How we use Slack at home

Your setup of apps and tools for communication is as unique as your DNA. But when you’re in a relationship you spend most of your day communicating with only one person, so you might want to pick a tool together and make it yours. We decided to use Slack at home.

Since we are two geeks living together, we decided to create and move into our own private Slack-team. Slack is a communication tool for teams or organizations. So, when we decided to use it to communicate outside a typical work setting, it felt like a bit of a chance. A year later we’re happy with how it all turned out. And since we know that a lot of people are looking into doing the same transfer, we decided to share why and how we like it.

Why we like using Slack at home

  1. Slack is multi-platform. When one of us decided to go for Android as the primary phone OS, we had to change from using iMessage. We realized we would change devices over time. And if we have to change how we communicate every time, we’ll get pretty tired.
  2. Both of us already use Slack at work. First of all, Slack is very easy to use. My parents-in-law use it daily in their family group without any previous Slack experience. But it is already installed on all our devices, and that is off-course a bonus. And switching between a work context to our private team is simple and a practical feature.
  3. We can have parallel chats, with each other, going on at once. In a text message conversation, it’s sometimes hard to find what you talked about just two hours ago. With Slack, we can organise our chats based on their topics. And everything is searchable if we’re looking to find something from a while back.
  4. Slack handles links and other embeds neatly. A significant amount of what we share are articles and other interesting internet reads. Sometimes YouTube videos or music from Spotify. The fact that Slack display messages to highlight their content is a beautiful detail. But it’s practical when you need to find something or just to differentiate posts from each other. It might sound like a small feature but compared to just have the URLs this makes our chat-life way easier.
  5. Slack saves and archives our conversations. Remember every time you lose/change your phone and suddenly are all your messages lost. Since your device is not related to the Slack messages you send, that won’t happen. And we will have everything we say safely stored for years to come.
  6. Slack is free. The price was not a major argument for us since we only choose between free messenger tools. But others might care about this, so it goes on the list.

Our current Slack setup

You can set up your Slack environment pretty much as you like. There’s a lot of bots and integrations to look into if you’re missing a feature out of the box. This guy even integrated Slack with his online supermarket. Even though we know we’re able to do a lot of customizations if we want to our current setup is simple.

    • Shopping. With Slack, we don’t need another tool for sharing shopping lists. We put in single items or create “snippets” with longer lists of what to buy. When you buy something, you mark it with an emoji. It works well both for everyday items and things we rarely buy.
    • Photos. Ours and others, in one convenient place.
    • Read/Listen/Watch. One channel for each type of content. It makes it easier to find what we’re looking for.
    • Moving etc. When you’re moving in together with someone, you have plenty of discussions going on. Especially when you are selling two apartments and buying one. All ideas about new furniture and tedious electricity supplier research belong in this channel.
    • Direct messages This is not a channel per se, but most of our communications are more of the type “How’s your day?” or “I’m buying pasta on my way home” so we use direct messaging a lot.

This setup is basic, but it works well for us. Sometimes simple makes it more practical. If you want to know more about the different bots and integrations you can use with Slack, take a look at their official collection. And if you want to know more about how we use Slack at home, drop a line in the comments or send me a tweet.

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