There are tons of project management tools out there. We talk about Hubstaff Tasks, Jira, Wrike, and others all the time.

But there’s one really important, really useful tool for project managers you might not have given much thought to: Slack.

Is your team using Slack yet? If not, you’re missing out. A 2015 survey indicated that teams using Slack experienced some major benefits:

  • 32% boost in team productivity
  • 48.6% reduction in email use
  • 25.1% reduction in meetings

Teams also say that using Slack has improved their internal transparency and company culture.

With its numerous robust features and powerful integrations, Slack can quickly turn into the central hub of your project management process – and your team as a whole.

Looking for other project management tools to consider? Try Hubstaff Tasks. It’s a simple, easy-to-use task management software that’s perfect for remote teams.

Work smarter with Agile project management

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Work smarter with Agile project management

Agile teams accomplish more. Here are the 10 features that make Slack project management a hidden gem:

1. Project-friendly structure

The first step in using Slack for project management is to set up your team. You can create a single team channel for your entire company to communicate in.

Or, if your company employs a large number of people, create different teams for each segment of your group. In most cases, a single team will be enough.

Selecting a Slack URL for project team

Each team has a number of channels. These are the building blocks of Slack. In essence, they represent a stream of conversations that revolve around a predefined topic. Channels can be topical, project-based, location-based, integration-based, used by only a certain team, or limited to any other group you’d like.

Slack automatically creates #general and #random channels that can be used across teams. For company-wide project progress, channels like #management, #sales, #marketing, and #accounting might be useful.

You can also create private channels for small groups and one-on-one conversations as needed.

Creating project channels in Slack

It’s more useful to keep most of the information flow in the public channels. This ensures transparency and creates a searchable archive of your conversations.

Team members you’ve added in the team space can communicate in the common channels or start one-on-one conversations.

Group conversations let a small number of people communicate without their messages getting lost in the shuffle. They can be used repeatedly so team members can look back on what they talked about yesterday, last week, or last year.

This also helps us set and follow communication etiquette. There are notification settings for that, too.

2. Integrate your other tools

There are some standard project management features that Slack just can’t replicate alone. If you’re a busy project manager and need the heavy lifting power of a more traditional app, Slack can still help you out with integrations.

Asana, Jira, Pivotal Tracker, Blossom, and Trello are just a few of the project management integrations for Slack. Bring in cards, tasks, conversations, and notifications from a variety of your apps to make Slack your central space for getting stuff done.

project management integrations for Slack

There are loads of other helpful integrations, too.

IFTTT automation lets you get reminders and automated actions. Tettra lets you create a wiki for your team right inside of Slack.

A lot of the apps you’re already using can be linked into Slack, too:

  • Hubstaff
  • Google Drive
  • Dropbox
  • GitHub
  • MailChimp
  • Intercom
  • ZenDesk
  • Salesforce
  • Twitter
  • InVision

Activating these integrations will turn your team into a full-fledged powerhouse.
On a less important – but far more fun – note, you can even integrate GIPHY into Slack. Check out these secret GIPHY Slack commands too. They’re a blast!

3. Easy, automated reminders

Reminders are one of our favorite Slack tricks here at Hubstaff.

Keeping track of your daily to-do list is a simple concept for project managers — but it’s a lot easier said than done. Fortunately, Slackbot can help.

Just type “/remind” in a channel, tell Slackbot what you’d like to be reminded of, and it will ping you when the time comes.

Slackbot reminders for task management

You can change set team member to remind, the task, and the time. For example: “/remind me to send the newsletter in two hours.”

You can expand upon the reminder features in Slack through customization.
Tell it what your building Wi-Fi password is, where the nearest coffee shop is, or how to open that closet door that gets stuck. Then whenever anyone asks, Slackbot will answer.

It’s pretty awesome.

4. Task list management

To-do lists usually encompass smaller priorities. If you have bigger tasks to keep track of, Slack delivers here, too.

Slack can integrate with tools like Wunderlist and Todoist. These integrations let you add items to your task list right from a Slack channel.

You can also use the To-Do bot to keep your entire task list inside of Slack.

Slack to-do list

You can even create your own Slack to-do list without using an integration.

Adding a star to a message makes it easy to find again. Just hit the “Show Starred Items” button to see all of your messages that you’ve starred.

Slack pinning

Pins work similarly. Pinned messages and files are displayed in a prominent place in the channel so team members can easily refer to them.

5. Easy note-taking

Want to jot some notes for a project you’re working on? Need to set a reminder? Maybe you just need a place where you can type some things where they won’t get lost.

You can start a new Slack message chain with yourself. This way, your direct messages will be stored where you can easily find them later. Because they won’t get pushed down by new messages from your teammates, they’ll always be right where you left them.

