Productivity Tools

What is Slack and Why You Should Use It

What is Slack?

Slack. 

You hear people talk about it all over the office. It’s a top app listed when you search for productivity tools. We love it at Droplr. We use it – along with its Droplr integration – to communicate with our remote team daily. 

But what is Slack?

Slack is a workplace communication tool, or as they themselves put it, “a single place for messaging, tools, and files.” Think of it as an instant messaging platform like Skype or Google Chat, but with integrated file sharing, video and phone calls, and screen sharing directly through its platform, and the ability to invite others from outside your organization to collaborate. The tool also integrates with a host of other apps, including Droplr. 

Let’s talk about Slack’s pros and cons. 

Pros: 

  1. Slack makes it easy to communicate with your team via both dedicated channels and direct messaging. 
  2. Want to make a quick phone or video call? Call or video chat with teammates with a few clicks of your mouse. 
  3. Sometimes showing is better than telling and Slack’s screen sharing feature makes sharing your screen with colleagues quick and easy. 
  4. No need for email attachments – share your files through Slack’s file integration with a simple drag and drop. 
  5. Slack integrates with a number of apps you’re already using, like Droplr, Google Doc, Jira, and Salesforce. 

Cons: 

  1. Once you get to the paid plan, it starts getting expensive you pay for every user. The costs can add up quickly.
  2. Even if your team isn’t big, messages can be a distraction to the normal workflow. In many ways, Slack is like a corporate texting tool.
  3. Sharing files on Slack is great, but if the files are big, you will get charged for overage.
  4. Once you use Slack, there’s really no way to migrate completely successfully to a competitor like Microsoft Teams.

Communication

Slack offers several ways to communicate with your team and those you invite to join. You can set up Channels that are topic-based, as well as direct message other users. You can control which channels users can see, making them public or private. Public channels are open to the entire workplace while private channels are invite-only. 

Users can also send direct messages to other users, keeping communication in one place. Messages can be formatted using bullet points, italics, or bolding. Users are also able to react to posts and use GIFs and emojis as well as create polls for those important office decisions, like what design to send to a client or where to order lunch. 

Audio & Video Calls 

Need to quickly chat with a team member? Call them through Slack. It’s easy for users to call via audio or video directly from their machine, making communication quick and seamless. All it takes is a couple of clicks to connect with a team member anywhere in the world.

Screen Sharing Through Slack 

Have something you need to show a team member versus tell them? Use Slack for screen sharing. You can even use the built-in pen to highlight important components. Again, it is as simple as a couple of mouse clicks. 

File Sharing Integration

There is no need to attach files to emails where you may have to worry about file size. Drag and drop them right into the tool for easy file sharing. If you need to reference the file later, the built-in search function will take you right to it. 

App Integration on Slack

Slack integrates with a number of other apps you may already be using, such as Droplr or Google Docs. It also integrates with services like Zendesk, Salesforce, and Jira. You can further customize your experience by utilizing the API. 

Security

If you’re worried about how much data you’ll be sharing though, don’t be. Slack takes security very seriously. Learn about their commitment to ensuring your data’s security. Your data, conversations, and files are safe with Slack – maybe even safer than your own company’s email. 

Pricing 

So how much does this wonder tool cost? 

It can cost as little as free. Small teams can access the tool for free with access to 10,000 of the team’s most recent messages, 10 integrations with other apps, and 1:1 voice and video calls. From there, the price – and benefits – increase up to $6.67 per active user per month billed annually, or, $8 per active user per month, billed monthly. For extra large businesses or those in regulated industries, special pricing is available through the company’s sales team. 

Why You Should Use Slack

You can see now why Slack is a workplace favorite productivity tool. It helps teams communicate faster and more efficiently while keeping documented in one place. Add in the app integration and security features and it is hard to beat. 

Slack is especially great for remote teams. With Slack messaging, the ability to screen share in Slack, and the opportunity to download the Slack app to your phone or tablet, your employees will be connected and organized no matter where they’re working.

See how Droplr makes Slack a “killer experience” 

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