The on-going argument of whether email is dead or not is still up for debate. This provides some good insight into whether it’s really dead, or it’s just morphing into something different than what we’re used to. Don’t worry, I’m not here to talk about email, but rather to share my experience on leveraging other messaging tools to use in addition to email, to increase efficiency in your organization.
Last week, I was in a meeting with a room full of executives, entrepreneurs and business owners, and this topic of internal communication came up. Most of these people are not a part of the millennial generation and don’t keep up with new digital products, so I wasn’t surprised when I shared about Slack and no one knew of it. A few people came up after the meeting asked about Slack, so I thought I’d share my personal experience in adopting this communication tool for my team at Enliven.
There are many messaging tools out there, but few that are making the marks of being widely adopted. When I first started Enliven, we had a small team of just two - Ian and I. We used whatever tool we found that made it convenient for us to communicate. But as our business grew, it became difficult to keep everyone on the same page without having a public place to share ideas through organic discussions, so we searched. We looked around and found Slack (among others). After a couple of years of using Slack, here’s what I’ve learned.
So what is Slack?
Simply put, Slack is a messaging tool to replace your email system for internally communication. Think of it like text messages, but it provides group messaging functionality, ability to segment your conversations through the use of channels (or topics), sharing files, and commenting among others. You can either use it to work on internal projects or you can invite people outside of your organization to collaborate.
Why Slack has been working out for us?
Enliven is a software consultancy. Our work consists of mostly is virtual projects, and we spend a lot of time communicating virtually. Slack as been working out pretty well for us as we interact with each other daily through our phones or computers. Here are a few highlights:
So which parts don’t work for us?
The Enliven team uses Slack for internal communication, then Skype for video conferencing. I still use email heavily to interact with others outside our organization. It has been a good fit for our team, but like everything in life, there are pros and cons. Fortunately, Slack is free to try (with limited features), so you can test it before adopting to see if it makes sense for you and your team.
What other tools are you using? How do they work for you? Feel free to share your comments below.