We use group messaging tool Slack here at CommArc. Here our CEO Phil Johnson makes the case for why it just might be right for you.
At CommArc we’re big fans of Slack.
It’s an online messaging tool that helps you collaborate with groups of colleagues. We’ve used it organisation-wide for a few months. Already it’s helped us share more and collaborate better, while cutting down on emails and meetings.
We’ve tried a lot of internal communication tools in the past, such as intranets, portals and web apps. They’ve never quite hit the mark. They’ve been laden with unnecessary features, or a bit clunky, or just not a pleasure to use – so people haven’t kept using them.
As for email. Well, email is old… very old. It was a complete revelation when first designed, but that was a different era. And while the technology has improved over the years, the experience has started to get worse.
Ten years’ ago, most of my email was from another person. Nowadays the majority is from a machine. Email marketing, Trade Me, Facebook comments. Some company that I stupidly gave my address to. And, worst of all, the man from somewhere outside of New Zealand who wants me to outsource the development of the software that I never wrote!
Add in communications from family, friends and people I work with outside CommArc, and my email has become a giant primordial soup. I’m a pretty organised person, but it’s still ugly.
There is also the old “Cc:” issue. Do I copy everyone back? Will the boss be angry if I do? Might I offend so and so? And not to mention that important response that I didn’t see because of that shy lurker that does not like to copy anyone!
Slack is different
Slack makes important work communication easier to keep up with and easier to manage. Like similar apps from Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Fleep and HipChat (amongst others), it empowers you to communicate via self-managing channels or groups. You can set up #marketing, #Social Club, #Health and Safety, #Sales Team, #Management Team, #The Smith Project – and the dreaded #CEO Waffle.
These channels improve communication as we are always talking to the right audience. And this audience can respond, create new threads, set reminders, add documents, share, and even conference call, all in a single tool designed for this very job.
So, where does all this leave our trusty old email system? It’s not a replacement for email (well not quite yet), but it does take a fair amount of pressure off it. It also provides an alternative communication platform more suitable for how we all work – collaboratively.
Not only this, but it is multi-platform, multi-device, and in many cases, delightfully, wonderfully free!