What is an App?

A guide for people who are new to Slack (welcome!) or who want to learn about apps for the first time.

We created this guide for people who are new to Slack (welcome!) or who want to learn about apps for the first time. We’re going to start off with a basic overview of what apps are and how they work with Slack, then we’ll jump into some examples. 

What is an App?

An app allows you to connect the tools you already use to your Slack workspace, making their functionality available to you and your team without leaving Slack.

Why it matters

You use multiple tools to get work done, such as a calendar, email, video chat, and more. This can mean a lot of switching between tools, all while communicating with your team in Slack. Apps allow you to bring these tools into Slack, reducing back and forth, and simplifying some common everyday tasks: 

  • Sharing documents 
  • Providing project updates 
  • Jumping on calls with your team
  • Staying on top of your schedule
  • Converting conversations to actionable tasks

Using apps to streamline these everyday tasks in Slack means you’re better able to focus on the important things—getting work done with your team. 

Check it out

Here are some examples of Slack apps in action:

Stay on top of your schedule in Slack

For many people, their calendar is at the center of their workday. The Outlook Calendar app lets you interact with your calendar from Slack.

RSVPing to an Outlook calendar meeting right in Slack, then joining it as your personal status updates to “In a meeting”

Never be late to a meeting again
Configure the Outlook Calendar app to send you reminders in Slack for upcoming meetings.

Plan your day
See your upcoming schedule for today and tomorrow.

Manage your meetings
Get notified and respond to meeting invites right from Slack.

Communicate your status
Automatically update your Slack status when you are in a meeting.


Jump on a call with your team

As the way we work changes, video calls have become integral to staying connected. The Zoom app lets you start a video chat from Slack.

Typing a shortcut into Slack to create and launch a Zoom meeting

Chat with the right people at the right time
Sometimes complex problems benefit from face-to-face communication. Start a video call in Slack to pull the right people into a conversation when you need them.

Catch up on meetings you’ve missed
Record a meeting and share the link back to a channel for those that couldn’t make it.


Collaborate on files with your team

Important work happens in files. The Google Drive app lets you bring this work into Slack.


Attaching a Google Drive file in Slack and updating permissions

Share and grant instant access to files
When sharing files, granting the right permissions to the right people can be tricky. Easily share files and update permissions so that everyone in a channel has the access they need.

Manage file comments 
Get notified of comments on all your files and reply right from Slack.

Create new files in Slack
Create and share files in Slack as you need them

Next steps

To start adding apps to your workspace, head to the Slack App Directory. You’ll find the apps described above, plus over 2,000 more.

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