We can definitely communicate with almost no exceptions. It takes the "where is this person" out of the equation as you can just send them a message and know when they come online and see it. The benefits to not just sitting and waiting on an answered email are endless.
I don't remember how my team communicated before Slack. It keeps my coworkers connected in and out of the office. It cuts down on our emails and makes communication easy. There are a lot of apps and integrations that can be added to automate processes. You can integrate project management tools, Google Docs, Spotify, Canto DAM, Giphy for some fun with coworkers and so many more.
I love that I can drag and drop files, images and videos into slack to share with my coworkers. In addition, slack allows free integration with many other tools out there. My peers who are software developers talk about how easy it is in the backend for integration.
Slack is easy to use and has great built in functions for notifications. It has really been extremely helpful to get multiple departments talking at times and keep each department informed while not in the same location. The ability to upload files makes it easy to share ideas.
The Screen sharing could be improved, along with mic recognizing.
When network connectivity is lost during screen sharing or calls, the reconnect feature doesn't seem to work really efficiently.
My biggest complaint is that Slack makes you way too available. You're expected to know whats going on whether you are at home sick or in the office working.
Sometimes the app on the phone won't clear your notifications even after reading or checking through them.
We used slack as a company both to facilitate communication across all teams (a tech start up that grew from 20 people to 120 people while I was there) and run basic options (e.g. submit bugs to the product team).
It helped us build a strong culture of bonding over personal news broadcasts and basic company updates, and also improved our productivity in certain processes. In other aspects, it was definitely a huge distraction. I would say it's worth integrating with clear guidelines for etiquette.
Once you get the hang of it, it's really well designed, easy to use and really fun. They have so many integrations that make it easy to customize it for a company and yet let each individual employee personalize it for themselves (names, gifs, emoji's, etc).
It's a streamlined way to get a simple answer back or stay in touch with employees you don't happen to be sitting next to. You avoid email overload.
It can be a HUGE time suck and it was very hard to be off slack at any point.
This is probably company dependent, but I was as a tech start-up and it was so easy to spend hours of my day messaging people about work or non-work related topics. This can be fine, unless you're trying to get something meaningful done. People would slack during meetings rather than be fully present. That made no sense to me -- if you're going to be in a meeting, BE in a meeting.
I also felt like I couldn't get off slack on nights and weekends. Again -- that's a company wide decision, but there was an aspect of slack like texting that made people felt like they had to respond when they got a message. Even if you don't respond, it still drives up anxiety to have notifications pop up.
Slack was a real breakthrough for us in regards to communicating as a team and a company. We use it daily and intensely so. The team behind the software obviously is using it itself and has a keen eye on what would be a helpful feature and what a distracting nuisance. For me it seems as if someone who really has the same communication requirements as ourselves is developing a software to cover exactly these. We hold Slack in high regard and anyone I know who is using it agrees, Slack is THE Communication and Collaboration tool we were waiting for. Furthermore it keeps improving and growing and sensibly so.
We work in distributed (software) teams for more than 10 years now. We always had the need to communicate synchronously and asynchronously and used a lot of different tools, as for example Skype or all kinds of other text/voice chat solutions. It all worked okayish. The issue was, none of the tools were able to give us the whole bunch of features (and do so conveniently). You want to chat via text, you want to make calls, ant conference calls, and you wish to share your desktop, ideally throw a couple of files at your colleagues. Also, wouldn't it be great if you could mark things your colleagues said and make your chat program remind you tomorrow. Or remind someone else about something you said or generally do simple task handling inside your communication platform. Ideally synchronized flawlessly with your Desktop, Web and (native) mobile clients. It all is there and it is fun to use, ready to be used instantly (as a service). Additionally Slack managed believably to diffuse concerns regarding administrators or managers to eavesdrop on the communication between employees by keeping the procedure for privacy transparent.
Also Slack makes a point in combining its technical excellence with a humorous approach towards its users and Administrators. Furthermore there is a rich Ecosystem of Plugins, Extensions and Modules to, for example notify specific teams in case of an event such as a Blog Post in the internal company Blog or an alarm from a monitored server.
Some of the features were more a distraction and we had to pick what to use and what to remove. This is not a real issue with the software itself but rather something that enforced us to discuss topics like - humorous chatbot comments ... a distraction or desireable? As with many Software products you use as a service, sometimes they break and all of a sudden all you can do is wait until it works again. It happened only once or twice since we used Slack so this is not really an issue. In General, it is hard to think about anything to complain about regarding Slack.