6. Collaborate with posts

Slack has another built-in note-taking option: posts.

Slack notes

Posts enable team members to share documents, project files, and work together on items that are too big for messages. Think of it like a text document that team members can pass back and forth.

Work together on posts, add checkboxes for tasks, and share them with anyone when they’re ready.

Slack posts are basically like a simplified version of Google Docs built right into your favorite communication tool.

7. Powerful search capabilities

It won’t take long for your Slack channel to fill up with messages — and that can make it really hard to find the one you’re looking for. But with the awesome search capabilities built into Slack, you have nothing to worry about.

Slack search for project management

You can search within a channel (with “in:”) to find what you need. A couple of other search examples include:

  • From: for content from a specific team member
  • Has:link lets you search only for links
  • Has:star searches starred messages

You can even search for specific emojis if you want to.

To see all of the modifiers you can use to search Slack, check out their support page.

8. Custom shortcuts and slash commands

You can do the same with slash commands. There are several predefined ones, such as “/archive” and “/mute.” But you can also create custom commands that match the needs of your team.

Custom Slack slash commands

You can create your own keyboard shortcuts to make project management smoother and faster.

Here are a few examples:

9. Audio and video calls

You can also start an audio or video call with up to 15 people. This means you won’t need to switch from Slack to Skype or Google Hangouts to make your work call. This feature is free, so you won’t need to pay for another service.

10. Useful bots

Besides integrated apps, Slack also hosts bots. For instance, Slackbot helps you with note-taking and reminders.

Slackbot isn’t the only option, though. There’s a whole universe of Slack bots out there:

  • DiggBot delivers interesting websites and news to your Slack channel.
  • PaperBot organizes all of the links you post into a single handy website.
  • Spacetime bot translates local times zones, so you can help remote workers get to meetings on time.
  • Team O’clock facilitates your Scrum standup meetings and even includes video for distributed teams.

There are thousands of bots and apps you can connect to Slack. Check out the app directory to get an idea of the wide range of stuff that’s available.

You can even use Api.ai to build your own bot.

Make the best of project management with Slack

Slack can be a phenomenal project management tool. While you can use it to organize your team, it’s designed primarily for team communication and collaboration.

Use Slack to supplement a more traditional project management system — but don’t rely on it fully to make your team more agile and flexible.

Read more about Agile project management in our guide here.

A good solution for aspiring Agile teams is Hubstaff Tasks — an agile project management tool with features like weekly sprints, Agile workflows, a Kanban board, automated Stand-ups, and much more.

Sharing Tasks in Slack is easy. If anything requires urgent attention, just send over a link in any channel or private chat.

Frequently asked questions

How do teams use Slack?

Both in-office and remote teams use Slack to consolidate email, text, and verbal communications into one central location.

Some teams take Slack a step further and take advantage of its various integrations. This allows them to track their projects, build chemistry, and gauge employee morale.

Are there any good Slack add-ons for Agile-style project management?

Slack integrates with dozens of premier project management tools like Trello, Asana, and Hubstaff. Niche add-ons like the Poker Planning app are a fun way to streamline Agile sprint planning.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using Slack as a team collaboration service?

Advantages:

  • Streamlined communication – Faster than email and other communication methods.
  • Great organization potential – Channels, a search feature, and the ability to pin messages make it easy to keep track of your work.
  • Powerful integrations – Integrations with project management, time tracking, and analytics features make Slack more than a communication app.

Disadvantages:

  • Storage issues – Slack has limited space and slowly deletes files over time.
  • Poor video conferencing – Video calling can be unreliable at times with connection issues, poor audio quality, and other shortcomings compared to specialized video conferencing programs.
  • Distractions – Slack is packed with fun features and add-ons that enrich communication, but can also become a distraction from productive work.

What sets Slack apart from other Project Management Software?

Slack is different from other project management tools because it doesn’t attempt to be a stand-alone product. When you set up integrations with project management tools like Hubstaff, Asana, or Trello, you have a simple, central hub where your whole team can see new developments.

Between Slack and Asana, which is the Better Project Management Solution?

Asana is a premier project management tool trusted by industry giants like Spotify, Indeed, and Xero. For massive campaigns, it’s one of the best tools on the market. Slack is an excellent tool, but it relies on integrations with project management tools like Asana. Many teams use both for different purposes.

Which is better: Slack or Trello?

Trello’s Kanban-style project management is very popular with teams of all shapes and sizes. Slack is helpful for simplifying communication across an organization, but it can’t really function as a project management tool on its own.

This post was originally published in May 2017. It was updated in September 2021.