for easy recall.
The addons that are available for Slack also increase it’s functionality by a lot.
These addons can make compiling information from conversations very easy and available to everyone who participated in the conversation.
I loved that you could create different…
I loved that you could create different groups. I used this program with 5 different regional service teams. The ease of use and the application being supported on iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac! Slack had great integration of different types of apps. Being able to interact with the group in many different ways from emojis to channel creation. Switching from the web site to the mobile app is seamless! For a small team you can use the free version without many limitations. Very secure way of communication.
Normal users have a hard time finding users on the same team without first hand knowledge of their username. Unable to change/customize the layout. Doesn’t have away messages like AIM did back in the day. Image upload can be slow especially if you’re uploading multiple images and have to select them one by one. It can be very distracting from work especially if you have your phone notifications on loud.
Originally launched in August of 2013, Slack has quickly gained traction and became one of the most widely adopted workplace apps – both in and out of the office. At its core, Slack is just a messaging app for teams. Slack brings together all of your communications and files into one space. Slack helps organize your messages, conversations, online meetings, files and watercooler chat where everything is searchable and persistent on all devices. Slack is noticed for its unique design, sticky user experience, and simplicity – Slack is so much fun, you won’t even realize you’re getting work done, It’ll feel just like, well, slacking off. At this point, Slack has managed to gather about 4 million daily active users, with more than 1.25 million paid users.
With unique beginnings, its no wonder Slack turned out to be such a unique solution. Slack started officially working on the app in the end of 2012, but began much earlier – the company was previously working on a web-based massively multiplayer game, but by their own account, failed to deliver. Slack was actually the team’s internal chat app, to help them share ideas and code without picking up the phone or leaving their office. The innovation has not stopped there and Slack quickly realized that team size plays an important role on how the app is used – eventually Slack expanded to even allow Enterprise and massive companies to establish their own solution on premise with the Slack Grid.
Slack Pricing and Services
Slack For Teams
Free – $0 per month/user
- Searchable Message Archives, up to 10k of your team’s most recent messages
- 10 Apps or service integrations
- Native apps for iOS, Android, Mac & Windows
- Two-person voice and video calls
- 5GB total file storage
- Two-factor authentication
Standard – $6.67 per month/active user
- All free features PLUS
- Unlimited searchable message archive
- Unlimited apps and service integrations
- Custom retention policies for messages and files
- Guest Access
- Priority Support
- Oauth via Google
- Mandatory two-factor authentication
- Custom User Groups to reach a team or department
- Group voice and video calls
- 10GB file storage per team member
- Custom Profiles
Plus – $12.50 per month/active user
- All Standard features PLUS
- SAML-based single sign-on
- Compliance exports of all messages
- 99.99% Guaranteed Uptime SLA
- 24/7 Support with 4hr response time
- User provisioning and deprovisioning
- Real-time Active Directory sync with OneLogin, Okta, Centrify and Ping Identity
- 20GB file storage per team member
Slack Enterprise Grid
“Slack Enterprise Grid powers the design, usage, and administration of multiple interconnected Slack workspaces across your entire company.”
- Organization-wide search, direct messaging, and announcement-focused channels
- Unlimited workspaces, customized around the people, information and apps that matter most to a team
- Shared channels between workspaces to connect teams when needed
- Security, compliance, billing and platform integration management in a single view
- Support for integrations with data loss prevention (DLP), e-Discovery, and offline backup providers
- 1TB of storage per user
- Dedicated account and customer success teams
- 24/7 support with 2hr response time
Editor’s Bottom Line of Slack
Slack has easily grown to be one of the most popular workplace team collaboration and cloud based chat apps. If an office isn’t using Slack, chances are they have at least heard of it and considered the option. Slack can even be considered the catalyst for a trend shift we have seen in the past few years: the adoption of chat based collaboration apps to help get stuff done quickly, and easily. Similar applications have existed for years, reaching as far back as IRC, one of, if not, the original online instant messenger. But as time went on, technology ignored the instant messenger for the more organized and persistent email, which now thanks to Slack is slowly giving way to the chat app. These workplace chat solutions are more than just instant messengers, but allow for persistent information gathering and sharing just like email – but even simpler.
The beauty of Slack specifically is the marriage of a unique, colorful and fun design, with only the few solid features you really need, and a wonderful user experience. While at its core, Slack is fairly simply – it’s a chat app first a foremost, with the ability to separate your conversations into distinct “rooms,” dedicated for different teams or topics, and individual one on one conversations. Slack also allows for file sharing, more recently voice and video calls, and even third-party integrations with other work apps, or custom user made bots to expand and customize if your team sees fit. But down to the basics, Slack allows your team to message and chat in the office or on the go, share files, and search it all within an instant. If you need to find that file the design team sent over last week, instead of hunting through a massive email chain or bugging the team again, Slack lets users simply search or scroll up in their chat log to find their previous messages.
Overall, Slack is one of the best options for the small-to-midsize business that needs a simple, yet robust and capable, collaboration app. At its simplest chat form, Slack allows small teams to always stay in touch and keep information in one organized location. Quicker than an email, easier than a phone call, and less personal than a text message to your personal phone, Slack is the easiest and most fun workplace collaboration and chat app available. Large Enterprise teams can also utilized the more recent Slack Grid for their own on-premise and custom made solution. While Slack can be expanded and customized with integrations and add-ons, we recommend Slack for the more simple approach, where teams can get by with basic messaging and file sharing.