In this month’s select we look at the app Slack, an innovative instant messaging platform made for small businesses. Slack takes the job of communicating within teams within a business and streamlines it into one easy to use, slickly designed interface.
Slack gives users one platform in which they can conduct all of their messaging for work purpose. Slack is your modern day answer to email, and it has so many benefits which make email seem passé. Slack provides one base for all messages within a team and allows you access to any message which has been sent. Slack allows the user to jump between asynchronous and synchronous communication easily and provides a powerful service for work time communication. As well as large group discussions you can also create private one to one chats with co-workers, as well as an integrated call system. Therefore you can still maintain direct contact with each individual member of your team.
Through the use of so called ‘channels’ you can create threads which you then send messages within. So if you have a specific project you could name a channel #projectx and then discuss this project in this thread with whoever is related to the project. This allows you to create streamlined communications about specific topics which need addressing. Long gone are emails sent out to everyone in the business but only relevant to a few teams. You can pinpoint what conversations need to be had and save time in the process. Also, you can customise your notifications very easily to make sure that you get exactly what you need, when you need it from Slack.
Slack is as much about its search feature as it is anything else. With a comprehensive and powerful search function Slack allows you to archive necessary chats and information but be able to recall the specific message at a moment’s notice. This open platform allows for a new user to be able to see past conversations and projects and get a feel for their company’s workings from day one.
Slack is designed to work sympathetically with many of the other programs which you will find yourself using within your business. Whether it is a customer support, bug alert, file sharing or source control platform, Slack are adding new integrated systems everyday so that you can get the most out of their app. This therefore makes Slack incredibly collaborative and allows you to maximise communication across the board.
In addition, Slack allows you to minimise the amount of time you spend organising your communications. In a traditional email client you would spend a long time going through emails to see what its contents relate to. The ‘channels’ function allows messages to slot into the correct view and you will know automatically when you have updates or new messages regarding a certain aspect of your business.
Slack has apps for iOS and Android as well as a Mac desktop app. However, most users find that the best way to use Slack is through their web client. A web client allows user to access their communications at any time, providing they have an internet connection. Slack is very inexpensive and is a great investment for any business with a future facing plan. They even offer a free service, with stripped back functions which gives you the ability to try out the interface before investing.
Slack revolutionises communication and is easy for users to pick up. Due to the model being based on real-time messaging the modern day business will find Slack intuitive as it works similarly to our own personal messaging apps which we use daily. Slack is a must have app for the future facing, modern day business.
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