AtoZChallenge: E is for Email Alternatives

email

Sick of email? Try these apps.

By Brittany Smith

Email is pretty much the worst. You spend hours each day checking, reading and responding to it, not to mention getting sucked into never ending reply all chains and the constant anxiety of staying up-to-date with your Inbox.

EAccording to a study by Atlassian, the average employee checks their email 36 times an hour and after checking incoming emails, it takes an employee about 16 minutes to refocus on the task at hand.

So, not ideal for productivity or efficiency.

But isn’t it a necessary evil? Although email probably isn’t going anywhere any time soon, there are more platforms popping up to help alleviate the volume of email and allow teams to collaborate and work together in real time, thus cutting out those long email chains no one wants to read anyway.

Whether you own your own business or work for a company with more than 1,000 employees, these platforms can help you get sh*t done.

Slack

You know you’ve always wanted to have the option to send personalized gifs any chance you get. You can, with Slack.

Well, you’re in luck because the communication platform, Slack, lets you do that and a whole lot more. It is geared for team-based communication, with chat options, file sharing and it integrates with apps like MailChimp and Google Drive.

Slack also lets you archive and search chats and shared information. There’s a reason their tag line is: Be Less Busy.

HipChat

Slack and HipChat are pretty intense competitors. HipChat has many of the same functions as Slack, like building “rooms” for teams to collaborate, instant messaging, file sharing, and of course, gifs.

But there are features that work better with HipChat, depending on your team’s needs. Crew, a freelance design and developer platform, did an in-depth comparison of the two, which can be found here.

Facebook at Work

You can now separate your work life from your real life with Facebook at Work.

Facebook’s limited mobile and web app pilot lets you collaborate with co-workers, group message, create project events, and follow people in real time via the newsfeed format.

It also has less of a learning curve as many of the other platforms because it utilizes the same aspects of Facebook, without the annoying comments from your grandma.

Trello

Trello is awesome for team project management, and managing your own personal workflow. It has both a web and mobile app and is compatible with HipChat and Slack (even more reason to get one of the two.)

Trello is a highly visual platform and lets you organize projects by “boards” where you list the tasks on cards under each board. There are options to include pictures, color coding and you can move each task to different boards as they are completed.

A few other honorable mentions include: Asana, Basecamp and Yammer.  And the best part is, any of these platforms will help you get less emails. That’s a win for everyone.


Resources:

http://www.business.com/project-management/9-most-effective-apps-for-internal-communication/

http://www.inc.com/rachel-solomon/5-platforms-that-simplify-team-communication.html

http://officeninjas.com/2015/06/17/improve-your-office-communication-with-these-slick-and-free-tools/


brittany

Brittany Smith is a copywriter by day, and blogger and short story writer by night. Speaking Spanish, French Fries and a solid road trip playlist are a few of her favorite things.

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