A few months ago, we started using Slack – an instant messaging app specifically built for business. Now that we’ve thoroughly kicked the tires and have sent thousands of messages between our internal team, I wanted to let you know what we think. Spoiler alert. We love it. Here’s how it works.

Be less busy

It’s so easy to get buried in email. It happens to the best of us, no matter how hard we try to reach Inbox Zero (that elusive state when we have no emails in our inboxes.). A lot of people think email is broken. A productivity killer. It’s hard to disagree.

Back in the day, remember how excited we got when AOL verbally told us “You’ve got mail”? Now, I want to hear “You’ve got NO mail”! How times have changed.

Forge3 is no different than any other company in terms of email. Messages are constantly flowing in and out. Too many if you ask me.

No more email clutter

Now, thanks to Slack, we don’t clutter each others’ inboxes with internal stuff. Instead, we use Slack.

Here’s what Slack looks like running on my Mac:

Slack - a refreshing solution to email overload - 1

Slack

A quick tour of Slack

Slack - a refreshing solution to email overload - 2The Starred section at the top left makes it easy to access people or Channels that I use most. You can see that we have #general and #random Channels. Our entire team has access to those. Below that, I added a few one-on-one Channels with specific team members. Those conversations are private and only between that person and me.

We have other Channels created for some clients that we work with on an ongoing basis. I blurred those out, but you get the idea. The #our-articles Channel automatically pulls in our most recent blog posts from forge3.com so that our team can see when something new is posted. Pretty cool.

Under that you’ll see the slackbot, which is an automated “user” that you can teach to do all kinds of interesting things. More on that some other time.

Finally, at the bottom, you’ll see a Private Group we created called cha-ching. This is a fun one. Every time we receive money from one of our online products (like Clickable Coverage), Slack dings and we see it in this Channel.

It works where you do

What we like best is the seamless transition from desktop computer to iPhone to iPad and back. Basically, no matter where we are, Slack is with us so we don’t miss a beat. Everything stays in sync, too.

So, does it work?

It really does. It keeps us organized, more efficient and more productive. It also helps bring us together when we’re working remotely. With Slack, we have:

  • Cleaner inboxes
  • More immediate responses to pressing issues
  • Reduced chance of something important getting “lost” in email
  • Better organization thanks to Channels
  • Easy file sharing back-and-forth
  • Built-in search so we can find anything we need
  • A central place to stay connected

And, to top it all off, it’s very well designed, fun to use and free!

Visit https://slack.com to check it out.

Author Jeff Teschke

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