Every so often a disruptive new technology comes along that changes the way organizations get things done. The most recent example of this is Slack, the hot new communication tool that is quickly becoming standard for software developers and others whose work centers on building great products.
While Slack won’t be replacing your email anytime soon, there are lots of reasons people are flocking to the service. Here are the top five reasons why Slack rocks:
- It fixes endless email threads – Like Twitter, Slack is a constant, reverse-chronological stream of messages from your team. You can pop in and out of conversations as you please and Slack will let you know how many unread messages you have and show you where you left off. This functionality fixes a lot of the shortcomings of group emails with endless threads that you have to manually browse through to find what you need.
- Search is central – Search is essential to any great user experience on the web, and Slack’s search functionality is key to why it’s so effortless to use. For software development teams, it’s easy to search conversations to find answers to technical questions other team members asked but you need to know now.
- #hashtags – Slack’s conversations are organized into channels that utilize hashtags. You can also add hashtags to your messages and then search that same hashtag to produce a complete record of all relevant content. It’s a fun and easy way to organize information—and it works.
- File sharing is a cinch – Need to quickly share a draft document with your team before a meeting? Not a problem with Slack, which lets you drag and drop documents, PDFs, images, and videos directly into conversations. Because your entire team has access to the documents, you don’t need to worry about forwarding emails or forgetting to cc someone.
- Direct message or group channel – Private or public, you can say what you need to say to who you need to say it to. Slack makes it easy to chat one-on-one with colleagues and friends while you also monitor and participate in public group channels or private, invite-only groups.
Adopting Slack will immediately reduce your email inbox volume, supplementing it as the new de-facto place to get things done for your team. It’s instant messenger, chat room, email, Twitter, and mobile phone messaging all rolled into one. It offers the standard suite of multi-platform apps so your personal account is synced wherever you go, on whatever device you’re using. Most importantly, you can keep it serious or get silly; either way, Slack is a safe space for meaningful interactions among team members. After all, work doesn’t have to be boring.
Have you tried Slack? What do you think? Tell us here!