Productivity

9 essential apps to boost your productivity in 2019

Simplify everyday tasks in Slack and reclaim sweet, sweet time

By the team at SlackJanuary 2nd, 2019Illustration by Kelsey Wroten

It’s the second week of the new year and things are starting to kick into gear. To deliver on your big, hairy, audacious goals you need to clear your (virtual) desk, get rid of unnecessary busywork, and simplify your day so you and your team can start achieving that next big thing.

These essential apps from our app directory will connect the tools you use everyday with Slack, streamlining your work so you can spend more of your time working towards your goals. There are thousands of apps you can add to Slack, but we’ve hand selected nine of the best to get you off to a productive workday.

1. Start an instant conference call

No need to open a separate app, dial in to a meeting, or share invite links: You can start an instant conference call from Slack with Zoom.

When the need arises to jump on a call:

  • Use the slash command /zoom in any channel to create a meeting
  • Start a meeting by clicking the phone icon in Slack, here’s how

2. Set up simple automations that will save you time

Zapier automatically moves info between Slack and 1,000-plus other essential apps you may use during your day like Google Sheets, Evernote, and OmniFocus, so you can focus on your most important work. You don’t have to know how to code — in a few simple steps, you can set up automations (Zapier calls these “Zaps”) that will save you time and keep work flowing.

Here are a few popular Zaps to get you started:

  • Send important emails to Slack based on an inbox label
  • Turn any message into a task in your favorite task management tool
  • Post into a Slack channel when a Shopify purchase happens
  • Create new notes on Evernote when messages are starred on Slack

3. Streamline work with custom integrations

Imagine if, when a customer support ticket is opened, you could instantly see the customer’s Salesforce record, as well as suggestions for potential solutions from Confluence, all within one Slack message. Workbot and the Workato platform are essential apps that can help to automate complex, multi-step workflows among the different enterprise applications your team uses like ServiceNow, Workday, Salesforce, Docusign, and more.

You can use Workbot and Slack to:

  • Orchestrate approval workflows like deal approvals and order fulfillment
  • Automatically create a channel to discuss and resolve customer issues
  • Receive personalized messages on sales progress, or quickly pull up info such as leads, opportunities, accounts, cases, and more from your CRM

4. See Google Drive activity and update sharing settings from Slack

Stop sending attachments and links via email where they will get buried deep in your teammates’ inboxes. Instead, you can share and organize your files in Slack. Every time you share a Google Drive file, Slack automatically stores and indexes it for you, meaning that the file names and content are searchable so you can find them later.

With Google Drive and Slack you can:

  • Approve access requests with one click right in Slack
  • Get notified instantly when someone shares a file with you
  • Get comment notifications in Slack so they don’t get lost in your email inbox

5. Keep an eye on your schedule with Google Calendar

No need to open your calendar app over and over to check your schedule — let Google Calendar send updates and reminders right into Slack, where you’re already working.

A few popular ways to use Google Calendar and Slack together:

  • Start your day off with a calendar summary sent into a Slack channel
  • Get notifications any time something is added or updated in your calendar
  • Set up shared calendars with your teammates for meetings, projects, etc., and configure those shared calendars to post summaries and updates into specific Slack channels

6. Never forget to follow up on a Slack message

Forget Post-Its or endless lists, you can turn any Slack message into a follow-up task with the To-do app from Workast. Assign tasks to teammates or simply use it to keep track of your personal work. Set due dates, and To-do will remind you to complete a task at a later time so nothing slips through the cracks.

Use To-do within Slack to:

  • Create a follow up for yourself from any Slack message
  • View tasks grouped by Slack channel
  • Receive a daily morning reminder of tasks to complete

7. Connect your project management tool to Slack and keep things moving

Instead of jumping out of Slack to keep track of things in your project management tools like Trello, you can integrate boards with dedicated channels to create and manage tasks while you are working, then check things off as you get them done.

A few types of projects you can manage with Trello and Slack:

  • Add new Trello cards to boards
  • Change due dates
  • Attach Slack conversations to cards

8. Fill your open positions faster with Lever

When you have an open position on your team, the time it takes to vet resumes, host interviews, and solicit feedback can take a lot of time away from doing your regular work. Bringing some of these workflows into Slack with Lever’s integration can actually make it quicker to fill open roles and reduce the time it takes to get a new employee up to speed once they start.

Use Slack and Lever together to:

  • Automatically post proactive interview reminders with candidate information
  • Change plans quickly while a candidate is onsite
  • Remind interviewers to leave feedback

9. Keep a referenceable, verifiable wiki of important information with Guru

Instead of searching through separate internal wikis and multiple folders, use an app to help keep track of the important information you and your team need to reference quickly. As one of the most effective essential apps, Guru’s Slack bot allows you to save key bits of information from conversations in Slack and makes them easy for everyone to find what they are looking for.

Here are a few ways you can manage information with Guru:

  • Instantly add answers to frequently asked questions to onboarding docs
  • Add new sales enablement materials to a content library as they are shared
  • Update product feature and pricing details so everyone has the latest info

Add these essential apps to Slack, and get back time to reach those big goals you’ve set. And you can always search our app directory for even more.

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