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  • Transcript: 6 Ways to Replace Emails, Meetings, and Other Corporate Time Wasters by Using Slack / HipChat (TPS 134)

Listen to the audio for TPS134 here.

We have completely replaced internal emails at Asian Efficiency. No one sends emails to co-workers anymore. Think it’s impossible? It’s not. You can do it too within your team and organization. There’s one communication and collaboration tool that you need. That’s either HipChat or Slack.

In this episode we discuss how we’ve replaced company emails with one of these tools. If you’ve considered using HipChat or Slack, we also go over the pros and cons of each tool so you can make an informed decision which one works best for you and your organization. These tools will help you get closer to eliminating company emails, useless meetings, and other miscellaneous time-wasters.

Episode originally published 13 Mar 2017.

Mike: [00:00:06] Welcome to The Productivity Show, the Asian Efficiency podcast dedicated to helping you make the most of your time attention energy and focus. In this episode Brooks and I talk about team communication and collaboration tools we talk about what they are. The benefits of using them and what specific problems they can help solve including how we use team communication and collaboration tools to eliminate almost all internal email here at Asian E Efficiency. We compare and contrast the features and benefits of two popular communication and collaboration tools: HipChat and Slack. To help you identify which one you should use with your team or organization. You can find links to everything that we share in the show notes by going to theproductivityshow.com/134. And now on with the show.

Mike: [00:01:04] Team collaboration and communication software has long been on our list of show topics and Brooks and I each just worked on some video series for HipChat and Slack respectively so in this episode we’re going to talk about some of the big takeaways and advantages that team communication and collaboration software can provide and some of the problems that they can solve. So are you ready Brooks?

Brooks: [00:01:25] I’m ready let’s do it.

Mike: [00:01:27] All right so first let’s talk about what is team communication and collaboration software. How would you define that.

Brooks: [00:01:36] Well I would say that it is a tool that allows people in an organization or you know in some sort of group to communicate both by chatting but also by collaborating on different projects by sharing information, sharing files. And just a different way of going about it.

Mike: [00:01:56] Yeah and I kind of put you on the spot there because we don’t actually have a formal definition in our show notes but that’s because I think this stuff is kind of evolving pretty quickly where any definition that we would attach to it is probably going to be outdated soon as new features and things get added all the time. As it stands right now one of the big things that team communication and collaboration software does is it takes all of the pieces of things and it puts them into one timeline. And so specifically as it pertains to like if you think about you’re trying to make decisions and have communication on specific work topics via email at some point usually in those email threads the branches – uh the thread will branch and it’ll break off into two separate distinct conversations and you get people replying all to previous messages when other people have already replied three levels down and that that thing that they replied to is already been decided and it’s just a complete mess. And so even just identifying what everybody is talking about in an email thread like that can be very difficult. And so team communication and collaboration software what it does is it just provides everything in line where you can just scroll and you can see exactly what other people are saying. And there is no branching threads for any of these conversations. Obviously there’s different rooms and things that that you can use for specific topics to help keep the conversation centered on what is what that room for example or that channel is specifically devoted to. But you don’t have to worry about trying to piece together all these different things and Slack in particular has done some research and they’ve got a page on their Web site Slack dot com slash results we’ll put the link in the show notes. Where they found the specific benefits to using Slack in particular. But really the two different major team communication and collaboration tools that we’re going to be talking about here, Slack and HipChat, offer a lot of the same benefits. But this was a study which was done by Slack so these apply specifically to Slack. Where they found that organizations that use Slack increase their productivity by 32 percent. They had forty eight point six percent fewer e-mails. They had twenty five point one percent fewer meetings. Eighty point four percent said that it increased transparency, sixty two point four percent said it was easier to find information. Seventy nine percent said it improved the culture of their team, and eighty eight point six percent so that it helped them feel more connected to their team. Now there’s some specific benefits in there but let’s just kind of tackle it maybe one by one. Do you want to speak to Brooks maybe how team communication collaboration software can result in fewer meetings.

