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Aug 10, 2010

tl;dr - Anyone fully invested in Slack or one of the many alternatives? Which one? How are you finding/loving/hating it?

I had a handful of pretty simple questions about peoples experiences with Slack & Slack type systems, centred around my small team (5-10 of varying technical ability) REALLY needing to get away from using email to navigate, communicate and collaborate. But couldn't decide on a suitable thread to stick it in.

My search basically started out looking for exactly what Hangouts offers, but after looking around the search expanded.

I've been doing my own testing and research, but before I force one of the 8 billion systems on the rest of the team, I'd really like feedback on real world usage. My first point of frustration is trying to test them out with myself....... the second is finding Slack to be the defacto standard, but really not liking it as much as several others that I've looked at. The limitation of not having subchannels just seems unmanageable, to me. A big long list, with no hierarchy? Finding loads of other services with better interfaces, more features.......but next to no users, and the worry of abandonment that that could bring somewhere down the line. (I've watched the coming and going of dropbox alternatives, Wuala, Cubby, Copy etc.)

So far I've looked at Slack, and didnt like it. I see there are long lists of 'addons' (integrations) to extend functionality, but these all run their own costs (real costs and time/management-wise too), arent that easy to track down and find feedback for, and as previously mentioned show up in other systems as standard.

I'm looking at; ..........Very feature dense, interface suffers massively due to sooooooo many features. .............................Seems pretty like for like with slack, but with a potentially easier migration, with an overlap with current email usage. Possibly not distinct enough to run the line with slack long term? .........Currently my favourite, suitability and features wise. Project hierarchy, hangouts video chat integration and built in IMAGE ANNOTATION features are pretty much my number ones. Seems to be THE LEAST used service out of all the ones I've checked out so far - using android play store downloads as an unscientific metric for real world adoption. ..........................Haven't actually signed up and tested yet, seems more communication centred than project centred, but this might be ok in practice. Ringcentral parent company may lend to longevity?

Not yet properly investigated;

Integration with dropbox or similar (we dont actually use dropbox fully at this point) is also a point of interest. Binary file Versioning and tracking would be useful if there's an all in one solution that I've not found yet.
I've got to look at, which may offer all in one?

I could really see a megathread being useful incorporating these and even catch all for some of the other parallel systems with standalone threads e.g. dropbox/spideroak etc. Though the list could be pretty endless.
But I'm the one with all the questions, not so much the answers, so I couldnt handle the pressure of doing one at this point...


Aug 10, 2010

Well this didn't really take off...

For what it's worth, I did lots and lots of playing.

Microsoft teams came out and actually works really well, each conversation gets its own sharepoint folder which could be really useful for some, but sharepoint/onedrive doesn't suit our files.

In the end I settled on it's much like slack but much cleaner and with some excellent extra features/refinements, such as the integrated "convert message to a task" tool.

Hopefully it sticks around long term so I don't regret not just going along with slack as standard. But I really didn't like slack all that much.

Off to the archives now with this thread I guess.

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