I’m about to download a new app that has been recommended to me by several of my fellow business owners, and I invite you to come along.  Slack is a work management tool that allows you to coordinate communication and effort among employees or colleagues. I think it will work for our store’s management team as well as the board of our merchants association – but time will tell.

The first thing I do when evaluating a new app is to see what kind of reviews it gets, and also what the competing programs are. Project Tools lists four others, including Monday, Celoxis, Asana and Wrike (who names these programs?), and they give Slack an 8.6 out of 10. It is slightly less expensive per month than the other options, although they all offer either a free trial or free plan. 

PC Mag says “There’s plenty to love about Slack. This top business messaging app lets people punt on internal email and instead message more concisely with colleagues. As a messaging app, it works both in real time and asynchronously, making it good for hybrid and all-remote work environments. Slack creates a more spirited environment than many other business communication apps, too, and the ability to customize your app to a fine degree is a huge selling point. Slack is one of the best team messaging apps, and it’s a PCMag Editors’ Choice pick.”  Sounds good to me!

I decided to go ahead with a free trial version, and I’ve invited our other management team members to join. That requires them to download the app either on a desktop or in the mobile version on a smartphone. Once they’ve done that, they’ll be able to decide what hours they’re willing to receive notifications of new messages.  But I can’t test the usefulness of the program until I’ve got everyone in the loop, so I’m going to suggest that you look at MUO’s What is Slack and How Does it Work. This article has tips for first-time users that I plan to use – an of course Slack also has video tutorials available.

Microsoft offers an alternative to Slack called Microsoft Teams, and Facebook has its Workplace Groups. These options, together with other paid apps, are all possible ways to keep communication flowing more efficiently than through emails and text messages. I welcome any way that can help my team work together more effectively!

Happy retailing, 

Carol “Orange” Schroeder