Brooks: [00:04:47] Sure. But before we talk about your meetings I do want to zero in on the future e-mails. I do want to zero in on the future e-mail stat because. Way before I joined the Asian Efficiency team you know we were in communication because I was helping out on some projects. And one thing that you had said to me a long time ago is you had kind of mentioned that there is essentially no internal e-mail in Asian Efficiency and you know I heard that and you guys said that on you know different podcasts and stuff like that. And I heard that and I’m like yeah whatever. Sure. Until I joined the team and it is no joke. I think in my entire time that I’ve been here I’ve received maybe one internal e-mail and that was just a link to a Google Docs survey. But these collaboration tools I mean in conjunction with things like Jira and Confluence and other things but it’s no joke that these tools really do reduce the amount of e-mails that you have internally in an organization. It’s insane. I’ve never seen anything like it.

Mike: [00:05:49] Yeah I think that probably a lot of people don’t take that claim very seriously. But it really really is true. We really you know we’ve talked before about the real costs of e-mail and kind of the statistic I like to share comes from Cal Newport’s book Deep Work where they did some research and it wasn’t Cal specifically but he’s quoting somebody who did a research study at their organization and they found that the real cost of every e-mail that was sent or received was about 97 cents or almost a dollar for every message sent or received so that means if you send a message to 10 colleagues that’s $1 for you sending it $10 to for each one of them receiving it and then when they reply all it increases exponentially. So yeah that’s a really big problem in a lot of organizations and one that Asian Efficiency has chosen to take very seriously.

Brooks: [00:06:40] But getting back to the meetings thing you kind of have to think to yourself what are a lot of these meetings for and not including the regular meetings if you have stand ups and stuff like that. Those are still important but those kind of meetings that you you pull together to it you need to assemble some people to talk about something. Those in a lot in a lot of cases you can do away with with one of these collaboration tools like Slack and HipiChat because you can quickly assemble a room in HipChat or a channel in Slack with the people you need to discuss something you can bang it out right then and there. Ask these quick questions and get on with your day. It really avoids the need to pull together people for meetings.

Mike: [00:07:28] Right. Yeah. And for people who are trying to decide between Slack and HipChat I just want to tease right now I guess that we will be talking a little bit about the different pricing options and things a little bit later. But before we even get into what those specific applications can do because some of them do have a little bit different different features. There are going to be a couple of main takeaways where just every app that falls into the team communication collaboration software is going to provide a couple of these benefits so if your e-mails is one fewer meetings is another. Another one that maybe is a little bit hard to quantify the value of this but increase transparency. This one is really interesting because when you work with the remote teams specifically like we do the tendency can be to dive deep on whatever you happen to be working on. And if you’re not careful if you don’t if you’re not deliberate about providing the transparency then it’s easy to not get updates and understand how all the pieces fit together. So we do that through the daily meetings as well where we’ll look at the board that’s on Jira and we’ll talk about the issues and things like that. But specifically the team communication collaboration software how that helps in this particular area is that you can actually tie it to your project management tool so that as I am working on an issue for a video or a master class and I’m having trouble because my voice is gone like it has this week and I can comment on the issue saying something like I’m still waiting for my voice to come back so I can record the audio. Because that’s pulled into in our case HipChat. You can see that and you can offer just like you did to say Hey Mike I know that your voice is rough. I’ve got a little bit of extra bandwidth. Maybe I can help you out by recording that audio. So the transparency if you really want to work together as a team or as an organization that transparency I don’t think you can put a dollar amount on the value for that.

Brooks: [00:09:42] Yeah and also again this is how you choose to set these things up. But we’re going to talk about integrations later you can have different things piped into your collaboration tool. And so even if you’re somebody who’s role for example doesn’t revolve around support or does not revolve around social media or something like that you can see what’s going on in the support world. You can see the blog comments coming in. You can see you know what other teams are working on. Of course you can keep things private if you choose to do that. But if you if you err on the side of transparency it can just give you a different appreciation for the types of things that people are working on.