Overall slack has been readily available via SaaS, easy to access, and has a similarly simplistic mobile app in regard to ease of installation and use. I'd like to see more companies picking up on slack and providing drop in plugins and I'd like to see Slack as an organization retain their playfulness while providing a maturity to their offering. I want to elaborate on that by saying that I like fun and it's critical to the "user experience" to have fun, cool features. However, when my job requires a serious and mature approach I need to know I can get to the adult settings quickly and effectively and I'm not sure I can trust slack for that shift just yet.
There's a lot to like about this great platform. We're currently using the free chat platform, and considering that this tool has been excellent. It's on par with other similar tools but probably less expensive and has a free offering of 10K msgs to get your team/company on board. I've noticed there are a lot of commercial grade support options via plugins for Slack which is nice to see and sets it apart from similar free platforms that may have a better role outside of the office.
I'd like to see more functionality similar to commercial products of the same nature. Functionality like typing @all to alert everyone in the room regardless of presence and @here to alert only those in the room at that time. There is a fair to medium amount of plugins with regards to what's offered by 3rd party tools. When it comes to slack more enterprise grade companies providing plugin coverage would be a great thing to see.
The settings menus are either entirely over engineered or just a hodge podge of separate failed development projects placed about the application. The settings menu is divided into 3 separately placed derivative and sometimes redundant menus. There are top-right, top-left, and yet another expanded settings menu within the top-left settings menu which opens up it's own page. Several options in the main-page menu opens up yet another entire page of it's own. The settings have a flow that feels manic rather than fluid.
Due to the inconsistent settings menus I can't tell if there isn't a dark option or it's hidden in one of the many menu layers I haven't fully exposed yet but as far as I can tell there is no dark options (could be free option doesn't allow) with "customize" options only seeming to affect the main side-bar. This is not great for the majority of IT workers who live in the dark world of Monokai themes.
Overall, I've been very happy with Slack. I have people who often work remotely, and being able to have a centralized, searchable space for conversation that can be delineated by topic is a lifesaver in a lot of situations. We are often working on multiple projects with multiple stakeholders, so keeping those conversations clear is essential. But what I like in particular about Slack is the integrations that make the space fun. There is a default random channel that is created, and being able to have a channel in Slack where my employees can post random gifs or talk about off-topic items has not only helped build rapport throughout the whole team, but as also made Slack become a more integrated part of our entire team structure. Employees can bring more of themselves to work through Slack, and that makes my team work better and more effectively.
Slack has helped my team communicate more effectively and work together more collaboratively than we were able to before. Channels are the best feature for our team. They help us keep our conversations segmented so that we can find information easily and share it with only those who need to know. Since I use Slack with internal team members and external collaborators, it also helps me keep communication with others in my organization who don't work directly with me but with whom I need to communicate on a regular basis.
The onboarding process is still a bit difficult. It's hard to explain what Slack is to others who aren't familiar with it, and the learning curve can be a bit steep, especially for those who are most comfortable communicating via email. I've had difficulty getting some external collaborators to use it because of that barrier.
I think Slack is very good for team communication, though not "the only answer". I say this because, for example, it isn't the most appropriate tool to handle team wide calls.
It's worth to pay for it if you need to access your history files and conversations.
I really like the way Slack enables team communication. I have used Slack in both paid/free versions.
I used the free version (limited storage for conversations and files) in a 40 people co-located team. It was very good for short interactions and immediate file sharing. We had a link with Jira, so we were always seeing issues being updated and such. Previously, we had Trello and it work very good too.
I currently use the paid version in a remote team and it's our day to day communication means. We have linked GitHub to have a "center monitor" for created issues, pull requests, etc. Also, all of the alerts, regarding website functionality/life are connected in real-time to Slack, so we never miss an alert.
It's very useful to have the paid version as it holds the whole conversation and file history. It's very easy to use the search function to find my own files or even things that were discussed in conversations.
After a while (or update, I'm not sure) using the free version, the storage of conversations and/or files didn't lasted much. So, if you had a conversation last week, forget about going back to that.
Also, in the free version it feels very much as if your files and conversations are held as hostages.
I think there are still some integrations that needed to be improved, for example, when I accidentally accepted to show previews of GitHub issues I couldn't find a way to turn it off (or an easy way, at least.)
