Project Management Tools: Slack

"Communication is at the heart of everything that we do"

The lynchpin of successful project management within an SEO agency lies in communication. Whether you’re communicating externally with clients and stakeholders or internally with the development or design team, being able to reach out quickly and effectively is absolutely paramount. Enter Slack.

A brief history

Slack was developed as an internal tool by Tiny Speck (now known as Slack) for an MMORPG named “Glitch”. Glitch was intended to launch in September 2011 but was promptly delayed to improve some of the gameplay mechanics. Unfortunately, this delay would ultimately be indefinite as Glitch never made it to market. Moving forwards, Tiny Speck took a fundamental part of Glitch and, in August 2013, released Slack to market as a software communications tool for businesses.

Slack was released with only a handful of features in comparison to today’s modern version. Direct chat, group messaging and file sharing were all present, as were the all-important emojis. However, since its initial release, Slack has added more and more features to not only improve usability but make it a forefront piece of software for any project manager or comms-heavy business.

The modern Slack

Slack today is one of the world’s leading pieces of communication software. It was very recently purchased by Salesforce (a CRM and project management tool) due to how integral it is within business and communications. Throughout the years, Slack has built on those features it initially launched with, expanding the realms of possibilities for teams using the software. From creating temporary external channels with clients to sending a crucial gif to truly show how you feel about the latest sales win – Slack’s got it covered. There’s an abundance of features and different ways to use them. So, here at Herdl, we wanted to share our favourite parts of Slack and how they help manage the day-to-day activities and comms in a digital agency.

Ged Day using whiteboard

Slack tips & tricks!

1) Order your sidebar

Every channel, be it a group or direct message, resides in the left-hand sidebar of Slack. This can become a daunting place – leave it to its own devices, and you’ll soon have a space more chaotic than a teenager’s unkempt bedroom. But treat it with the love and respect it deserves, and this sidebar can be moulded to what you desire. For example, if you’re a business with many different arms and services, like ourselves as a ppc agency, you’ll want to keep client-related internal communications in the proper channels.

Well, rather than have a long, unordered list of client channels in this sidebar, you can create different sections such as “Ongoing Projects”, “Web Clients”, and “Marketing Clients”. This means you can collapse and focus on specific clients depending on your schedule that day or week. Is there anything better than feeling organised?

2) Starred Channels

If there’s only a handful of conversations you want to keep an eye on, then starring a channel is a beneficial way to keep track of what’s happening. This is great for individuals who need to stay focused on a single project, as it’ll allow them to drown out the noise of other slack channels. By starring the channel they’re working within and collapsing the others, they’ll remain focused – out of sight, out of mind.

3) Connections

The connections within Slack allow you to open a temporary or permanent channel with another organisation. This feature is fantastic for Project Management, enabling you to ask a client or organisation a quick question that’s too small a deal to warrant an entire email! Need a quick file sending over for something you’re working on that’s time-sensitive? Just pop over a Slack and reach out immediately. It’s also great for organising more formal meetings with your client, general comms, or just getting to know your client and growing that relationship.

4) Mute conversations

There are just some days when you just need to shut out all noise – stay focused, stay productive, and stay…uninterrupted. Even with all notifications turned off, sometimes Slack can inhibit your day with little distractions. But, with the Mute Conversation option, if there’s a channel that is explicitly going off like a frog in a sock, then you can simply mute this channel and rest easy knowing it’ll cause you no more pain or suffering (for that day at least!).

5) Gifs

Finally, perhaps the most essential part of Slack is the ability to send Gifs! Look, there are only so many emojis can do to truly relate to how you’re feeling about that big win. So for those times when you just need that little something extra, “/giphy” The Office Champagne gif to let your colleagues know how you really feel.

Slack can do so much more, but these are just some of the things we at Herdl find ourselves using every day. If you want to find out more about our Project Management or just have any other exciting tips (of gifs!) to share, then please do get in touch.

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