Mike: [00:10:26] Yep definitely. The other one I want to really call out here is the improving the culture of the team because both hip chat and Slack are fun to use and I think that the fact that they are fun to use means that communication is more likely to happen between members of the team or the organization. And any time that communication happens it’s a good thing. We’ll talk about some of the specific things that you can do in both HipChat and Slack to kind of make it more enjoyable and easier to use. But first let’s talk about the main feature of these applications and that is the messaging. Now messaging happens a lot of different ways. But essentially the apps are set up the same way where you have different channels or rooms and so in Slack I believe they’re called channels and HipChat they’re called rooms – they basically serve the same function. So for example in HipChat right now we’ve got the inbox we’ve got the daily huddle which is a room specifically set up for us to post our daily updates. There’s one for the podcast which pulls in podcasts updates one on blog content one on products, systemization, dojo, growth hacking. All of these different things and so that basically just sets the topic for that particular room. And so I know that if I have a podcast related update or question that that’s going to go in the podcast room. In fact there was some conversation in the podcast room the other day as we were talking about some of the podcast reviews that have come in. And if you haven’t left us a review in a while we would really appreciate it if you go to iTunes and leave us a review it helps other people find out about the show. But we have those conversations in that particular room and that way other people on the team like maybe Marie or Donna or Tina, or Mel who that doesn’t really apply to them. They can still go in there and they can see the conversation if they want to but they don’t have to be interrupted. Their work doesn’t have to be interrupted because we happen to be having this conversation. So rooms or channels are really important in segmenting the conversation so that you can control what messages you see and which ones you don’t.

Brooks: [00:12:47] Yeah absolutely. And and you can even you can even create rooms specifically for different integrations and stuff like that so you can have rooms tailor-made for a certain type of information funneling in. So you don’t have to crowd your your regular rooms where or channels where you might chat with people so you can keep these things segmented so it doesn’t become too messy.

Mike: [00:13:17] Yep. And there is also direct messages. I think that maybe we didn’t put that on the outline here but those were the same way in Slack or HipChat as well where if I wanted to speak specifically to Brooks because we’re going to record this podcast and I need an extra 10 minutes just to get ready and get a drink of water so that my voice hopefully holds up we can we can do that and I can do that directly to Brooks. The whole team doesn’t need to be notified or a whole team doesn’t need to see that particular conversation. So the conversations will typically happen either one to one like that or publicly in channels or rooms. And that again is big in adding to the transparency of the organization the fact that these are all in these public rooms that anybody can go see at any time.

Brooks: [00:14:07] Yeah. And the direct messages is something that really cuts down on those internal e-mails because if you have a question for somebody you can just bang them off a quick direct message and get the answer to your question. You don’t have to send an e-mail and that clutters up their inbox and all that sort of thing.

Mike: [00:14:23] Yep absolutely. And if you are going to send an e-mail to somebody to ask them a question and you are going to CC other people on that e-mail so that they see that you ask this person for this maybe they’re involved in the process or maybe they just for accountability reasons you want them to see that then the way to do that in communication or collaboration software would be to ask that question in one of these rooms and then use the mentions feature. So for example we use HipChat internally at Asian Efficiency. Slack works the same way though if you put the @ symbol and then you type the person’s name or their their screen name. Then it will send that person a notification so they will be notified that you asked them or mention them in a specific topic or question in a message. But it’s still happening publicly so that everybody can see that. So for example this happened just the other day in the the inbox where Thanh, actually Brooks you and I were going back and forth about some some different plug ins for the Web site and the podcasts and getting it working. That conversation took place in the inbox so that anybody in the team understood what was going on with the website at that particular moment. And then Thanh chimed in and he notified me and he wanted to clarify something so that we got the desired outcome that we wanted. Again that’s a public conversation we want to have a record of that we want everybody to see it. But Thanh also wanted to make sure that I saw his specific message so all he did was he put @ Mike and then I get notified that I’ve been mentioned in that particular room.

Brooks: [00:16:04] Yep absolutely super handy.

Mike: [00:16:06] Another thing that you can do with messaging is you can attach files which is probably very underrated if you think about attaching a file to an email message. Those can get lost really really easily and with Slack and HipChat it’s a lot easier to keep track of files. In my opinion than it is trying to comb through your whole e-mail archive trying to find a file that somebody sent. Plus once again you’ve got accountability there where anybody can search for and find those files any time that they they want them. In fact you can even using some of the integrations automatically pull in files from specific sources like Google Drive. For example I know is one that you know every time you upload a Google Drive document or a file whatever it can automatically pull those into your team communication and collaboration software so that the team gets notified that hey there’s a new version of the flyer or the brochure or whatever, podcast artwork, whatever it is that you’re working on or whatever your team is collaborating on. You can do that automatically and then you have to worry about like oh did we ever get the file back from that person. Oh yeah I got that I forgot to upload it. Well you don’t have to worry about uploading it because the integrations can do that automatically.

