New to Slack? Here’s all you need to know

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what is slack
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What is slack? Slack is basically a chatroom for team members. It’s meant for teams and workplaces can be used across multiple devices and platforms. Slack comes with robust features that allow the users to not only chat one-on-one but also through groups and channels. You can even upload and share files on slack, as well as integrate the tool with other apps and services. It allows granular control with almost every setting, including the ability to create custom emoji. You can communicate as a group through channels or privately via “direct messaging.” It is an awesome tool to help you organize and manage workflows! Slack makes communicating easy and fun.

How do you get started?

Follow these steps to start using:

1. Log into Slack’s website and enter your email address to sign up
2. Choose a name for your Slack team (For example: Digital)
3. Edit the URL to your Slack team
4. Choose a username
5. Enter emails of associates that you would want to be a part of your Slack team
6. Your team chat will then load in a browser window
7. Go through the brief tutorial that appears next to learn the basic

What is so exciting?

Management tools like Slack are a great way to work with multiple people and teams together at the same time. It builds a sense of community and enhance productivity. It is flexible, easily manageable and user-friendly. It works on all kinds of platforms and devices. Slack has gained immense popularity around the globe in terms of managing work at various companies. It is a great way to stay connected with different teams. Slack immensely helps if for any reason teams a working remotely. For example, in current times due to the spread of coronavirus 90% of the companies around the world have asked their employees to work from home.

Slack allows for real-time collaboration and communication without any compromise with the work. Coordinating your work in Slack also keeps things out of email and huge number of Google docs, which ultimately leads to productivity and security.

Features

  • Channels

Channels are basically chat rooms where you can add a particular team and discuss things relating to that team. For example ‘sales’ could be one channel wherein you add your sales representatives. You can make the channels public or private. If it is public everyone in the team can join.

  • Direct Messages

Below Channels, you’ll see a Direct Messages section which has names of every person in your Slack team. You can click on the name and can have private one-on-one conversations.

  • Invite People

If you are an administrator you can invite people to join your team. It mainly gives you three options- full-member, restricted accounts and single-channel guests.

  • Search

Search is one of Slack’s important features – both Messages and files are searchable. When you click the search box, it will suggest search modifiers to help you narrow your results, and as you start typing in a search term, Slack will show you related channels, team members, and search history.

  • Uploading and Sharing Files

There are several easy ways to upload any type of file from your computer (document, image, video, link, etc.) on Slack. You can also share files from Google drive, Dropbox in Slack by copy pasting the link
from the source.

  • Set reminders

You can use Slack for reminders. For instance, if you need to remind yourself to publish a post in 30 minutes, you can type “/remind me in 30 minutes to publish” and Slack will privately remind you.

How good or bad Slack is?

Up to a great extent Slack can replace emails, messaging and instant messaging for the teams keeping everything together at one place. With both desktop and mobile versions, Slack can help your team stay connected with their work and each other no matter where they are — in the field office, at home, or out knocking doors.

But no app is magic. Sometimes your team’s working style might not match with this software. Here are some pros and cons that you might want to take a look at.

PROS

  • Put an end to losing track of things on emails. With thousands of emails hoarding your inbox, it can be very resourceful keeping your important messages, documents and other files at one place
  • Keep important information out of your volunteers’ personal email accounts
  • Easily share files, documents. Images, videos, links with your teammates
  • You can @ mention teammates, which can send them a push notification on their phone or computer — a great way to grab their attention. You can also @ mention a group of folks at once, which makes it almost as good as a group conference call
  • Start a video or voice conference call with other members of the Slack team
  • Set reminders for yourself or others — You can use Slack’s built-in reminders, or Google Calendar and many other do-to features so that relevant team members are reminded of upcoming events or deadlines
  • Create a fun community space accessible by your staff and volunteers, whether or not they’re in the office!
  • Slack is particularly good for: real-time collaboration and teamwork, quick decision-making, updates, getting someone’s attention when needed quickly, impromptu video/voice chats, quick poll/voting, keeping everyone feeling connected and in sync over time and space, quickly and effectively on-boarding new team members

CONS

  • Adoption within teams and organizations. There is a possibility of team members referring Slack as ‘yet another app to install!’ If a lot of your team members aren’t tech-enthusiasts, it may be difficult to get them all on board to use Slack.
  • Technology issues. If any team member doesn’t have a smartphone then he/she won’t be able to use Slack
  • Slack is less ideal for: major decision-making discussions of the company, collaborations on a very large-scale for example (overseas big presentation call)

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