Despite the time it took to get accustomed to the software and the constant teaching we have to do for new members of our team on how to best use it, I'm so glad that we switched to Slack. It works for us because we have minimal use for emails and are frequently messaging about things that require quick responses from many people. I have only used it on a team of 40+ people for part-time community organizing, not a full-time job or project, but it has reduced so much stress and greatly increased our productivity and communication. Plus, we can have separate channels just for jokes or recipes, so it adds a fun element to our work without ONE MORE EMAIL in everyone's inbox.
Slack helps our team of 40+ people stay organized and on task. I'm not an early tech adopter, but I LOVE having my email inbox NOT inundated constantly with various subjects and to-dos. In fact, we never use email for our team, with the exception of occasional messages that come in from someone outside of our organization that we all need to discuss (and even then, copy and pasting it into Slack often yields better results and responses!). Slack has the level of organization (through both separate channels and also individual threads/discussions within each channel) that email lacks, with practically the ease of texting if you are using the phone app. Within the computer app, the separateness of the software from a web browser minimizes distractions while working within the app, although it does require switching back and forth between the two if additional info is needed.
Slack does have a significant learning curve, especially with all of the special functions that are possible within the app; our team uses very few of the special functions because they aren't immediately intuitive and we haven't taken the time to get trained on them. Channels can get cluttered quickly if threads are not utilize properly, and it can take time to scroll back through the channel to find posts (although there is a search function). Also, it's a small thing, but we use the emoji "reaction" function regularly to post Yes/No questions, vote for approval on proposals (Thumbs up!), etc., but Slack does not currently notify posters of emoji "reactions" to their posts; they just have to go to the app to see whether anyone has responded or not.
Overall, wonderful company. I’ve been with them for 2 years. Incredible updates to this software in that time. It’s so integrated into my company because I don’t have a traditional office. My team is spread out all over the state.
You have everyone together in one place
You can set up multiple projects or companies under one log in with different users set at different administrative statuses to limit access to different employee levels
Real time follow up
Keeps the team interactive which increases productivity and progress
Navigating from one team or company or project to another is very easy using the desktop app
Very productive when your team is not located all in the same physical office - that’s its major benefit. The monthly cost of this software is a fraction of paying for office space. All the messages are archived so you can always go back and review anything you want or follow up on any outstanding issues.
Immediate feedback from your team. Constantly getting the most updated info for your projects and/or teams.
If you don’t download the desktop app and only use the website, it can be difficult switching between projects or companies or team
You will need the app to ease the navigation of the software
If you have a physical office that everyone goes to, then this will still be helpful as a follow up but you would really get the full potential of this software
Sometimes it becomes a social platform that your employees get lost in talking about non-work topics and end up spending hours chatting. Personally, I think that if you have a physical office, you will need to make sure to set boundaries on usage and only use it as a follow up but again depending on your number of users, may not be worth the monthly.
Also, if you have some users and/or employees who are not tech savvy or don’t use messengers on a regular basis, this will be hard to intergrate that person. It only works when people are active on the software and use it as your main line of communication. If some users and mixing between emails and slack, then you will be missing out on a lot of communication and will result in some miscommunication
Overall I don't know how we would function without Slack. It is a key component of our company workflow and with all the integrations available with Slack, we're being more productive, seeing less in our inbox, and getting work done faster and efficiently. We will likely move up to the paid version soon, since there are additional function's we'd like to use (like accessing archived conversations and files). I would recommend Slack to everyone - I even use it personally in place of other messaging apps!
I love how easy Slack is to use. It's extremely user friendly with a familiar interface. If you ever used AIM (instant messenger) or iChat in the past, Slack will feel very similar.
I also love that we can drag and drop to share large files in Slack. When working in a fast environment where things like presentations or creative need to be reviewed around quickly, but are too large to email, Slack is a really handy tool.
Also, the ability to share code snippets without the formatting getting lost is huge while working with development teams. Excellent foresight by the Slack engineers to include this functionality.
Finally, Slack bot responses! I was able to set up responses for lost passwords and logins for our team, as well as basics like team member phone numbers, or birthdays, so we aren't digging through address books and instead we can just quickly ask Slack for help. It's really great.
One thing that's actually really frustrating is not having control over deleting conversations. As with any direct messaging app, there's an expectation of privacy between those two people. However, it's really unclear if upper management can ever access these direct messages. As such, I know a number of people who had tried to mass-delete threads (in the event mgmt could read them) but it wasn't possible in the free version of Slack (and I'm unsure if it's even available in the paid version).