Brooks: [00:17:24] The only thing I will say and this is specifically about HipChat I’m not sure exactly how Slack works is the way HipChat handles file uploads is it stores on Amazon S3 which is great but it stores them basically publicly accessible. Now you have to know someone would have to be able to find the you know the weird Amazon S3 URL that it assigns to it but that is something to be aware of that if you have super sensitive information you may not want to attach it as a HipChat file attachment. I’m not sure if Slack works the same way. That’s something I discovered recently.

Mike: [00:18:06] That’s a good point. Yeah I’m guessing that it is still a public link. So if you are concerned about the files that you share being publicly accessible then you will probably want to use some other software in order to share those sensitive files like tax returns. I think that if you are an accountant for example in fact my accountant uses a service I forget what it’s called but it’s a secure link it basically is a Dropbox-like service where he’ll send it out and he’ll say you can click here or you can attach your your documents and it will be encrypted and secured and sent to me for a one time use. Basically I can download it once if I lose it after that. It can never be accessed again. So there are other services out there for us to solve the security problems for some specific use cases but that’s a very good point to mention Brooks.

Brooks: [00:18:56] Yeah but forever for everything else sharing files using HipChat and Slack can be really fast and handy and like you said a lot easier than emailing attachments.

Mike: [00:19:07] Right. Our next one here is emoji which if you are a millennial maybe like myself this first maybe you’re like well that’s not really that big a deal. A lot of the world does speak in emoji. And I will say that from using Slack and HipChat that I really kind of gotten into this is really just it makes it more fun it makes communication more fun when you can find an emoticon I think they’re called in HipChat or Slack has a bunch of different emoji that really just encapsulates the point that you’re trying to make or goes along with the topic that you’re talking about. It just makes it much more enjoyable and in fact in Slack what you can do is you can respond to specific messages by adding a reaction and by adding a reaction you don’t actually type a message you literally just pick an emoji from one of the emoji that are included in Slack and using that with the Asian Efficiency Slack team that we use at the Dojo is really fun.

Brooks: [00:20:08] Yeah. I am not a millennial. I’m one of the olds. So I was doing some research on this. And HipChat did a study and they were saying that 95 percent of knowledge workers said they were likely to send an Emoticon — That’s a HipChat term for emoji — to a coworker. And 62 percent reported feeling closer to their coworkers through using emoticons in conversations. And then sixty one point sixty one percent reported using emoticons to add emotion or personality to a message. So that’s actually really I mean it sounds really fun and silly but if you’re working with a remote team there’s only so much that you can relay over text. So you know being excited about something and adding in dancing ninja at the end or whatever it just it just helps amplify that whatever you’re trying to get across in the text so I think emoji and emoticons are really really cool. In HipChat specifically, not sure about Slack but if you are somebody who doesn’t really like the emoticons or emojis with motion and animated you can turn off the emotions and the emojis if you don’t like it. But I like it so I leave it on.

Mike: [00:21:23] Yeah it’s pretty fun. In fact in HipChat I added a couple specifically Canadian emoticons for you and that to me is the Mountie and the Canadian flag and maybe a moose I think.

Brooks: [00:21:35] Yes. I was very I was very honored. I was very I was very honoured by that with with u in the word. And you know again it sounds silly but you know making somebody feel welcome on a team. Throwing in a moose will get a Canadian any time so it’s just a good example.

Mike: [00:21:54] Nice. Yeah. And I remember when Apple announced the iOS 10 keynote and they had a big emphasis on messages and really it was the whole idea is to make it easier to use emoji when communicating. I know people who communicated just emojis now and it really is it really just makes communication more fun which again you mention the the more fun that you make it the more likely people are to do it.

