October 1, 2016 (Vol. 36, No. 17)
Strong Points: Easy to use, many integrations with other apps
Weak Points: Limit to number of free messages
Science is a collaborative endeavor (and continues to become increasingly so with each passing day). As a result, the use of organizational tools and tools that facilitate communication among team members is becoming an essential part of a scientist’s workflow. Slack is an excellent (and free!) resource for team communication that exists as a website, stand-alone desktop application, and mobile app, thereby ensuring that you’re connected with your team wherever you go. Slack is essentially a messenger app, though the innovation here is that users divide their communications into topic-specific “channels.” Users can subscribe to specific channels and can manage their notification preferences for each channel independently. Channels support text, but also uploaded files and images. Importantly, Slack integrates with a wide variety of other applications such as Dropbox, Asana, and Evernote, so it can easily be combined with a group’s existing workflow.