Why Our Team Got Rid of Slack

Less is more.

Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

I love apps. They make my world go round. Specifically, the kind that serves as genuine hacks to our personal and work lives — often called productivity apps.

As the type who eagerly jumps from app to app, free trial after free trial, I’m always on the prowl for the perfect app for different types of activities to the point that it’s become a side hobby.

In 2019, I migrated from Evernote to One Note, then to Notion then back to Evernote again in just a year.

My behavior towards collaboration, team-centered apps is no different. Asana, Basecamp, Slack, Dropbox, Trello, Monday.com, you name it. I’ve virtually tried all of them with hopes to streamline many of my workflows and make working from home a total breeze.

In 2015, much like many others, I fell in love with Slack. You could even say that I was a little late to the party but hey, I still bit into their ethos right away: “killing email”. I was a believer from the start.

Naturally, I forced it upon my team of 2 + 1 freelancer at the time, who were definitely apprehensive about the move, though they didn’t say it outright.

Who could blame me though? Slack is revolutionary! It’s the kind of product that’s so good, you can’t rate its customer support because you never needed the latter to begin with.

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The functionality of grouping conversations in hundreds of different ways is just tantalizingly brilliant and groundbreaking to me.

Not to mention the ability to have multiple workspaces in one app — uber smart!

And don’t get me started on Shared channels…

Because of Slack, how we approach internal and external business communication will never be the same.

But as the title of this article clearly points out, I’m no longer using Slack for my company.

We dropped it for one simple reason: minimalism.

As mentioned above, the apprehension and push-back started with my teammates. They were never really as active in it as I was and would often instead directly communicate on our Telegram group chat.

It ticked me off at first and made me think that all this negativity was just a byproduct of not being techy and enthusiastic towards trying new things— that all they had to do was learn how these platforms work to get the hang of it and 10x their productivity.

At length, 2 whole years to be exact, I was made to take a step back and ask the following:

“Does my team really need all these apps?”

“Is Slack really essential?”

“Am I just adding work instead of making it easier?”

I think all small business owners have to ask themselves questions like these many many times.

And for my case, the answers came so suddenly one hot summer day: no, not really, and no — for each of those questions.

They were crystal clear too, making me think why I had never made the change earlier.

For one thing, we’re only a small team of three, Slack has many many robust functions of which we barely grazed the surface, and there’s the fact that my teammates are getting a tad bit overwhelmed with all the apps I’ve asked them to use.

So there you have it, we came to a decision to drop Slack along with other software and replaced them with a more simplified lineup.

From Slack+Asana+Google Apps, we’ve transitioned to just Telegram+Dropbox as our main working hubs and our team is welcoming the change with open arms.

In the end, it all ended up being a great lesson on essentialism for me, reminding me of the phrase: “less is more”.

I realized that I was only pushing these apps in the first place for pretty superficial reasons like “because everybody uses Slack, we should too”, and “it’s got robust features that could help us with many of our communication needs” without really evaluating what our needs were, to begin with.

I let my biases get the better of me. And because I liked the platform a lot, I became convinced that my team also needed it as much.

Obviously, I’m no Slack hater, neither am I closing my doors to them completely.

Heck, this article isn’t even about Slack per se!

But rather, how letting go of my biases made me learn something valuable.

To summarize, here are my core takeaways from all this:

“It pays to conduct a proper needs analysis before making any big decision.”

“Learning how to adjust to our teammates, so long as it puts our team in a better position to succeed, pays massive dividends.”

“Sometimes, less is more.”

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