Slack Starter Pack: 5 Tools to Get Going

Nearly every month, an app is introduced that promises to revolutionize the way we work. Best case scenario? It’s total BS and you can move on with your life. There’s a slim chance though that your worst fears will come true and it might be actually worthwhile. This means creating a login (boo!), downloading a free app (gross!), and slightly altering the way you handle your workflow (anything but that!). In Slack’s case, all of this is totally worth it. So, how do you get over the hump and take Slack from “just another thing” to your team’s central hub? We’ve got five no-brainer integrations that will help get you there.

Google Drive


Uploading files directly to Slack is a bit redundant if you already have a universal storage solution. The Google Drive plugin will allow links to Drive files show up in file searches and channel summaries, making it a must-have if you’re looking to use Slack as the true universal solution that it can be. Oh, and if you prefer Dropbox, they have a plugin for that too.

Google Calendar


Calendar events are so close to scheduling perfection, but they often suffer from user error; missed emails and unsubmitted RSVPs can turn a simple internal meeting into a disaster. With the Google Calendar plugin, you can ensure that each channel gets event reminders as often as needed, even if certain people didn’t RSVP. Looking at you, Karen.

/done


There are tons of complex plugins that can make Slack a task management ninja… but most of them have a somewhat steep learning curve. /done isn’t a project management miracle worker, but it’s simple and it will get you in the habit of using Slack commands. Once installed, simply type “/done [name of your task here]” in any channel, and it will let everyone on your team know that the task has been handled.

Giphy


Part of the joy of Slack is doing away with the vague formality of email. Slack’s chat format makes the entire flow of a conversation much more natural and instantaneous. In the case of plugins like Giphy, much more fun. Install this app to give your channels the gift of gifs in conversation! Simply type the command “/giphy” followed by your mood, reaction, or any keyword at all, and Giphy will post a gif with that tag.

Appear.in


Slack is set to unveil native video conferencing sometime soon, but until that happens, there’s appear.in. This service provides one-click video conferencing without the need for codes or additional software. With their Slack integration, you can start a call simply by using the “/appear” command in your project team’s channel.

For more of our thoughts on Slack, you can read our intro blog post here. If you’d like to stay up to date on future posts, you can follow us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our email newsletter.

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