I don’t know if you have ever used the Slack application for collaborative team communication, but it is a killer app. I am currently using it for my Panorama Developer Course and the new iPad version of Blogo Beta testing, my blogging app (more on these two apps later). I want to give you an overview of Slack, it might be perfect for your team workflow.
Slack Overview & Pricing
OK, here is the deal. The basic configuration of Slack is Free! That is amazing in itself. Here is the pricing page, if all you need is basic communication then by all means use the free version. You can still send files (PDF’s, Jpeg’s, etc.) and search the free version, but if you want more capability then your team needs to pay a monthly fee. As I said, I have been using Slack for a few months now and it works great. You can use it through a web browser sign in, but I highly recommend downloading the free Slack app on your Mac. They make a version for the iPad, iPhone, Android and Windows so you can stay up to date wherever you are. Before we get into the Slack features let me say the Slack people are very big on security and privacy. If you are concerned about sensitive information security then check out their security pages for further info. I think you will be impressed. Having said all that, lets take an overview look at the Mac app just to get a feel for what Slack can do.
Here is the main window of the Slack application:
Once you have created an account on their website and downloaded the app from the App Store you need to boot the app and login to your account. In the screenshot above I am logged into the Blogo iPad Beta group. All those icons in the right side of the window have text and account handles, I blocked them out for security reasons. You can see all the the Team Texts in the account. However, if you wish to send a Direct Message to a team member you can. Just click on “Direct Message” below your Slack account name in the sidebar:
And select “Open Direct Message”. You will be presented with a Direct Message window with a list of your Team members. Click on a team member and start typing:
There are many things you can do inside the Slack application. I think what I will do is show you some, and I do mean only some, of the settings in another article. I have not even begun to use them all, but needless to say Slack has a Preference that will meat your need for sure.
If you are at a business, have a home business or just want to setup a private Team through another organization or club, Slack is there for you. Yes, if you need the features of the pay for versions by all means go for it, but the free version would meet many peoples and organizations needs for sure.