First of all thanks to Slack for the image! See the original here.

A rather ominous title, isn't it?

My team used to send on average about 50 E-Mails per employee within the company each day. Now that may be a lot for you, or maybe you get hundreds per day (I'm sorry) but we came across a little something called Slack. 

WHAT IS IT?

Slack is messaging for your team on über steroids. You won't E-Mail your team every again, seriously. So what is it? It's messages, documents, images, files, calendar invites and communicating in one amazing little place. It really does allow you to, as Slack says, "Be Less Busy."

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Slack organizes everything into three categories.

CHANNELS
Slack uses the familiar hashtag or '#' sign to organize everything you do, or say into convenient channels on the sidebar of the app. Anytime there's a new topic or conversation between your team, just create a new channel. The best part about channels is that you can easily and quickly find EXACTLY what you're looking for, just with a simple glance.

PRIVATE CHANNELS
When we have a team working on a specific client's account - everyone in the company doesn't need to see it - that's why there are Slack's Private Channels. The Private Channels allow users to create and have a conversation without everyone in the company having visibility - perfect for larger companies with tens or hundreds of employees.

DIRECT MESSAGES
Similar to SMS messages that you're probably used to on your smart phone, you can send private messages to specific team members and include attachments, files, pictures - whatever. You can also tell when they're online - perfect for when you have a question that requires an immediate response.

WHY DO I LOVE IT?

Slack is amazing for a variety of reasons, but for me - it's perspective. E-Mail chains are useless, you can never know who read a message, when it was sent, or find what you're looking for without a lot of detective work and with the long chains, a LOT of scrolling. With Slack, if I can't find it, I can search for it - not only that but the messages directly around what I'm looking for put the content into perspective, like a conversation, so I know what's happening at anytime - meaning I can spend less time managing my team and a lot more time getting stuff done.

WHY DO I HATE IT?

I don't actually hate Slack, I REALLY love it. The only thing that takes a bit of getting used to is the notifications. If you're like me, at the end of the day when I'm binge watching my next series on Netflix and my phone dings, I usually pick it up. If it's an E-Mail, unless its urgent I usually don't respond. With Slack though, they feel like text messages, meaning I've found myself multiple times saying, "just one more message," and all of a sudden it's 3:30AM.

Thankfully, Slack has a solution for that too. You can (and should) set up Do Not Disturb times. If it's urgent, your team can still contact you by pressing a little button, but if not, you can catch up on anything you missed with your morning coffee. 

Take a look at Slack for yourself here, and let us know what you think in the comments section below!

That's all for now!

Mike Rothwell - CEO/Director of Marketing

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