What is Slack? Once you have finished reading this post you will realise that slow, inconvenient and unnecessary e-mails are a thing of the past! With the new Slack app you can create a digital workspace for your team, what else do you need? E-mail communication might have been the most effective tool for team organization and information exchange over recent years, but it is not anymore. Nowadays, sending constant, time consuming, unnecessary e-mails does not correspond to the dynamic and innovative-driven nature of the new high-tech generation. The ability to send the right message at the right time is an essential key to effective team organization, and one company managed to do exactly that. Meet Slack: the company who is on a mission to wipe out e-mails.
What is Slack?
Slack was founded in 2013 and has become one of the most popular and user-friendly cloud-based platforms for team communication, which is an unbelievable growth to achieve in just 4 years.
As a tool, Slack is a cloud-based software and app that allows your team to create its very own private chatroom where they can send messages between each other and organize their conversations efficiently. Creating channels and groups, sending and sharing files with colleagues, searching the history and receiving notifications are just a few of the awesome features that the platform offers.
How to get started with Slack?
There is no need to download anything additional in order to start using Slack. However, once you have registered on the platform, we recommend downloading the desktop app or the mobile Slack app for a much better user experience and a significantly faster notification reach. The app allows you to receive messages instantly on any device, improving the efficiency of your team communication.
If you are the one who is going to create the Slack channel for your team members, the only thing you need to do is go to slack.com, enter your e-mail address, and let the company guide you through the whole process.
After you have created your workspace, you are ready to set up your profile, invite other team members by e-mail, and create either private or public channels. The platform provides you with a user-friendly dashboard to easily manage your account, and you can personalize it.
If you are not going to be an Admin user for the account, you should receive an invite from an Admin user so that you can join your company’s or University’s channel.
5 awesome functionalities of Slack
Now that I have explained ‘What is slack?’ I am going to talk about some of its top functionalities:
1.Teams and channels: the platform provides fast and easy communication between team members. You can easily send and share files by uploading them from your computer or by pasting the URL directly into the chatroom. Slack allows you to create different channels that can either be private or public, and they can be organized around a variety of topics – for example, you can create a Marketing channel that includes colleagues from your Marketing department only so that you can share news and thoughts immediately without having to send long, unnecessary e-mails. The channels are organized by hashtags that define the topic around which the channel is organized.
2. Instant Messaging and Notifications: as previously mentioned, Slack wipes out the need to write and send unnecessary e-mails that the other person might take the whole day to see and respond to. By downloading the app for your desktop or mobile, you can receive notifications instantly and expect an immediate response from other members (if they are not busy, of course!) Direct messages are only visible to you and the ones you share the channel with, but posting a message in a channel will not be seen in all other channels.
3. Tagging and search history: The Slack app allows you to directly tag a team member if you need their attention on an issue, and it also gives you the possibility to search files or keywords in the conversation history. However, this feature is limited on the free plan, and the platform will automatically delete the oldest messages after a certain period of time.
4. Apps and integrations: Slack has an app directory where you can find a variety of different tools and services that you can additionally install in order to give even better functionality to your workspace. Marketing tools, Office Management tools, Design, Communication and Customer Service tools are only a few of the categories that you will find in the directory. Additionally, the company provides you with guidelines and customer support so you can download these apps without any problems.
5. Intergration: Slack integrates with other tools, such as: Asana, Twitter, Google Hangouts, DropBox and MailChimp, enabling you to synchronize team conversations.
How much does it cost and which plan would suit my team?
Free Plan – it includes limited features, but it is a great starting point for small businesses that want to test the platform and see if it works for them. The good news: it is free forever!
Standard Plan – costs 6.25 EUR per active user per month, and it is recommended for medium-sized businesses that are ready to use the platform for working on projects and following up many conversations. It provides a wider range of functionalities and features, and is billed annually.
Premium Plan – 11.75 EUR per active user per month, and it suitable for bigger businesses that need more advanced features such as SSO and Compliance Exports. It is packed with unlimited searches, third-party integrations, 24/7 customer support, and many other features.
To get a deeper overview of Slack, make sure to check this article as well.
Left wanting more? Follow my tutorial: What is Slack!
In this video you will find a tutorial in which I explain: What is Slack? I will delve into the set up and the use of its main functionalities.
Now that you know all about Slack you don’t have any excuse! If you are still using Skype, e-mail, or even worse – Whatsapp, for your internal team conversations, you should definitely try out Slack – it improves communication, productivity, and time efficiency. And because the platform provides you with a forever free plan, you don’t have to pay a single cent while trying out its awesome features. What are you waiting for?