Slack Is Great! (Wait, What Is It?)

On Monday March 30th, I held a zoom meeting for anyone wanting to see why Slack is a great alternative to Google Groups and Microsoft Teams for our committee and small groups communications. I was joined by 13 attendees who were curious to find out the pros and cons to adopting a new communications method.

For those who don’t know, Slack is a communication tool that works like instant messaging, only instead of a single chat window between two people, the conversations (channels) are open to be followed, and added to, by anyone in the workspace. This allows people to have ongoing dialogue in an open and transparent way, according to pre-determined topic categories.

The biggest benefits to adopting slack (in my opinion) are as follows:

    1. Reduces The Volume of Emails Sent and Received – Emails serve a very important purposes but work best when there are a limited number of exchanges or recipients. Some examples of good email communication are letters between friends, requests for information or inquiries, newsletters and updates, and event reminders. Email is not so good for complex organizing or large numbers of recipients. We all know what it is like to get an email thread going, realize someone was left off, then realize another thread has sprung up on the same topic, with different recipients. Slack reduces the number of emails by providing a consolidated place for conversation, planning and organizing.

    2. Allows New People to Have a Look Around – Adding mew members is as simple as inviting them to the Slack work-space and letting them know to have a look through the channels and add themselves to the topics that sound most interesting. This way, a new person can explore the committee correspondence on their own terms, and won’t be automatically spammed with every email going out on the google group. This can encourage new people to get involved without getting overwhelmed.

    3. Tag Me If You Need Me! – In Slack, you can “tag” someone by putting an @ symbol before their name. Slack will notify them when they are mentioned. This feature comes in handy when you need to draw people’s attention to the most salient information that directly relates to them. There are a few other handy features in slack, like the ability to share a google documents or even attach useful email information directly into the chat channels.

    4. Slack has a Simple and Elegant Design – There is a little bit of a learning curve involved but no where near what you might expect. The hardest part is creating an account and knowing where to click, but I can get most people set up in just a couple of days and they’re off to the races. I credit this to Slack’s amazing simple design. Most people immediately see how this tool will provide some relief to a busy and chaotic email inbox.

If you are interested in learning more about Slack, join me again on Monday April 6th, for another zoom show and tell of the Slack app. I will share my screen so you can see what Slack is and does before taking the leap of faith into yet another new application. Trust me! It’s worth taking a peak! Event page:


Marie Witt is Chair of Communications at UCV, and a lover of technology (when used appropriately!)


Recent News