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Ten Reasons We Can’t Live Without Slack

Slack is a free web app which helps companies and other organisations communicate and collaborate effectively. At Diverge we’ve been using Slack as our main project management tool for over two years. What started as a way to simply keep track of our work conversations quickly became an integral part of our website design workflow. We absolutely love Slack, but some people haven’t even heard of it. With that in mind, we decided to compile a list of the ten reasons we couldn’t imagine life as web designers without it.

Organise your chat channels, project by project

This helps keep all of our discussions, documentation, files, images and concept artwork in one place. It really helps with the efficiency of our day-to-day running, and the fact the mobile experience is so good means there is a genuine fluidity to flipping between working at and away from the office.

Slack Apps allow integration of other tools

The Slack App Directory contains hundreds of handy add-ons and integrations to help streamline your workflow even further, be it productivity apps like Google Drive or GitHub or communication add-ons that link to Gmail or Outlook. There’s even a Giphy app for meme-ing up your team chats.

Reminders

Setting a reminder in Slack is a breeze once you learn some very simple commands. Set a reminder for specific team members in specific channels and make sure everything stays on track. This one really helps when we run out of sugar in the office.

Make sure your colleagues are pulling their weight

Task lists

These allow you and your team to keep track of what tasks are outstanding, and who is responsible for them. Using slash commands makes setting tasks even quicker and easier, and you can add reminders tied to specific tasks and team members.

Take notes easily

Create a blank channel for yourself and hey presto – a notepad within Slack, perfect for meetings, dictation or flashes of middle of the night inspiration!

You can also set inspiring motivational quotes to greet your team members

Collaborate

Do you ever work on Google Docs files with a colleague? Posts are a similar collaborative note-taking function, which can be bolstered with useful checkboxes for tasks.

Useful bots

A bot is a variation of a Slack App which has been designed to interact with users via conversation. Bots can send DMs, be mentioned by users, post messages or upload files, and invited to channels. The fact the bot has a ‘personality’ (in that it has a face and a name) encourages users to converse with it.

Powerful search

You can search your entire back catalogue of Slack messages with a simple to use search tool. Simply start typing to see smart suggestions pulled from your channels and chats. You can even start a search from the main message input box using the /s slash command…

Really useful at searching, but won’t help much with your filenames.

Custom shortcuts

Custom slash commands allow developers to make requests to web apps or services and receive responses as Slack messages. These could be anything from monitoring downtime on a website or pulling in the latest news headlines.

Audio & video calls

With the addition of high quality audio and video calling, Slack is becoming more self contained. Older apps like Skype and Hangouts are being gradually replaced with more overarching project management tools like this one.

Of course, the video calling feature is only useful if your teammates answer your calls.

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