Slack is not your typical project management tool. Its focus is on team communication not projects and tasks. Slack's claim to fame is being the hub where you can discuss projects and documents, make announcements and also be a place where you and your team can find needed information in one place. All of this makes Slack a great tool for communication and collaboration.
I started using Slack a few years ago as an alternative to talking with my accountability partner in Facebook Messenger. Messenger is great for quick communications but not for dropping important business info and files. Especially when you need to refer back. Trying to find things was a nightmare 😱.
A Focus On Communication
Since Slack’s main focus is communication it is not setup as you would expect a project management tool to be. Slack is separated into channels. A channel is a single space for discussion and sharing of information and documents on a particular topic. As you can see from the image below I have several channels. If you are using Slack for project management then you would want a channel for each project. For instance if you have a project for a new website, the name of the website would be the channel and all discussions regarding the website would happen in this channel.
Another option would be to create channels based on topics or type of tasks. If you have ongoing tasks such as emails the channel might simply be named emails. You can set the channels up in whatever way makes the most sense for you and your team. Remember that each channel allows you to communicate with your teammates. You can make channels public or private.
If you need speak with only a small group of your team, Slack offers group conversations also known as threads. Threads allows a small number of people to communicate without the information getting lost in the larger channel. Threads can only be created based on a message in the channel. It works a lot like direct messaging and you can add others to the thread as needed. Just remember that threads are not private. They are searchable and the information discussed can be found!
Other Neat Features
A fun feature Slack offers is voice and face to face video calls which includes screen sharing with team members. You don’t have to use a third party app if you want to have a quick call with a team member or get a group of team members together quickly. You can do so directly in Slack.
If you plan to use Slack for project management, Slack does offer a post option where you can create to-do lists, take notes, and collaborate on articles or other types of content. When you use the to-do lists in conjunction with the /remind feature Slack can help keep track of work to be done.
The /remind feature is a lot like working with Siri or Alexa. This features uses the slackbot to give you reminders when you tell it to. If you have a task you need to work on you can tell the slackbot to remind you when it’s due and when you should start working on it. You can use the /remind feature for almost anything and it’s an awesome tool to help you and your team not to forget anything important.
While Slack makes it easy to integrate with third-party apps including: If This Then That (IFTTT) for automation, Google Drive, Dropbox, Twitter, MailChimp, Trello, Zendesk, and more, don’t forget it’s focus is still on communication and collaboration. If you decide to use the free plan you are limited to how many integrations you can hook up. So make sure they are well thought out and absolutely necessary for your business.
I have my Google Calendar, ClickUp, Asana, and about 3 other apps hooked up. It's easy to get lost and distracted in channels so it’s important that each team member works to keep the Channels and Threads organized.
I hope this has shown you what you and your team can do with Slack. If you are a solopreneur and don’t have a big team don’t be discouraged from using Slack. I’ve been using it with just me and one other person and it has worked great. You can click here and give it a try. Hopefully Slack can be a great tool in your business toolbox.