#Slack: The future of work or ‘just another tool’
Maybe I am the target market, but my trusty @medium daily-curated-email of the best shit for me to read on the internet usually has at least one article related to Slack every week.
A few weeks ago, it was daily!
For some reason hype around valuations gets front page, but SF-Glossy-Mag stories aside, the app is still sitting atop the startup scene’s list of must have’s and there is no shortage of user stories out there, whether put out surreptitiously by the company itself or not.
It worked for them, I ended up writing a 130+ page guide on using it!
So is this really the tool to replace all your work tools?
Let’s explore it’s 2 main functions (behind its mainstay — chat)
- Bots (automation)
No matter what kind of information being shared, Slack is able to integrate it all on one platform. Did your boss send you a must-watch Ted Talk? You can watch the video straight from the chat room. What if a member of your design team sent you a photo to review? A thumbnail appears. Slow Monday? Your Pitchfork-reading coworker can even share her Spotify playlist.
Inherent in the apps design is integration. It integrates with pretty much every tool you’re already using — from Gmail to Twitter, Mailchimp to Dropbox.
Customer Service? Chatlio, GrooveHQ, Zendesk. Raise tickets, live chat with your customers, and much more.
Remote Worker? Flock (for daily standups), Timelord (timezone converter)
Developer? JIRA, Jenkins, GitHub, (and a million others)
But, if there isn’t a native integration for the tool you are using (seriously, check again, I bet they have one now), head on over to Zapier. I bet they already have a whole swag of zaps for the task you are trying to achieve.
If you are looking for a list of the top integrations for Slack, here are the ones we covered in the guide:
We mentioned a few standard integrations already in previous sections, but here they are again. Most of these are considered “required” additions to Slack:
•GitHub is a key component for your development team to manage code
•Twitter will keep you notified of latest tweets and mentions right from inside Slack
•Giphy delivers an endless supply of GIFs to your Slack doorstep
•Mailchimp provides updates on your email list and latest campaigns
•HelpScout ensures that your providing the best customer service
•Tatsu manages standup work meetings
•Bndr lets you add additional /commands to Slack
•Trello helps teams organize projects better and this integration keeps you updated
•Asana the task app, will update you on task progress directly in Slack
•Zapier integrates Slack with hundreds of complementary apps, including Basecamp, Evernote, and Facebook pages
I must admit, I did enjoy the out-of-the-box Slackbot probably longer than most people do.
Maybe I enjoy talking to robots more than I do humans.
Now, I think I would be lost without /remind me in <time> to <action> in my quest for daily productivity.
Are these just gimmicks?
Slack’s Killer App — Automation
Many weekly or daily tasks can be made more efficient through automation.
This is such a promising area of software production, there are organisations specialising in this popping up to create 3rd Party, customised BOTs for Slack.
There are so many BOTs now, there is even a search engine for them:
Within Slack you can create your own custom and interactive automation bots with just these three things:
- open source code — easily available online (or just ask your IT department or nerdy co-worker)
- cloud tools — usually freely available (that you’ve likely already integrated with Slack)
- a bit of upfront time — to reflect on your automation goals
So, will Slack become the One Tool To Rule Them All, or just another (really cool) hammer in the toolbox?
Was this helpful? Click the recommend button below, I would really appreciate it. Let me know if you have tried #Slack and what you like/don’t like the most.