There are third party apps to help delete comments, but it'll only do yours and not the entire thread. It would be helpful for employees to know exactly how private their direct messages are, and have the ability to delete content they want to.
Also, being able to have the slack bot responses work in direct messages, and not just open channels, would be nice. Being in a playful environment, different groups have added various, secret, slack bot responses, but most of our communication happens in direct messages and not in the open channels. As such we lose out of this fun functionality.
Overall, Slack is a communication king. It acts as a one tool for all and seamlessly allows multiple integrations with so many third party applications. All of its content are searchable, pinnable and configurable to your personal preference. Slack makes file sharing easy across all conversations and is available for across multi platform.
Slack is a communication tool for all employees in one place. I love how we are able to start a channel to talk about a specific project or chat to individual people. In my life of field i work in multiple different department from various different time zones but Slack unites all of us together. You are also able to integrate a lot of third party tools to help your conversations. I very much use the Gdoc integration and the conversation pinning functionality - I'd like to keep the more important up to date information on top of the chat thread.
You are also able to access Slack from majority of the devices, there is a nifty Desktop App, equally better mobile app and a web app all of them can be configured differently. For example, if you do not want a notification on your mobile but instead you want to follow the conversation on desktop - Boom, its possible and you can configure it all.
There are couple things Slack could improve. Firstly, Slack needs to allow their users to import table - if you are copy pasting an information from a table, Slack is not able to dissect that which is really a downer. The other being, connection issues, lately Slack has been having some connection issues whereby it is the only software in your system to not connect to the internet.
I owned a company that had quite a few people working for us that were overseas and communication was key. We started using slack and it greatly improved productivity, communication, and clarity. It was very simple to learn and use for everyone in the company. It is essentially a productivity social network for a business.
You can pin important announcements and topics to the top for everyone to see. Anybody can tag anybody or a group of people in the discussion. When you tag someone you know they will receive the message because they will get a notification they have been tagged. We set up multiple channels for all of the departments such as marketing, development, management etc. Having multiple channels is convenient for everyone so that they only see relevant information.
You can archive all of the channels or particular channels for your internal records. The search feature is nice if you ever need to go back to see what was said previous. Slack integrates to almost any other software as well. We had ours integrated to Dropbox and Trello. If you use any other mainstream software then there is a high likeliness that slack integrates with it.
The app for Slack works with IOS or Android. The app works flawlessly when we used it and it was very useful. I used the app almost more than I did the desktop client. Whenever someone tags you or pins something then you will get a notification on the app. You can also change app notification settings.
The only drawback I have found with Slack is the video chat feature. It may have improved since I last used this feature but it seems to have some bugs. It would drop calls or the quality would be poor. We ended up having to use Zoom or Google hangout for the video chat. However, it is convenient within the video chat you can screen share.
Thanks to this software, I keep connection with a network of international experts from everywhere on a passionate subject that we continue to build together, including rich conversations , sharing documents and setup workshops all around the world.
The user interface is really elegant and powerful. I particularly appreciate the 3 pane display that allows me to see which channel have updates so I can easily switch and the right pane to see content of a thread or search results without loosing my context.
I also really appreciate the possibility to add our own set of icons. In our case its particularly useful since our group discuss about methods that have their own icons.
The direct message module is very useful and clearly identified as separate elements so there are no risks to mix it with other conversations.
Sharing documents is quite easy and the preview helps a lot when you are searching for a specific document previously uploaded.
The search functionality works well and search results are clearly displayed.
Last but not least, the windows application is very useful and I appreciate to have a separate application instead of a browser tab dedicate to it.
Switching from a workspace to another one is always confusing for me. Never sure about how to use it correctly without loosing an update.
Seems to be a recent change, but search results are now displayed in a popup window, then you select one result and you are redirected to the thread and loose the list of results. It's quite disturbing for me and I still have to learn how to use it in a comfortable manner.
I'm also puzzled by the 'All thread' view where I'm always lost. You can scroll up and down and you never know exactly where you are. Maybe it's useful for other people but for me the best views are the Channels.
Easier and more casual communication between teams. Ability to take more issues at once without having to move around the building too much. Overall, I believe it improves efficiency and eases mental loads.
This is a good piece of software if you have multiple teams that need to communicate in real time. In our company, we have teams across different buildings communicate casually in the back-ground whilst work is on-going.
