Email has been a great tool in the world for communication. Especially when working in teams. I’m definitely grateful for email over fax machines.
We’ve all benefited from it at some point, however over the last couple years, it’s been failing us. I’ve seen numerous posts that are titled, “How to Be More Productive on Email”, “3 Best Ways to Organize Your Inbox”, “Get People to ACTUALLY Reply Back to You on Email”. Google released an email app, Inbox, to address the problems that people have had with Gmail. My take is that when the tech giant is creating an email app to fix email, something was wrong to begin with. Bottom line is that email is a productivity killer.
If you’re working in a team environment and looking for something better, here’s the fix: Slack. If your team isn’t using Slack, it’s time to get them on board and get productivity back.
Slack was created to address communication issues that occur in the workplace. Some critics may call Slack a large chat room, but when you dive deeper into it’s features, it’s an amazingly, powerful platform to get work done.
Here are the positives that I’ve found with our team:
1. One Place for All Communication: In Slack, you can group your projects into “Channels” using the # symbol and a brief title. This is great especially when you’re “on boarding” a new team member. Everything and anything that has to do with the project is in-line and it’s easier to get the new member up to speed. Documents, images, Google Drive, etc. can be uploaded to the specific channel.
2. No More Diluted Email Chains or Changed Subject Lines: One of the biggest problems I’ve had with email is when you have a large team on one email, all communicating. Every email from the team gets diluted with every response. Then if someone throws in a different subject or emails a new subject line, the whole email goes into a tail spin.
3. Fully Mobile Integrated and Searchable: Yes, email is mobile and yes, it’s also searchable. However, I’ve spent more time scrolling through email trying to find that exact email, to learn later that it was deleted or it was under another subject line. Then to search something specific, I would have to tell the search bar whether to search in “Trash:” or “Inbox:”. As Slack keeps everything in-line and in one place, it’s so easy to find exactly what I need whether the message was in a channel, direct message, or private message.
Since we started using Slack, there have been FAR less emails that have been going back and forth. This means less emails to check and respond to. Using Slack has focused our communication for each project and keeps discussions open without the dread of trying to figure out how a conversation arrived to a certain point.
If you’re not using Slack, give it a shot. Unless you’re opposed to becoming more productive, then stick with email.