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Slack Review: A No-Holds-Barred Look At a Top Productivity Tool

March 23, 2020

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Slack Review: A No-Holds-Barred Look At a Top Productivity Tool

Communication and productivity are a few of the keys to success in any business venture.

It’s also essential for thriving relationships – both personally and at work.

At Flight Media, we use Slack as our medium for internal communication and it’s a great tool to boost productivity.

It’s definitely useful in many ways for the work we do. But it’s also a way to give each other a pat on the back or to share hilarious memes, for example.

That was so funny, I laughed

Here’s what we like, don’t like – and have fun with – using one of the top productivity tools: It’s our official Slack Review!

Slack Review Starts Now!

The Good

It’s always nice to start out on a positive note. 

Here’s what we like about Slack:

1. Slack provides multiple “channel” options. 

For example, we have a Marketing channel so only people who need to know about it get notified. This keeps you from receiving constant alerts and wading through a bunch of messages that don’t pertain to you. 

The fun channels help us connect better as a remote team. Our Quotes channel, for example, as well as our Shenanigans and Shareables channels, give us an outlet that’s purely for enjoyment. 

Our High-Five channel gives us the chance to recognize others when they’ve done something well, helped us out, or otherwise nailed it in some way. Like this example from our High-Five channel.

Slack High-Fives

Celebrating wins on our high-five Slack channel

2. It makes prompt communication a breeze. 

It’s a quick and easy way to message (or bug, depending on how you look at it) people with questions and comments. 

If someone doesn’t answer, you can just keep messaging their name over and over until they get the hint. 😬

Slack communication

3. It provides a way to connect with remote team members. 

With the ability to chat throughout the day, it makes everyone feel like we’re all in one office.

We start our day off with morning greetings from around the world – from Montenegro to Canada to the U.S.

Slack messages

4. Slack provides integration with other tools like Zoom. 

Using Zoom in Slack is super-easy to start a meeting/chat with someone at any time. All you need to do is type “/ zoom” in a channel or someone’s personal channel and hit “enter,” and your Zoom meeting will begin!

Slack’s Zoom integration

5. You can use GIFS!!!!!! 

The GIF feature is a lot of fun. 

With the GIFs built-in, you don’t have to waste time searching for the perfect message. You can still be hilarious AND productive.

82753BEA-B550-4072-91D7-6BE42A06A76C

The Bad

In the words of the great band Poison, every rose has its thorn.

 

 

via GIPHY

Here’s what we find a little “thorny” about Slack.

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1. GIFs can be wonky. 

So, here’s how the GIF feature works.

Say you want to tell someone they did a good job via a GIF. (I mean, you could just SAY it, but why? 😜) 

All you have to do is type “gif/ good job” and Slack chooses a GIF for you. 

Slack’s gif feature

Sometimes the GIF hits the nail on the head, and other times, it’s a little wonky and you don’t get what you were going for. 

Slack gif feature fail

But on the plus side, it’s kind of exciting to see what’s going to pop up.

2. It’s not free.

You have to pay a monthly fee per person if you want to keep 5GB or more of data and messages. For a larger team, this could get pricey.

3. Important communication can get lost in the shuffle. 

For people who get inundated with messages throughout the day, urgent requests made on Slack can be easily missed. 

It’s a good idea to create a procedure so that team members know to use email (or some other method) to communicate and document important matters, and Slack for casual conversations and fun stuff.

We have a policy NOT to discuss action items in Slack. We take those into email or the other productivity tool we use, ClickUp, to manage tasks.

However, Slack does offer integration with task management tools, if you choose to use it that way.

4. No video-messaging feature. 

There are situations when answering someone's questions could be easier if you could talk them through it, especially if it’s a long, complicated problem. 

We solve this issue with the Zoom integration, which is a great option.

5. No option for hyperlinking. 

When you want to hyperlink to a document in Drive, for example, Slack doesn’t offer the option to hyperlink a phrase. Instead, you have to insert the entire URL string.

URL string in slack

This is a minor “con” to using Slack, but one of our team members put this response in his survey questions about Slack. Thanks, Chris! ;)

The Fun

Here’s what a few of our team members had to say about the capabilities they WISH Slack had:

  • “Read my mind.”
  • “Make my meals for me.”

Since Slack likely won’t be rolling out those improvements any time soon, we’ll shift our focus to the fun.

The one thing we all agree on is the fun that Slack provides. 

Looking back at the GIFs and memes we’ve shared gives us a little snapshot of what was going on in the office and in our lives at that time.

fun gifs

Our Quote channel – some appropriate, some much-less-than-appropriate – is a constant source of laughter.

Slack quotable quotes channel

A team that laughs together also works well together. The better we work cooperatively, the more productive we are and the better results we can get for our clients.

Final Thoughts

One of our core values at Flight Media is “We have fun,” and Slack is no slacker in that department.

 

 

via GIPHY

It’s a great productivity tool that helps us communicate efficiently within our company and allows our far-away team members to feel a sense of connection we wouldn’t have otherwise.

Slack helps us build better relationships with each other, which translates into successful campaigns for our clients.

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