This is very handy if you have questions or tasks that need following up, as you are able to send notifications that are more visible than an email but not as intrusive as a face to face request.
This tool is particularly good for IT teams or employees who need to exchange files with real-time conversation, especially as 3rd parties can join channels as well. The ability to make private channels and have private conversations also allow for a degree of privacy where needed.
With there being both desktop and mobile versions of the app it is easy to take work on the go, great for if you remote work or are allowed agile working.
Lastly, there are some cool customisation features that allow a casual feel to the place, which is a must in any modern working environment.
The desktop/mobile versions of the app work fine. However, if you're in a VDI work setup and have to use the browser version you will probably experience some lag. You're machine will need some decent RAM to be able to cope when the chats get large and multiple conversations are occurring at once. When I say decent RAM, I mean not an ageing office computer.
If you have the FREE version you can expect older conversations to disappear, so if history and file space is important to you you'll need a paid version.
It's almost completely replaced Email within our business, it's amazing and handled nearly everything we have thrown at it so far. It helps us connect with multi-site colleagues and with our publishers.
Slack is a tool that allows you to ditch e-mail in your work environment, probably for good. Since we implemented an internal Slack office environment (after about 5 minutes of setting it up) - We've found that our E-mail amount has plummeted to almost zero.
Day to day chats, tasks, discussions, updates everything is now usually carried out of Slack now, we have every employee using the Slack App (as well as the windows Desktop APP) and they both work brilliantly, allowing our staff to keep up to date when out of the office on the road.
Every time we've challenged Slack to fit into another area of our company structure, it's passed with flying colours, we've implemented a few simple bot's that track peoples work, (again not too difficult to set up if you're a programmer) - I cannot recommend it any higher, if your organisation isn't using Slack then you're definitely not as efficient as you could be.
We've since joined a few 'group' industry slacks which keep is contact with tens of thousands of people within our sector, we can ask for knowledge, advice, or simply post job adverts all through a simple chat program. It's definitely opened doors that we wouldn't have even known about before, as well as helped us get in touch with friends, old colleagues, and new potential hires. All by joining a relevant industry based Slack channel.
It has deep integration with most other software out there, (Trello, Google Docs, Calendars, etc) - It's amazing and highly recommended.
There really isn't much we don't like about Slack, it can become a bit of a distraction at times if you don't manage the alerts and notifications properly.
I guess on a personal level, it also makes it harder to disconnect from work when out of office hours as there's always a form of communication available. None of these criticisms really fall on Slack however, and more on our work culture and rules.
Slack has totally innovated the way our team communicates and our productivity would not be the same without it.
Slack allows you to efficiently communicate with your team in a fun and enjoyable way. Unlike email, messages and files are easily searchable in one search box and slack also collects all of the attachments in your workspace together so they can be easily found.
Slack threads make it easy to organize discussions around certain topics and if the topic is important you can create a channel from the thread itself. You can also make these channels private if not everyone in the workspace should see the conversation.
Slack has incorporated really useful apps. I have taken advantage of the app to send polls to my team, and creating asana tasks right from a message. I also get a message from slack every day listing the events I have on my calendar for the day, and set up a way for students workers to clock-in right from slack. Recently slack has also integrated with Qualtrics, and you can have Qualtrics send slack message triggers which is awesome!
The slack app for ios is great. You can quickly answer co-workers on the go, and you can set your notifications to go on do not disturb during a certain time period each day if you do not want to receive push notifications out of work hours.
There really aren't many cons to slack although the app on the phone can be a bit buggy at times, but no real complaints and they seem to address any issues with a timely update.
Although slack has a multitude of apps, I do wish there were some apps they had. For instance, I would like the ability to create a google calendar event from a message or send a google calendar invite through slack. Although, they seem to be constantly innovating the platform, so hopefully this will be possible in the future.
Overall, Slack is definitely a tool you can vouch for!
After having worked in the IT sector for 3+ years now, I can safely say that Slack is one of the best channels for internal communication - primarily because the design is extremely balanced; it is not archaic nor is it designed to look too casual a chat platform. I will quickly walk you through the pros of the product based on my experience as well as the useful features of it.
