My inbox is overflowing. With a busy sewing pattern business, a blog, a podcast, and a newsletter, I get several dozen emails each day from customers and fans with comments and questions. I also license designs and write books and, well, I do a lot of things. Almost everything generates emails. Kristin runs Sew Mama Sew, an incredibly large and very busy website with tons of contributors and contests. Her email inbox is also very full. I remember last November she was sick for a few days and when she got better she had over 2,000 emails waiting for her!

Here’s the thing with email: it’s all mixed together and it all appears to be of equal importance. Email can be overwhelming.

When Kristin and I got ready to launch Craft Industry Alliance I really didn’t want our internal emails to get mixed in with the rest of what’s in our inboxes. I could tell it was all going to be too much and we needed a better system.

Thankfully, we found Slack. Slack is a way for teams to chat and share documents online. Think of Slack as texting, but with way more functionality. Slack is free (although there is a paid plan that allows for better search functionality) and it’s just so pleasant to use. The interface is bright, friendly, and intuitive to navigate.

We set up a few channels – for the journal, the website, the newsletter – and invited Nicole Stevenson, our illustrator, Kelly Moyer, our copy editor, and Lindsie Bergevin, our graphic designer, to join us there.

Now Slack is how we now function as a team on a day to day basis.

Here are a few aspects of Slack that we’re really finding useful:

  • Slack has a browser extension which means that when someone on our team writes a new message a little notification appears on our screens. This is so helpful!
  • The Slack app means we’re able  to respond to urgent messages while on the go.
  • We can upload files directly to Slack for all of us to access, review, and discuss together.
  • Slack chats are searchable.

Slack would be helpful as a communication tool for teams of all sizes. If you’re collaborating on a project we highly recommend it! Keep your inbox tidy. Check it out at Slack.com.

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