Mike: [00:22:23] And then the last thing you can do with messaging in both of these services is that you can actually use it for calls and video calls. In my opinion I don’t really trust either Slack or HipChat to handle it real well or real consistently. It’s ok once in a while. But in my opinion even though we complain about Skype all the time Skype is still the best option for calls and then we use something called Zoom for our video calls which seems to be pretty good. But with all of these types of software there seems to be some issues.

Brooks: [00:23:02] Right. And hopefully they’ll improve this over time. But but once it does get to a level of Skype or a Zoom that’s just a killer combination. Having all this text-based chat in there as well as having it as your dashboard for calls and video calls that’s going to be awesome.

Mike: [00:23:19] Right. So now let’s get into some of the customizations you’ve decided to use either Slack or HipChat. We’ll talk about specifically which one you should use at the end here but with either of them once you decide to use them you’re going to want to make it your own. So there’s a couple of different things that you can do. You can change the appearance so you can actually set up a theme in either of these. And we actually had a Dojo member put together a theme for the Asian Efficiency’s Slack team. And once you do it in Slack you can share it in the channel and then anybody who wants to use it can just click and then it automatically applies it to their Slack application. Or if you’re using it in the web I would apply it there as well. You can use these with multiple teams but really what I want to talk about here in this section is two specific things one we’ve teased already and that’s the integrations. But also with Slack specifically there’s something called a slackbot. And the slackbot is pretty cool if you’ve never used it before. And I have to confess I never really used the slackbot a whole lot before I started putting together the Slack videos that that we used in the the master class. But there’s some really cool things that you can do with this. For one thing you can use slackbot to set reminders you can for example type something like slash remind me to put in the task at a specific time and then Slack will actually do that. It’s kind of like a task manager a light version of a task manager if you wanted to do it that way. There are to do’s and things in Slack as well but I wouldn’t recommend that you use those. But really where it can get fun is when you start to put in custom responses. So for example you could go into slackbot and you could have a custom response which would then give for example maybe you have an office and people ask all the time for the Wi-Fi password. Well you can go into your team admin settings customize your team page by going to my.slack.com/customize/slackbot and you can also do that from inside the Slack application also. If you go to your team name and just go into the settings that way but you can you can set it up so that slackbot will respond whenever people put in a specific phrase so you could put in something like when someone types What’s the Wi-Fi password. Slackbot will respond with a message that says the password for the AE team Wi-Fi network is Asian Efficient for example. And I set this up for my co-working space and showed people this and they thought that that was the coolest thing ever.

Brooks: [00:26:16] Yeah the slackbot is something I have way under-used but that sort of things people are doing with it is just crazy. So it’s definitely worth looking into some thinking outside the box and thinking. What are some things that I can automate using this because it is pretty ridiculous the stuff you can do.

Mike: [00:26:36] Cool. And the other thing is the integrations. So let’s talk about some specific integrations here. So I put some into the Asian Efficiency’s Slack team because we’re Asian Efficiency and we have such an emphasis on Pomodoros. I actually put in a Pomodoro timer into the Slack team so you can actually inside of the Asian Efficiency Slack type slash start work for example and the tomato bot which is the application that we’ll use it will put an app linked to this in show notes will actually start a 25 minute Pomodoro timer for you from within Slack and you can do a lot. Yeah and you can do a lot of really cool stuff like that. There’s another one I’ve used called simple poll which again will put the link to this in the show notes so you can install these if you want and a lot of these are free. Actually I think they might all be free. And what this does is it just creates a simple pole that you can use in a channel and people can click on and and vote for different things. So we use that actually recently to identify some of the issues that people have regarding morning rituals and things like that which was which was great. There’s also one for Asana which is covered in the master class the videos that I put together but Asana is a pretty cool online test management tool for teams that has a lot of great features for the group that are included with the free version and it’s kind of the one that I recommend to people now if they need to work with a team and they never really use Task Manager before it’s the one that actually my wife and I use when we do our family meetings and things she absolutely loves that I could not get her to use OmniFocus but she’s all in with Asana. And Slack can actually pull in updates to Asana tasks and things like that. You can mention you mentioned earlier pulling in like social media updates like Twitter for example. There’s a couple though and I’ll let you speak to these because you did the HipChat version of these. Jira and Bonusly which we use personally at Asian Efficiency all the time.

