Email chains are painful, aren’t they? Your inbox is overwhelming, it isn’t always clear what you’re supposed to respond to and what you can delete, and prioritizing is a nightmare.

While you can’t eliminate email from your clients, prospects, and vendors, you can make your work team operate entirely outside of your inbox.

Enter Slack

Slack is more than a chat client for work teams… it is work team communication for the modern era. With Slack you can communicate in real time, attach links and documents, organize your communication into project or topic specific channels, and ping team members whose attention you especially need on a particular question or comment.

Gateway Productivity <3’s Slack

To give you a little insider information, our intra-company communication happens almost entirely on Slack. As of this writing there are only two of us, but communications get complicated with each of us emailing clients and vendors and needing to loop each other into important conversations. Add in company specific emails between us, and things can get overwhelming in a hurry. With Slack, we can communicate about company specific questions, comments, ideas, and actions in real time without filling up each other’s inboxes. We can save email communication for when we need to loop another person in on communication from a key client or vendor.

Let the ideas flow and grow

Slack allows you to create specific channels as a team, which means you can separate what needs to be done now from your long term ideas and goals. As a company, Gateway Productivity has specific channels for items to read, ideas, and marketing, which allows us to bounce ideas off of each other and consider our bigger picture together in real time, without losing sight of what we are working on for the day. Gateway Productivity also has channels for more immediate needs such as to-do’s and ongoing conversations about current projects. Nothing gets lost, because all of our conversations are specific to the channel that they are happening in, and there is always the option to ping (@username) a member of our team if we need someone to pay special attention to a question.  We can also ping the entire team (@everyone)  if we need a quick answer to an urgent issue.

Communication on the go

Much of the work we do at Gateway Productivity is done on site with our clients in their businesses. Email can be overwhelming on the go, but with Slack each of us can easily see and answer company specific communication that was sent while with a client on our smart phones or tablets. At a glance I can review any Slack chats that happened while I was out of touch.  If necessary, I can then fire off a quick answer to keep Gateway Productivity running smoothly.  If there is something that I need to look into later, I can star it for myself, or pin it to the chat for the entire group to see.

Separate your company from your clients and vendors

Our clients are our first priority, and our vendors matter too. By keeping our inter-company communications in Slack, we are able to focus on serving our clients and communicating with our vendors via email without being distracted by internal issues, questions, or ideas.

Does your team need to Slack more?

If email chains are hindering the ability of your team to stay in touch and get things done, consider becoming a team that slacks. You’ll love that your email inbox is more focused, your team will love that you are more responsive, and you might just find some fun integrations along the way (like the giphy integration that we overuse) that make team communications not only more efficient, but way more fun.

Written by Asher Collins. Asher has since left Gateway Productivity to pursue his passion in ADHD coaching. You can find him here.