Slack is a team messaging application that far exceeds your average messaging platform. While a surprising amount of businesses still stick to email and text messaging as their primary form of communication, Slack gives your organization the tools to have a productive, connected, and organized team through its unique process of communication. Here is a list of Slack’s most notable features, as well as some tips for managing your workspace effectively! If you are not using Slack already, this is why you should start. 

Channels: Conversations, categorized

Slack is well known for its Channel system. Your team can create channels Benefits of Slackwith specific subject names so information can be exchanged quickly and in an organized fashion. These Channels appear on the toolbar that runs down the left side of the screen. Communication can also be done by Direct Message between you and one of your co-workers, or customized Group Messages. You can also select which members of the company are added to which channel based on relevance to their position. This means that no one is receiving unnecessary information.

    • If you have a client or contractor who uses Slack, you can create a Channel and invite them, plus all the relevant team members from your company. Nobody gets left out of the conversation.
  • At CUE, we use Channels like “general,” “marketing,” and even “lunch” that allow us to access or share the relevant information for current projects. Some companies will even create fun channels like “random” or “memes” so that employees can have fun without disrupting the content of work-related channels.
    • Pro Tip: If your company has too many Channels, you can hide all channels and have them appear with a new message. To do this, go into advanced options and change the channel visibility.

While Gmail has created different categories, be organized like a Slack Channel. Slack makes finding messages easy by scrolling through Channel history or directly searching the content in turn, saving everyone in your organization time. Internal messages won’t get mixed up with outside messages, content marketing or spam that stacks up in your inbox. All work-related communication, all in one place, in a clear and functional layout.

Video and Audio Calls: Communication beyond messaging

Within a direct message, group, or even channel; you can start direct or group calls (with up to 15 people!) from that conversation. You can make this audio only, or utilize the video call feature. While you are in the call, you can select the “share your screen” option to show coworkers what you are working on.

  • A lot of other messaging platforms include this feature, but the fact that it is embedded into your workspace and you can still fully access all shared information within Slack at the same time is pretty handy.

File Sharing: Painless access to company documents.

Slack makes file sharing easy because it works together with a variety of services. You can upload, or drag-and-drop, any file from your computer. Word Doc, Google Doc, PDF, the format doesn’t matter. Slack offers encrypted data transfer. Plus you can integrate frequently-used applications like Google Drive and One Drive to make file sharing and searching easier directly in Slack.

  • Pro Tip: Want to get an update in Slack when somebody makes a comment or tags you in a Google Doc? Just accept this feature when the Slackbot offers.

Application Integration: The all-in-one business tool.

Slack offers tons of different applications that you can install into your workspace. These apps vary from Salesforce to search and view information to Donut, which pairs you up with a new coffee buddy each week to build relationships. While some of these apps are fun, they can all be used to benefit your company’s workspace through overall dynamic or through the direct access and ability to share relevant information among the members of your team. These integrations let you create an all-in-one business hub for your team’s communication, which is something that other messaging options can’t match.

Here are some of our favorites:

  • Donut: Get randomly paired with a coworker to go out for coffee, lunch, or donuts!
  • Disco: Quick and fun way to show appreciation to your teammates! Sharing positivity and culture with your team directly in Slack.
  • Google Analytics Insights: Receive scheduled reports in slack regarding the performance of your websites. This can include goal conversions, new vs returning users, traffic, and more useful information for your team.
  • Caviar Food Bot: Order food delivery for your team directly through Slack!

Whether your team is using Google+ Hangouts, Adium, or just email, most messaging applications don’t make your life easier. They might even complicate things. If you want the best small business messaging platform for your company, Slack fits with your team. You can create a workspace for free with up to 5 GB of File Storage and 10 different App Integrations before you decide to spend money on it! You can choose to upgrade down the line depending on the number of accounts you need and the size of the files you are sharing.

Need more data? CUE offers the first month free and a 20% lifetime discount on all Slack for Business plans. 

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