Doing More with Slack

Thoughts on how most users interact with software applications.

I arrived early for my speaking gig yesterday to meet with the conference organizers and give them a few of my books.

As I waited at the counter for my badge, I noticed a man next to me working on Slack. He had split his laptop’s screen and routinely toggled back and forth between Slack and a spreadsheet.

We started talking about Slack. I asked him how he used the collaboration tool. I’ll admit that I was impressed: My consulting forays into the energy industry left me with the impression that they’re not exactly early adopters when it comes to new tech. Yet, there was no mistaking it: There was Slack on his computer.

After some more small talk, I asked him why he was working in both Excel and Slack. As it turns out, he was looking up employee information in Excel to find in Slack. I asked him if he was a Slack administrator. Yes, he was. They why not create custom profile fields to save himself some time and make information easier to find?

Huh?

You can do that?

Most people only use the basics of a software application.

I showed him how to do as much. He wanted to know how I knew so much about Slack. After all, I was there to talk about analytics. I mentioned my forthcoming book. he asked for my card. I suspect that I’ll be training employees at his company on how to best use Slack at some point in the future.

Simon Says: Become part of the 20 percent.

The 80/20 rule is alive and well: Most people only use the basics of a software application. For most people, what’s true in Microsoft Excel and Word is also true with Slack.

It doesn’t have to be.

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