- Slack is an instant messaging platform that works with other productivity software.
- There are hundreds of integration apps that a business can use with Slack.
- Slack can make your team more fruitful and collaborative.
- This article is for business owners and professionals who are considering adopting Slack as a communication tool, or current Slack users who want to optimize productivity through apps.
What is Slack?
Slack is becoming one of the most used business communication tools around – and for good reason. So, what exactly is it? Slack is an instant messaging platform capable of integrating with other productivity software and enterprise solutions, allowing an entire workforce to make calls, share documents, coordinate projects and – of course – send instant messages, all from a single application.
The platform, frequently described as a “messaging app on steroids,” makes collaboration easy for business teams of all sizes. Users can set up private or group chat rooms, drag and drop files for sharing, search messages, and access the system on their desktop or mobile device.
What’s more, there are hundreds of integration apps that allow teams to do nearly everything: including track customers’ feedback, approve vacation time and provide project status reports. Basically, if you want to make your team more collaborative and productive, there is probably a Slack app for that.
How do Slack integrations work?
Adding an app to slack is as easy as installing a plugin application to your favorite web browser. Slack has a dedicated software menu to help you find and install add-ons in a matter of moments.
We know you don’t have time to sort through hundreds of options, so we rounded up the 11 best Slack apps that you should try, whether you’re new to the world of Slack or looking to take your team to the next level.
Slack applications are available from leading software publishers – including Microsoft, Google and Spotify – to help you create a versatile platform that caters to the specific needs of your team.
Creating shared project plans can be difficult, and managing them across teams can be downright challenging for even the most Marie Kondo-styled manager. The MeisterTask extension helps keep things organized by allowing teams to create streamlined, automated workflows. Using Kanban-style project boards, the app lets users share work details with team members, upload files, set due dates and add checklist items in real time. MeisterTask starts at $8.25 per month, per user.
Creatives do some of their best work when they have real-time feedback at hand. InVision provides this and more right within Slack. Design prototypes can be connected to channels, making changes visible to team members, and individual screens can be shared for instant coordination. Multiple project files can also be stored, viewed and reviewed simultaneously. InVision starts at $99 per month for up to five team members.
Toggling between apps to dial in to a conference call or see your messages is simply inefficient. With Dialpad + Slack, users can dial calls and get notifications for missed calls, voicemails and text messages. Admins can also choose different departments to route specific Slack notifications, so your team can return any important calls when you’re out. The Dialpad + Slack app requires a Pro or Enterprise Dialpad account and starts at $30 per month, per user.
For more information on this app, see our Dialpad review, or check out more of the best conference call services.
Knowing how your customers actually feel about your product or service lets you make informed decisions on your company’s direction. The Survicate app for Slack keeps their feedback at your fingertips by allowing users to monitor incoming survey responses in real time. Customer feedback can also be shared within a Slack team or across your business via the selected Slack channels. Additionally, users can distribute surveys by email or direct message, or embed them into the company’s website or mobile app. Survicate starts at $159 per month.
Whether it’s for a client meeting or a team-building workshop, employees need to make travel arrangements from time to time. The Concur Travel bot simplifies the search process by letting users organize and book travel directly within Slack. Team members can also collaborate on travel plans and look up flights within their Slack conversations that discuss the plans. Upcoming itineraries can be accessed for review within Slack and automatically imported into Concur Expense for seamless processing. The Concur Travel bot is free for SAP Concur Travel account holders.
How we conduct business meetings has substantially changed, and video conferencing services like Zoom have allowed us to keep in constant contact. With the Zoom app for Slack, you can start a quick meeting – and share the meeting details – without ever leaving your chat. Zoom for Slack allows you to easily provide a colleague, or an entire Slack channel, with a meeting room that offers clear audio and hi-def video for all participants.
Trello helps teams coordinate activities, and with Slack integration Trello makes it easy to keep projects moving forward – on time and on spec. Trello for Slack allows a project manager to post a project card into a conversation, allowing the team to make edits to the card, or provide drafts and revisions of a deliverable for a larger group to review. This Slack app also automatically provides status updates and delivery dates with regular reminders and notifications before an asset misses a deadline.
As businesses turn to the cloud for enterprise software, services like Google Drive have made remote communities effective. And for teams working with Slack, the Google Drive add-on offers a great way to quickly manage and review documents without having to open additional applications. With Google Drive for Slack, your entire team is able to create, search or edit Google Docs, Sheets or Slides files – all from Slack itself.
Managing employee vacation days is a breeze with Vacation Tracker. The app lets team members request vacation days or sick days within Slack. Supervisors can also approve or deny the requests within the app, and see an overview of all upcoming team vacations. Administrators can set up local and global holidays for each team so employees know when their respective offices are closed. Vacation Tracker starts at $25 for up to 25 users.
Sometimes you need more than a picture to get your message across. The Giphy app lets you creatively express yourself without saying a word. Team members can search a curated library of GIFs and share them instantly in a Slack channel or direct message. Workplace admins can set a maximum GIF rating – such as G, intended for general audiences – so unprofessional GIFs do not get shared inadvertently. Giphy for Slack is free for all users.
The Spotify app for Slack lets you easily control your tune selections, and find and share music with co-workers. You can also view information about songs, albums and podcasts. The Spotify app for Slack is free, but users must have a Spotify Premium subscription, which starts at $9.99 per month to access all features.
Eduardo Vasconcellos contributed to the writing and research in this article.