For A Good, Free Work Communication Tool, Pick Up The Slack

There are a few team communication tools out there, as decentralised work becomes more common. Slack is a new one from the co-founder of Flickr, Stewart Butterfield, and has already become quite popular without needing the advertising budget of Hipchat.

In essence, Slack combines multiple forms of messaging to get an office all using the same thing. We've all got our own preferences, and it'll never have the best of all those different services, but it does have a large integration list, which you can see here. Some crucial ones there are Dropbox, GitHub, and GoogleDocs.

While big claims are being made about Slack replacing email, I wouldn't go quite that far. But Business Insider did feature it as one of the best startups of this year.

It does seem to provide a nice atmosphere for chats, longer messages, code snippets, and events, all built with search in mind. It actually seems a little too connected to me, but I guess no one's forcing you to install the native smartphone app and be connected to work 24/7. Unless your boss is forcing you. That would suck.

In a few different ways it behaves like a social network, as you can see in the below video with people sharing funny videos and acting not at all like every video out of Silicon Valley we've ever seen.

I've used Trello before (also integrated), and its tab format is a good option which some projects will still prefer. It's a bit more of a "to-do list" focused service. Hipchat is also one I've used, obviously with more of a "chat" focus. At a certain point, when functionality demands are met, it becomes about design preference.

Slack certainly doesn't fall behind in that department, and the starting price of free is good. After that, premium pricing (under $15AUD for the first two plans) will allow you to create invite guests, receive priority support, and look up usage statistics.

Check it out here.


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