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Here at 9 Clouds, we Slack … a lot. It’s a key component to our daily routine. In fact, it allows us to be more efficient, communicate better, and create an overall happy work environment. Of course, you probably have figured out I’m not referring to slacking in the literal sense. I’m talking about Slack, the platform for effective, efficient, and fun team communication.
Since its introduction a mere two years ago, Slack has taken hold of the communication tools market in a big way. Slack’s mission is to “make your working life simpler, more pleasant and more productive.” Those are some pretty large goals for one tool, but 9 Clouds can confirm, this description hits the nail on the head.
Who uses Slack?
In a word: Everyone. However, Slack is most prevalent in the workplace and used largely by young professionals. You know, the people who grew up with online instant messaging. Remember AIM, Skype, and MSN Messenger? They all helped shape the Slack-culture we know today.
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t anything like being thirteen and spending hours online chatting with your friends about the latest middle school drama. This instant messaging platform has grown out of the awkward teen years and become a powerhouse for productive communication.
Why 9 Clouds Loves To Slack
It de-clutters our email inboxes, for one. In fact, some companies, like Spark Camp have completely stopped using interoffice emails all together. That might sound unrealistic, but making the switch from email to Slack is easier than you’d think.
— Amy Webb (@webbmedia) August 8, 2014
With Slack, our team doesn’t need to keep track of seemingly endless email chains, or remember to hit “reply all” so as not to accidently exclude anyone. Instead, we set up channels for various work topics that any one of our team members can read and contribute to at any time.
Channels can be used for chatting, uploading files, brainstorming; you name it. Don’t want to share with the entire group? There is also a direct message feature for private one-on-one conversations.
One of our favorite Slack features is the search option. Everything in Slack is easily searchable from one location, so we can easily find things like that password we forgot to write down three months ago.
Slack also integrates services we already use at 9 Clouds, such as Google Drive, Dropbox, and Twitter. It allows us to automatically pull information and activity from these tools into Slack in real-time. And once again, it’s all searchable.
Click here to see a full list of integrations available on Slack.
Slack Knows How to Party
Yes it’s a tool to increase productivity, but it also helps us have a little fun. For instance, let’s say that you need to express your feelings about the new office coffee. It tastes suspiciously like mud and the only way to accurately describe your pain is through the tears of James Van Der Beek, circa 1999. Enter Slack’s giphy integration. Simply type /giphy [james van der beek crying] and voila! You convey everything you are feeling without having to use a single word.
Slack also comes equipped with a built-in team member, Slackbot. He’s fun, helpful, and knows how to party. Well, really he is anything you want him to be. Slackbot is a programmable human-like chat bot that can do everything from providing useful links on command to giving your co-workers a hard time.
At 9 Clouds, our Slackbot contributes a link to our project management tool, Basecamp whenever we refer to “Basecamp” in conversation. Features like this make it easy to navigate to frequently-used office tools without exerting much time and effort.
Slackbot also moonlights as a bad comedian. It’s an ongoing joke in our office that we forget to include “read more” tags in our blog posts. If this issue is brought up in a Slack channel, Slackbot is quick to joke, “that post was so boring, it needs a read less tag! Ba dum, ching!”
Go On, Slack Away
All jokes aside, Slack has shaped everything from the way we interact to the physical space and layout of our office. We are able to have meetings, quick chats, share jokes, send files and look back at old conversations without having to say a word. This eliminates the need for closed-door meetings, separate offices and the worry that we are interrupting our co-workers with non-work-related chatter.
Slack is the hippest communication tool on the market and 9 Clouds can attest to the hype. It really is an all-in-one productivity tool that puts other office communication tools to shame. So if anyone asks, 9 Clouds is happy to say, our office is full of a bunch of slackers.
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