5 Reasons Why I Ditched Email For Slack

Adi Young

Written by Adi Young @ Eight Zero

If you haven’t heard of Slack, it is a cloud-based communication tool. Great for teams and small groups, it increases productivity and keeps work-based projects on track. I use it to communicate with colleagues using short messages that keep everyone focused. Slack lets me send messages to my whole team, parts of the group or individual team members.

I now manage 90% of my communications with clients in Slack using ‘channels’. If I want to share a message with everyone, I use the ‘general’ channel. This way, they all get to see any messages I post. Other channels can be customised to filter who will see the message by project or subset. Slack also supports private channels so that anyone in my team can send direct messages.

1. Slack v Email
Emails used to take up a lot of my time. Too much time, in fact. I can see how productivity guru Michael Hyatt calculated Slack reduced his email by 83 per cent in less than seven days. As well as making communication simpler and more focused, Slack messages are typically short - on average containing up to 73 per cent fewer words than traditional emails. This means they take less time to write and read, freeing up more of my time.

2. Slack v Text Messages
Texting members of your team is great - if your message is short. However, I know from experience that using texts to communicate with colleagues can be very time consuming. It isn’t an issue if the message you want to send is short. But what if you need to explain something in-depth?
Using a tiny keypad to bash out a long-winded message takes longer than you think. Even when I have used voice dictation I have wasted time. Correcting errors made by predictive text or voice recognition software is not only a drain on my time, it’s frustrating. All my Slack messages are delivered to my computer as well as my mobile device, meaning I can reply to them using a full-size keyboard.

Ditch email for Slack

3. Slack and Mobile Devices
My user experience of Slack on a mobile phone has been good. It certainly beats other instant messaging clients I have tried. In most instances, I have found these clients perform  well on computers but not so good phones.

With Slack the user experience is good across both platforms. This makes it a consistent communication tool that can be used effectively in the office or while you are out and about.

4. One Communication Tool
Because Slack meets the needs of my team and aids workflow by saving time, my organisation is now ditching email, text and instant messages. While I may still occasionally send a short text for an urgent matter, Slack is my preferred communication tool. It is quick and easy to use, and ensures everyone uses their time more efficiently. It is also cost-effective  - free - when compared to other communication options.

5. Dynamic Search Capabilities
I like that fact that I can search for and retrieve messages sent to my team. Slack, which stands for ‘searchable log of all conversation and knowledge’ makes it easy for me to find any message at any time. This easy message retrieval system can search the last 10,000 messages in any team - and that is with the free version of Slack.  

Text messages can take forever to search, because you have got to literally scroll through every message until you find the one you are looking for. Email retrieval, while meant to be easy, is also not straightforward. You have often got to remember which file an email was saved to before you can start your search. And, if you have permanently deleted it!
Slack keeps everyone up to speed on a need-to-know basis while reducing the time it takes to write and read messages. It is a communication tool I recommend because of its cross-platform user experience and great functionality.

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