May 15, 2014

Slack – Communication Tools for Teams

Every team could use a communication tune-up. Slack is a web-based application that improves the way groups of people communicate by bringing real-time messaging, archiving, and search tools into one centralized place.

If you’re using separate apps for email, instant messaging, and file sharing, then Slack is an tool that could streamline your company-wide communication processes. Create new “channels” to organize the projects and topics generating the most discussion amongst your colleagues. Individual channels can include everything from messages to files, comments, and even inline images. For example, you can create an open marketing channel and upload company materials like presentations and spreadsheets. Colleagues can then add feedback to those materials in the form of comments, or they can add “stars” to make retrieving those materials easier in the future.

Slack integrates with dozens of popular business apps, cutting down on the number of automated email notifications that go out each time someone completes an action like replying to a comment or creating a new task. The company also offers native apps for iOS and Android users.

Practical Uses:

  • Search through past conversations based on the keywords that were discussed
  • Cut down on the number of email notifications you receive each day
  • Sync files between your desktop and mobile devices
  • Privately message your colleagues in a secure environment

Insider Tips:

  • Certain files can be kept “private,” even after they’ve been uploaded to Slack
  • Share files with both internal and external users
  • Paste images from your clipboard right into Slack
  • Slack integrates with dozens of popular business apps

What we liked:

  • Slack has developed a great way for people to quickly share screenshots
  • Slack supports private groups and one-on-one direct messaging
  • Companies that use Slack can cut down on the number of internal emails
  • The open API enables users to create their own integrations
  • “Read state synchronization” makes it easier for people to keep up with conversations on multiple devices

What we didn’t like:

  • Slack’s Enterprise plan won’t be available until 2015


Company Info:

  • Launched: August 2013
  • Privately Held
  • Headquarters: San Francisco, California
  • Founded by: Tiny Speck
  • Web site:


  • Lite plan is free
  • Standard plan is $8 per user, per month
  • Plus plan is $15 per user, per month

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