As a remote team, Slack is our main form of communication. It gives us the ability to communicate in a modern day work environment and allows users to express themselves in private or group messages through emojis, gifs, and status updates. The environment that Slack creates helps us communicate and work efficiently while connecting with the applications we use.

Slack Channels are group messages that allow users the ability to focus on a specific topic of conversation. We use designated channels to communicate with each of our clients and our ongoing team chat. We also have different channels that focus on design, development and project management. I find that having the ability to search through old conversations is extremely beneficial because it prevents me asking the same question twice. Within the application, you can make individual phone calls or conference calls to the everyone within the channel. During those calls, you have the ability to mute, share expression with select emojis, which prevents you from cutting someone off, and most importantly, screen share!

Slack allows you to add Apps and Integrations within your team to enhance your experience. There are many application and bot options to choose that allow you to tailor your Slack Team to what works best for you. Our team uses Geekbot which reminds us every day to fill out our daily task report through a series of questions. Once we answer the questions, it sends our responses to our ongoing team chat which allows everyone to see what each person is working on. Need to communicate that you added new screens to an InVision project? InVision will sync to your Slack Channel and let the members of that channel know about the addition upon uploading it. Don’t see an application or a bot that you like? You click here to learn how to create your own. You can also create an automated Slack Status, which Josh Hamilton talked about in this previous blog post. Since then, he has entertained us by adding automated emoji responses to our group chat. When someone says lunch, we can expect anything from ice cream to pizza.

The Slack application allows you to sign into different teams at the same time. This is a great way to network based on groups that interest you. Recently I joined the Product School Slack group, they host weekly Live Chat "Ask Me Anything" sessions. Last week’s session was hosted by Brandon Reed, who currently manages product design and development for one of Disney’s mobile applications in the eCommerce space, “Shop Disney Parks”. It was a great experience because he didn’t show up to tell us about what he does, he showed up to answer our questions and that wasn’t something he could have practiced. I didn’t even have to leave my house and I learned a lot from the questions people were asking, as well as his responses.

Sometimes it can be difficult to be in a separate location than the rest of the team, but Slack helps bridge that communication gap while integrating all of the tools we use as a team to make our days as efficient as possible. Slack is easy to use, helpful with communication and is a great tool to pick up the slack!

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