1. With slack, you are assured of a good UI. I have used similar platforms for internal messaging like spark but there were quite dated in terms of how they looked and worked. Majority of times, the file always showed transfer error. Slack ensures sureshot file transfer
2. In addition to the point above, there is a very useful feature of "All Files" that helps you view all the files you have received so far. Great for record purposes, to double-check and re-download easily in case you have lost the file
3. You can set reminders to yourself - Absolutely amazing especially for those tiny tasks in between that I gotta finish but generally tend to forget because of daily duties
4. Customised channels - I can create multiple different channels for different categories of communication. Much like how we create "groups" in WhatsApp - That is how it works. It is especially good when you want to disseminate important information to a particular set of people
5. Apart from reminders - You have your personal chat page which works like a "diary" for me. So I can put my daily tasks, save links or even "test run" certain messages. It is a pretty useful feature!
P.S. Not exactly a benefit but apart from a fun UI, it always opens up with a fun quote which is just nice to read overall!
1. The application is too slow at times, to the extent that all other files hang. Tip: Once you have your workplace's account on Slack, just use the web version - It is not slow as the app is
2. The bottle-cap on the number of messages - I would like to use a communication tool safe in the knowledge that I can use it whenever I want to with no limits whatsoever. The upper limit of the number of messages that you can send deters me from sending quick messages to myself/others
My team uses Slack at work and I basically live in that app. It manages to solve a bunch of needs at once, from instant messaging, to video chat, to a team wiki, and much more. The open and closed channels (for public and private conversations) are a great way to cut down on emails. The ability to customize your notifications means you can control how often you want to be bugged about what is happening in each conversation, and the alert forwarding means you don't have every device you own ringing with every single message you get.
The file sharing and rich search means that just about any in-progress document that is being collaborated upon can live in Slack. We love the Post feature that allows you to create Markup-friendly documents directly in Slack that can be referenced easily. We use them as a sort of knowledge management tool for new users to get caught up or existing users to reference important information.
And perhaps my favorite feature is the vibrant development community that has created what feels like hundreds of different plugins and apps. Some of these connect with popular web tools like Google Drive (connecting it will alert you directly in Slack when a document you own has been edited or commented on), or apps designed specifically for Slack. These include everything from chat bots to polls, to much more.
While it's great that there is a version of Slack for just about every conceivable platform, like Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, etc., as well as a web version, the desktop apps are basically just web containers and don't feel as snappy at times as they could. And while most of my team is tech savvy, some of the tools are not particularly user-friendly for those who aren't comfortable with the things like slash-commands.
Efficiency in time, clarity in communication, speediness in communication, entertainment in communication.
I love Slack because it's so ridiculously easy to use. It makes communicating with colleagues easy, *FAST* and fun. I work in tech and worked at an advertising agency previously and have used Slack at both companies.
The amount of times I'm asked to send a file or shoot someone info in a day is limitless and Slack prevents me from having to start dozens of email threads with formal messages like "Hi [NAME], Please find attached the [X] files you requested. Let me know if you need anything else!". Messages like that are no longer necessary with Slack, because I simply drag and drop the files to Slack direct message and BAM the task is off my plate.
Slack is also amazing for group communication. Since Slack messages send so quickly there's much less repetition than there is on email. It keeps things efficient and keeps us moving forward faster especially for tasks / topics that are urgent. If I email 15 people, odds are more than 1 person will respond and they may even respond at the same time as one another. Before I know it, I'll have a long email thread with jumbled messages because servers are slower and people aren't refreshing their emails to see if they've received a new email before sending theirs. Slack prevents this repetition and confusion by all group members being able to see a live thread that auto-populates.
Lastly, Slack is fun. You can send GIFs to your colleagues that are topical to the conversation or just totally random. Makes work better.
The only aspect I'd say I dislike is I feel like I'm not utilizing all of Slack's features, because I don't know what else to leverage beyond what I already do. Perhaps introducing tutorials or recommendations would be helpful so users know they're using Slack to its absolute highest potential. Other than that, in my 2+ years using the program I haven't experienced any issues.
It helped my company reduce the spillage of work into everyone's personal social media. It's also a really great way to communicate with coworkers and get things done. We've almost eliminated internal emails!
The company I work for used to use a group chat in a social media platform to try to communicate with our employees - we're small, and the number of employees wasn't too large for this, but we had quite a few different group chats, and they all bled into our personal lives. When I found #Slack, I immediately knew this was the answer to the ever-leeching work-life balance conundrum caused by having everyone at work affiliated in my social media account. Within a few weeks, we had our core chat channels set up in #Slack, and we even installed busybot and a couple other add-ins. We were customizing it and using it company-wide in no time at all. It's been a life saver. The channels keep different streams of communication open, and the best part is that it's FREE - as long as we don't want to search back through past 10,000 messages in our archive, that is. But the best part of THAT is that it's there to upgrade when we want to.
