We all know a guy who thinks duct tape can do anything. He applies it, looks satisfied, and if it doesn't work, he assumes it's because he didn't use enough. No offense, but a lot of people think Slack can do anything too. As a team operations manager with an affinity for tech, I think Slack is just sexy duct tape, and the correct solution to your team's collaboration problem is actually much cheaper.
Unless you're Monica from Silicon Valley, you at least know Slack does group chat. I'll even admit they do it EXTREMELY well. Beautiful style, file attachments, video - nice. It's a great alternative to email for communication - at least initially.
If you're my kind of nerd, you also know that Slack's API is extremely powerful. The potential for funny bots, clever webhooks, and third-party app integrations is unlimited. Great! So what's the problem?
Slack can help you link a few essential apps together, but it can't replace them. Slack is not a task or project management tool, and it's not a serious file-sharing tool either. At best, Slack simply plays its role in duct taping those tools together. Bottom line - you're probably hopping between (and paying for) multiple apps to get the functionality you need, and you might even be paying someone to "add more tape" every time you need to update a workflow.
If you've ever had a piece of duct tape stuck anywhere on your body, you know removing it gets your attention. Slack can do the same thing. You're in another app, deep in your zone, getting work done with crystal-clear concentration when BAM - Slack comes a-knockin'. In the blink of an eye, your attention is ripped out of your zone and forced into Slack so you can see the latest message. The distractions are costly and getting you closer to pulling your hair out, one notification at a time.
Duct tape is a commodity and so is instant messaging, team chat, and video calling. Many people pay for Slack simply to have all of these commodity features in one app, but if you're going to pay for a team collaboration app, why not choose one that already includes most (if not all) of the tools your workflows require?
There are some really great apps out there that not only have these commodity functions built in but also handle serious file sharing and project management without requiring a coder to create bots, write webhooks, and maintain API connections. More importantly, they help you stay focused in a single app so your teamwork and your brain aren't scattered across multiple collaboration silos.
In my next blog post, I'll list five of the most powerful and truly collaborative tools that fit the description above and get you the best demo videos I can find for each one. Stay tuned.
The blog post on The Top 5 Most Powerful Plug n Play Collaboration Tools has been published!