If you are part of a studio with several people in various roles, or have numerous freelance contributors working for your organisation, then Slack is the perfect answer to improving communications.
'Slack' is a wonderful name for a piece of software that is intended to increase productivity in the workplace. Originally designed for team communication, Slack almost completely removes the need to email your colleagues. You simply have Slack running on your computer, phone or tablet, type a quick message to your colleague, and they get it instantly - a bit like instant messaging for teams. It goes further than this though, all messages are archived for later searching, and you can also share pretty much any other type of document, in turn making them searchable too.
If you use other services, such as customer support software (we use Desk.com), then there is frequently a method of integrating with Slack. This means you typically only need Slack open on your desktop - Slack will then notify you if your attention is required elsewhere. In our customer support example, when a customer gets in touch with a query, Slack is informed, and it then informs us to respond to the customer - meaning we have ridiculously fast response rates to customers.
For further integrations, you can also use services like IFTT.com or Zapier. With a little time, you can be notified of pretty much anything that is relevant to your business, including social media mentions.
Finally, you can even call other Slack users in your team from within the app itself. If you really want to, you can even have a video call.
So how do we use it in our office?
- Team messaging (both internally and with external contributors)
- Company wide notifications to all team members (e.g. how to manuals)
- Receiving notifications from our customer support software
- Notifications if we are mentioned on any social media
- Receiving updates to our Google Analytics
- Sending notifications to Trello (our 'to do list' and project management app)
Slack is free for most users. Those with higher storage needs or requiring more support options will require the $6.67 or $12.50 plans.