I actually have two jobs, and both of the companies I work for use #Slack - it's just that much better than the other options out there. We integrate our Google Calendars with it, and they show up in the channels we've chosen to filter them into so that employees can see the schedule for the next day.
The only thing that I feel is missing is the ability to copy an image and paste it directly into #Slack from the desktop. You have to download the file and then upload it, which is not a major problem, but most applications have this ability now, so I constantly try to do it, and then it doesn't work.
Slack was built with a very powerful software architecture in mind, yet so many individuals can use it because of its friendly user-interface. The design is very fun, playful and gives you the powerful functionality that you never thought existed. For how many use cases there are in Slack, they make the user experience very streamlined and easy to pick up. In addition, you can sync a lot of the other programs that you use with their integration features.
My favorite is the ability to keep up with internal conversations based on the topic. I personally dislike being in group chats where the conversation isn't relevant to me. It can be of annoyance receiving notifications that don't pertain to your role and you have to check and delete at a later time. With Slack, their channels can be very specific and allow you to pick and choose which ones you want to join.
The biggest takeaway is if it's not used right within an organization, it can be a productivity killer. Slack connects to both your mobile device and your laptop so if you do not manage you notifications right, it can be virtually impossible to escape the conversations that are going on. Saying this, our team implements certain hours of the day where ALL phone and laptop notifications are off. Slack makes it possible to do this by changing your modes of availability and/or snoozing the notifcations for certain periods of time. As long as you limit the amount of channels to the ones that require you rattention and don't spend your whole day falling in the trap of checking your notifications all the time, it can be an awesome tool for communication.
When working in teams of many sizes, Slack makes chat fun, efficient and non-obstrusive.
Slack is modelled on IRC, with users joining a "workspace" comprised of any number of themed channels. Users can set their notification preferences for each channel, which makes it possible to control the volume of notifications.
While some channels are meant to be used by everyone (#general, #random), it's very easy to create new channels for specific projects or discussions. I love the fact that all workspaces allow by default a "random" channel, encouraging non-work related discussion.
The flexibility afforded by this organization makes Slack a great fit for any kind of project sizes, but also other communities.
Finally, Slack supports powerful formatting (bold, italics, code snippets, quotes all using the intuitive Markdown syntax). Emoji and GIF support makes it even more fun. Emoji reactions are an expressive and fun way to respond to messages quickly, avoiding time wasted on picking phrasing (and spamming others with basic responses).
In settings where the free plan is not sufficient (e.g. large number of users), the "pro" options feel quite expensive.
While clients are extremely well designed on all platforms, handling multiple Slack Workspaces is still a bit of a hassle. Notifications arrive for all workspaces, but one needs to explicitly switch between workspaces to see messages. A unified view of all new messages across workspaces would be amazing.
The lack of a single account means that any preference set into one client (e.g. on desktop) will generally not carry over to another (e.g. mobile).
In terms of administration, I wish that we could set the default notification settings per channel, instead of requiring each user to go and tweak them manually.
It helps me communicate with colleagues across the world and lets me be more flexible geographically.
Slack simply has everything I've ever wanted it to have. Everyone knows about it, everyone knows how to use it, and nobody ever has an issue. I am part of a handful of communities there where I enjoy collaborating with people across the world, but I also use it internally for work. I have used it at my past 3 companies, and I just honestly don't know how a company would operate without it these days.
There are so many integrations, so many ways to share and collaborate, and it's accessible everywhere making it very reliable.
We just starting testing out Hangouts Chat, which has the only advantage of being more integrated into Google, but I don't know how it could possibly unseat Slack. There just isn't a real problem with Slack in anything that you do, so while Google may make a comparable piece of software, I doubt they can battle the network effect that Slack already has.
The thing I like least about this software is probably the culture it creates in that every is available everywhere all the time. While Slack addresses this with the ability to Snooze notifications, chat communications just makes you feel like you can have access to anyone and their work/information whenever you need it (and let's be honest, you always need it now).
It's better for communications, but as always with something like this it's a double edged sword. The more connected you are, the more you are chained to work at all times. Of course it's the choice of the user to avoid that, but if it evolves culturally within a business because it's just so easy, then it's hard to avoid.