Brooks: [00:28:52] Yes. So if you’re using a system like Jira which is a project management or a bug tracking or all of the above system you can have that integrated with your collaboration tool and especially HipChat since Jira is by the same company so you can see what’s happening in all of the different issues you have to work with. Confluence also is a I guess a collaboration and Wiki tool and you can have that information piped into HipChat as well. So another thing that that we use it for is Bonusly like you are saying. So this is again going back to this concept of having your remote team you want to find ways that you can show appreciation for things because you can’t just yell across the desk and say hey thanks. So we have this tool called Bonusly and what that does is if somebody goes above and beyond you can give them points and recognition for what they do. And for us we align with our core values so we can say so I can say Give Mike you know 20 points for “putting we before me” which is one of our core values. And then that just lets everybody see. And then at the end of the month you know someone will get a Amazon gift card or something for their recognition. So that is something that ties into HipChat directly. So we don’t have to go to some other Web site and punch things and which you know people aren’t going to do. You can just type a few characters right from from HipChat and I’m sure Slack has a similar integration and do it all from there. Some other things I’ve played around with is there is there is different even language translation bots so you can say translate something to French to English or English to Spanish or something and it will message you back with the translation. So there’s an unlimited number of helpful things you can do with these integrations.

Mike: [00:30:46] Yeah. And and there’s the Slack site has hundreds of them. The HipChat one I’m sure has probably the same the same number but really like that’s the great thing about these team communication collaboration tools is you can really make it fit the specific needs of your team or organization. So definitely take some time to set it up and apply some of these customizations. You’ll also take some time to make sure that your notifications are set up correctly. Now the way that notifications are defined in each of these applications is a little bit different. For HipChat I know they’re called Loud, Normal, and Quiet. Slack you can basically set it so you get all notifications every time somebody mentions anything. You can set it so you get no notifications or you can set it so that you only get notifications for when you are mentioned or they have a feature called highlight words so when someone uses a specific phrase like “server down” for example maybe you want to know anytime somebody mentions that even if they haven’t tagged you or mentioned your name then you can use a highlight word to do that. And I believe you can correct me if I’m wrong HipChat is kind of the same way where Loud is everything, Normal is the the ones where you are mentioned and then Quiet is basically nothing at all correct.

Brooks: [00:32:07] That’s right. And you can even you can even tailor it even more room by room. So some rules like let’s say you had a room that that crash notifications were piped to you would have it so that every message you get notified for that room. But for other rooms it’s just normal and other rooms it’s just quiet. You don’t want to be notified of anything unless you go in there so you can really control it room by room which is handy.

Mike: [00:32:33] Yeah definitely. And then the other thing that you’ll want to make sure that you do is you’ll want to make sure that you turn your email notifications off. So it’s fine to have notifications set up especially for like you were saying specific rooms go ahead and mute the ones maybe that you don’t necessarily need to be checking all the time. But go ahead and use notifications so specifically I would say the normal or the mentions and highlight words and Slack. Normal if you’re using HipChat for specific rooms or channels and then mute the other ones that you don’t need to be don’t need to be monitoring regularly. But for everything. Make sure that you turn off e-mail notifications because if you have e-mail notifications turned on you’re basically getting notified twice of the same thing which is obviously very inefficient.

Brooks: [00:33:23] Yeah. And you know the whole the whole benefits of these type of tools is reducing internal e-mail. But if you’re getting notified by e-mail every time somebody messages you or every time someone mentions you it kind of defeats the purpose of using one of these tools.

Mike: [00:33:37] Yeah definitely. And then the other thing is specifically mobile notifications recommend that you turn those off except for mentions because you want to limit the number of interruptions that you get on your phone. Typically if someone let’s say you have you have notifications turned on for a specific room or channel you want to make sure that even though you may have those turned on in your desktop like if you’re sitting at your computer and you want to be notified when somebody posts something to the customer support channel for example go ahead and do that but you also want to turn that off on your phone because your phone is not going to be the place to reply to those things. Your phone you– You want to make sure that your mobile notifications are just for when things are mission critical and someone needs to get your attention that they can get you a message that you can see it and then you can get to a place where you can deal with it appropriately.

