- By Kyle Hill on February 20, 2017
A good team knows that effective communication is critical to a productive work environment. Communication tools have rapidly evolved over the years, and a modern workplace needs an instant and useful tool for team members to talk to each other. As we at MOZAY work internally and with our clients to move ideas to market, Slack is the tool we rely on for not just instant messaging, but also for seamless integration with all the other applications we use.
On its own, Slack has features that make it much more effective than phone calls, emails, and in-person talks that all live separately from each other. On Slack, you can split conversations into channels (specific to projects, topics, or teams) or message one-on-one with another teammate. You can also make either face-to-face or voice-only calls, and share files simply with drag and drop features. Slack also has a searchable archive of all previous conversations and content. When integrated with Google Translate, Slack can even convert something as hard as the kinyarwanda translation of a text into English, thanks to Google.
But the real beauty of Slack lies in the plugins that a vast open source community has created to integrate within the app. With countless bots and plugins, you can take Slack from good to great as you help your business reach its goals. Use the apps other teams have created and shared to help your group work more harmoniously than ever. Many of the plugins are tools your team may already separately use, but having them link to one location helps work go more smoothly.
These are the 7 plugins that we at MOZAY use most frequently and help us as we move ideas to market:
By linking your Dropbox and Slack accounts, you can copy file links from Dropbox, and the actual file will display in your Slack channel instead of just a link. Team members can also view the files in their Dropbox account right in Slack instead of having to switch applications.
This is a calendar and scheduling bot that helps team members find common free times, and then schedule and reschedule meetings as needed with ease. You can address Meekan in Slack in plain English. For example, type “Meekan, arrange for an all hands meeting tomorrow afternoon,” and the plugin will translate that into a meeting proposal for you and all necessary teammates.
Whatever project management integration your team uses, there is likely a Slack plugin for it. Trello and Flow both have Slack integrations; our team relies heavily on Asana for managing projects. Integrating Asana with Slack can bring visibility to projects and tasks that keep the progress in front of all the right people. You can configure which notifications come through Asana, so you only get the appropriate announcements in your Slack feed.
Have a video conference with your team right from Slack with appear.in. With one click and no VPN or additional software, users in any given channel can easily hop onto a video chat within seconds. Multiple people can be in one chat room, and you can invite people to your call who aren’t a part of Slack (two features that aren’t a part of Slack’s own face-to-face calling capabilities). After configuring slack and appear.in, you can use the Slack shortcut /appear to name your video conference room and invite teammates or clients to hop in your chat room right from your feed.
The iPhone app Beautiful Recorder by Happy Tap can be synced with Slack. Record a message with the app and upload it with ease for anyone in a channel to hear. Record quick team updates and ideas that you don’t have time to jot down, and they will be readily available for your team to listen to.
This is an easy way to show appreciation for your teammates. Simply put, you can send a taco emoticon to anyone on Slack. With frequent use, you create a culture within your team where getting a taco in Slack is equivalent to a friendly high five, no getting up from your chair required (let alone trying to high five those poor remote workers!) Keep track of who has received the most tacos on the leaderboard, and you decide what rewards team members can achieve once they reach a certain number of awarded tacos.
A good team environment needs a little fun to create a healthy atmosphere. Giphy provides just that. With a vast searchable library of animated gifs that you can add right into your channel, select one that adds just the right amount of fun and relevance to your team’s communications. Use this plugin by using the slack shortcut /giphy [gif name] to post a gif directly to Slack.
These are just a few of the tools we use at MOZAY to help us move our ideas to market in an effective way. Look to see what plugins your team can adopt to help you achieve your business goals seamlessly.
Let us know in the comments below if any of the above integrations have helped your team’s communication!