Slack: the team communication powerhouse
Maybe you’ve heard of Slack; the messaging app for teams – or, maybe you’re as out of the loop as I was. I consider myself a pretty avid follower of all things technology: apps, computers, video games; I love it all, but until four days ago, I thought slack was just what my grandma calls pants. Here we are, four days later, and I am recommending to my boss that we start using it here at Inclusion. That’s how much I’ve fallen in love with this app! So, without further ado….
What is Slack?
At its core, Slack is an app designed to save you time communicating. It’s slick, lightweight, and kind of feels like texting; but trust me, it’s a heck of a lot more powerful! Slack is cross-platform, meaning you can start a conversation on your computer with someone on their phone and seamlessly switch devices – and so can they. Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone, iPad, iLiner… if it has a screen, it’s probably supported! Slack also makes it easy to share documents, pictures, and other files – just drag them into the conversation and it’ll send them. Now I know what you’re thinking: “Email does that too!” As useful as these features sound…
Why is Slack better than what I’m already using?
Slack doesn’t do anything revolutionary – and it doesn’t try to. It just makes the things you already do easier and less time consuming. It integrates with hundreds of apps such as: Email, Dropbox, Google Docs, and Sound Cloud to make communicating easy. Want to start a group conversation with everyone who works at group home A? Just create a “Channel” with the relevant workers and only those people can see and add to the conversation. In Slack, channels are like virtual rooms. Anyone (that you’ve added to the channel) can post, read, or comment on anything else. No more looping people in, removing them from threads, and forwarding old emails. With slack, everyone in the channel can already see everything! Even new channel members can view every post since the beginning of time. Slack saves everything so that you can find it if you ever need to (unless of course, you choose to delete it). Slack also supports one-on-one direct messages and they are a lot more organized than using email, or texts. A particularly useful application of channels would be to use them to informally coordinate communications about supported individuals served by your agency. Simply create a channel for each individual and request that workers submit all communications, incident reports, and files to the channel. All workers with access to the channel will then be able to view all past communications and if a new worker is ever assigned to the individual, they can use the channel to quickly catch themselves up.
Another huge feature boasted by Slack is that all conversations are fully searchable! Want to remember what Sherry the shift worker said last week? Easy! Just type “From: Sherry”. Even if you don’t remember what channel it was said in (or who said it), the search feature is smart enough to help you find almost anything. So…
How much does Slack cost?
$0 – Zilch, nothing, Nada. It’s completely free! Slack does offer premium plans with upgraded features, but the free app should be more than enough for most teams. The only real limitation is that you can only search from the last 10,000 messages, but let’s be honest, if you’ve sent more than that, you’ve already fallen in love with the app!
So, what are you waiting for?
Try it out, and leave us a comment letting us know your favorite (or least favorite) things about it!
Disclaimer – Neither the author nor Inclusion is affiliated with slack in any way. This article was not sponsored and no compensation was received for its commission. I wrote this simply because I like the app.
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