Brooks: [00:34:27] Yeah. One of the objections to these types of tools is oh now now I’m just going to have one more source of interruptions and distractions as if my life wasn’t already bad enough and that can be true. But if you take steps to limit the type of distractions and notifications you get it really reduces that that objection.

Mike: [00:34:48] So which one should you use. That’s a question we get asked a lot. And after digging into both of these I personally think that there’s benefits and advantages and disadvantages to both of them. We use HipChat at Asian Efficiency because it integrates with Jira and Confluence which are made by the same company – Atlassian – really really well and so our whole company runs on their whole software suite and that means that we’ve been able to accomplish our goal. You mentioned at the beginning of virtually eliminating email from our day to day operations. But Slack is a really impressive application and I’ve got to say that if you were just starting out with team communication and collaboration tools and you didn’t really have any experience with either you weren’t invested already with the Atlassian software that maybe give Slack a shot and that’s because the pricing for both of these is going to be a little bit different there are free versions. Okay but for Slack what you get with the free version is really really impressive you get searchable message archives for up to 10,000 of your team’s most recent messages so you’ll keep track of everything up to 10,000 messages and you can search it all for free. You can also have up to 10 apps or service integrations which for a lot of people that’s more than enough. They’ve got native apps for iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows. They’ve got the voice and video calls which are free between two people if you wanted to do groups then you would have to pay. It’s a 5 gigabyte total for storage for your team. And it also includes two factor authentication for security and privacy. Books you want to maybe talk about HipChat pricing options.

Brooks: [00:36:38] Sure. Yeah. So HipChat also has a free tier. And it’s also very generous I would say. So one difference from Slack is it has unlimited integrations for the free plan which is kind of bananas if you think about it. If you want to do group video chat or group screen share and you do have to pay if you want to control how much history gets retained you have to pay. For file storage, it’s five gigabytes free or unlimited with the plus package and for the searchable message history it’s a bit higher with HipChat as well. Twenty five thousand messages for HipChat versus 10,000 for Slack and the unlimited plan is free. I would say HipChat– if you’re already in as we are already kind of in the Atlassian environment so Jira, Confluence, then that that’s a really compelling reason to use HipChat because as Thanh says, the more you can integrate the better. The HipChat pricing is pretty inexpensive. If you do want to go to a premium it’s $2 a user which is pretty inexpensive. And one other benefit of HipChat that I will say that for some organizations this can be important is that HipChat actually has a server version. So if you want this these collaboration features but you’re not comfortable or for some regulatory reason you’re not able to have your information stored on their cloud services. You can actually run HipChat in your own environment. So that could be an option as well.

Mike: [00:38:15] Nice I’m glad you brought up the pricing because I forgot to give the pricing for the premium versions for Slack which are quite a bit more expensive. HipChat if you need some of those additional features you mentioned is $2 per user per month. Slack actually is $8 per user per month. And if you pay yearly it’s a little bit cheaper it’s like $6.67 cents per user per month. But it is significantly more expensive. Like I said the free plan is probably more than enough for people who have never used team communication and collaboration tools before. But if you are looking for some of those advanced features and you have especially like a larger team that you’re working with you’re definitely going to want to compare Slack versus HipChat. We’ve actually got a whole video module devoted specifically to Slack in the Dojo. So if you want to dive deeper on what Slack can do for you and your team you might want to check that out. But even better news is as podcast listener you can actually sign up for the Dojo and get access to the complete video library for only a $1. So you get access to all the modules not just the one on Slack and the awesome community of super smart people who can help hold you accountable and inspire you to reach your goals for an entire month and then it’s $29 a month after that with a new video module added every single month. We’ve also got a private Slack team for Dojo members and even some exclusive software discounts now on apps like Hazel, BusyCal and even TextExpander. So if you want to join in the conversation and take advantage of this special one dollar offer. Just go to theproductivityshow.com/dojo. And don’t forget that you can find links to everything that we shared and discussed in the show notes by going to theproductivityshow.com/134. So thanks for joining us and we’ll see you next productive Monday.

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