At BGBO Co, we’re constantly trying to improve our own systems. Generally, it starts with an idea and grows into either something that’s implemented, tabled, or tossed. But, how do we know which direction the idea should go? We ask other people on the team! And what’s the easiest way to do that? Use Slack!
Or should you?
Slack interrupts people with a notification sound (that’s not good). It also isn’t great for unformed thought-streams. If you post in a channel, you’re distracting everybody at once (that’s expensive!). If ideas are unclear, posted in a channel, and reach a team member that may not have the same perspective or even know why you’re sharing ideas, you just completed a full recipe for team anxiety (and drama!).
But this is a hard habit to break for many of us, myself included. I was about to complete the full recipe earlier this week but heard a team member’s voice in the back of my mind that said, “Do not send a message like this in Slack. It belongs in ClickUp. You’re going to freak everyone out!”.
I quickly copied it out of Slack and posted it in ClickUp for only the appropriate team members to reply when appropriate for them.
With Slack, you hope for instant answers, no matter what the actual person is working on at that moment. It’s disruptive. There is a time and place for sending a Slack and it is great when you do need an answer in that moment. But for most things, your work management system, whether it is ClickUp, Asana, Monday.com, etc, is the better place for it.
Here are a few other reasons to consider questioning whether Slack is a good fit for your message:
- Trying to find a documented answer to a question can be difficult – even with the paid version that doesn’t eat your messages after 10,000
- Not everyone is online at the time you send the message and the person may check it and then forget about it, never to see it again
- It’s hard to “catch up” if you’ve missed more than a couple of messages
When to use Slack (or similar chat product):
- If you are really in need of an urgent answer
- The team member is struggling with a concept and you need to help them
- Determining a time to meet on a topic and not discussing the issue in Slack
If you or your team find yourselves having to answer Slack questions all day, it may be time to build some company playbooks.