Uptime: There have been so few service interruptions in the last year. I can only remember one service interruption that has affected us where general functionality was unavailable for about 45 mins. Obviously 100% uptime is preferable with any software, but I'll accept 99.999%.
Fun: Slack feels fun to use and I'm not ashamed to say that otherwise boring conversations are elevated in their level of fun because of Slack use. Slack, for me, really evokes some of the early days of IRC, YIM/AIM use with the plethora of available emojis, shorthand, gifs, and so forth.
Flexibility: Need a new channel to discuss the latest project? It takes 20 seconds to create. Need to integrate with X service to fill Y business need? No problem. Need to set up a bot to help keep track of Z issues or to spin up a new QA database series? It can do that.
Navigation: Navigation takes about a week to learn, but becomes such a seamless part of your experience with Slack, especially with keyboard shortcuts. Channel hopping is easy, DM hopping is easy, thread creation is easy.
Cry Wolf Effect: The larger your organization, or the chattier your employees/co-workers, the less productive slack can become. Sometimes you really need to be in a channel because of its important messages, but if your teammates are blowing it up with cat gifs it becomes white noise. This sets up the "Cry Wolf Effect" whereby posting abuse means you are never sure if the channels that are important ever have anything important going on in them. So, unless you constantly check them it becomes fatiguing really quickly. Yes, one simple solution is to set up a dumpster channel for the white noise, but its really easy for that to leak into important business channels unless everyone agrees to a standardized code of posting behavior and rules.
I've been using Slack for quite a while now. Using it with a team of 15 people. I also have used facebook workplace and Chatwork, just to see what else there is but always came back here.
It's easy to use:
I use Slack in Japan with Japanese coworkers, some of them don't speak English. Now Slack is available in Japanese, but for the last 3 years when it wasn't, UI was still simple enough and never a problem even though Slack was only in English. isn't this a compliment? haha
With 3 years I did experience some bugs (partly my fault cause my Phone was a bit outdated), but customer service was always there to help and they were super fast & updated the app to fix it.
Free plan available.
Everyone on our team is always online so it's very easy to chat:
you could argue that this is the company culture or team's responsibility but if the UI is difficult noone goes online and everyone starts useing other ways to communicate (experienced this with Chatwork)
Sometimes app updating on Windows 10 was funny: inconsistent icon designs on the Tab Bar. But maybe that is Windows 10s fault but never had this happen with any other app
If you are on the free plan, you need to store important conversations somewhere else because old messages disappear, but we just use Slack for communication + sharing, and Google Drive for storing important data. Important data should be stored better than just in a feed anyway. Problem Solved.
I think people tend to think less what they write on Slack compared to email. So you sometimes end up spending more time talking about something on chat and wasting 2 people's time, whereas on email one person thinks until it's worth sharing, then sends the email, so less time consuming in total. but in the end, it's good to keep conversation running so maybe not too big of a contra.
Slack literally revolutionized our workflow and internal communications process. The time and share of mind saved from separating internal from external communication is unreal, and the benefits come incredibly fast. Within a week of the shift, everyone from the executive team down experienced a collective sigh of relief, and looking back on old processes now, one might be excused for wondering how anyone could have used email as a form of internal communication.
There are so many reasons that Slack is amazing. Here are a few:
1) Easy, Efficient Messaging - Prior to our switch to Slack, email inboxes would be filled with short replies to internal communications that would have been better handled with a quick conversation. The Instant Messaging feel of Slack has allowed us to virtually eliminate all internal emails, keeping our inboxes client-focused and uncluttered.
2) Clear project communication - As an agency, we have a ton of diverse projects. Slack channels allow us to address only the relevant team with the right information at the right time, making it simple to keep a continual history of project communication and an easy vehicle for getting to the right information fast.
3) Amazing Client Collaboration - We LOVE the ability to invite our clients into a single channel for project communication. It's mostly an advantage for clients who already use Slack on a daily basis, but it makes all the difference and helps them feel as though we're always online for them.
Despite how great Slack is, there are a couple of road bumps to the experience:
1) Channels can get overwhelming, especially if you have lots of clients and internal teams. It would be so nice to have a foldered-system or some other way of grouping channels in order to not have to scroll to find them.
2) The icons at the top of the channels can be misleading and unclear. It's too easy to accidentally add a single-channel user to your entire company's Slack space without realizing it, and that presents an unintended area for exposure and potential liabilities.