In the world of remote work and distributed teams, effective communication and collaboration are paramount. Slack, a cloud-based collaboration tool, has emerged as a central hub for team communication, offering a wide range of features and functionalities.

In this ultimate Slack guide for 2023, we'll explore the key aspects of Slack, its usage, pricing, integrations, features, and competitors.

What is Slack?

Slack is a cloud-based collaboration tool that revolutionizes team communication. Originally designed to replace long and confusing email chains, Slack has evolved into a comprehensive suite for both private and public conversations within organizations. It simplifies communication from small details to large company-wide announcements.

What is Slack used for?

Slack serves as the nerve center of workplaces, facilitating project management, information sharing, and socializing. It offers a variety of channels, both public and private, for different communication needs within organizations. Whether it's a company-wide announcement or a private message, Slack provides a centralized platform for effective collaboration.

How much does Slack cost?

Slack offers multiple pricing options to cater to various needs. It provides a Free plan with limited features and three paid tiers: Pro, Business+, and Enterprise Grid. Each tier offers additional functionalities, including unlimited message history and integrations. Discounts are available for educational institutions and nonprofit organizations.

  • Free: Limited message and file history, up to 10 integrations.
  • Pro: $7.25 per user per month (billed annually), unlimited integrations, custom retention policies, and more.
  • Business+: $12.50 per user per month (billed annually), with SAML-based single sign-on and compliance exports.
  • Enterprise Grid: Customized pricing for large organizations.

Key Features of Slack

Team Communication

Slack simplifies communication through features like huddles, which offer audio and video calls with screen sharing. It provides channels for group or private messaging, organized team chat, and the ability to record and share audio or video clips.

Video Capabilities

Slack offers built-in video chat, making face-to-face conversations, screen sharing, and whiteboard capabilities easily accessible within the platform.

Workflow Automation

With Slack Workflows, users can automate tasks without technical skills. The Workflow Builder enables a no-code approach to streamline routine processes.

Ease of Use

Slack's user-friendly interface and simplicity make it a favorite for many. Its intuitive design has contributed to its rapid growth without overwhelming users with unnecessary features.

How to Use Slack

Slack is accessible through various platforms, including web browsers, desktop applications (Windows, macOS, and Linux), and mobile apps (Android and iOS). Knowing some keyboard shortcuts can enhance your experience and streamline processes:

Action Mac Shortcut Windows Shortcut
New message ⌘ + N Ctrl + N
Search in current conversation ⌘ + F Ctrl + F
Unsend a message ⌘ + Z Ctrl + Z
Jump to a conversation ⌘ + K (and ⌘ + T in macOS desktop app) Ctrl + T (only in the Slack desktop app)
Jump to the most recent unread message in a conversation ⌘ + J Ctrl + J
Jump to previous unread channel or DM ⌥ + Shift + ↑ Alt + Shift + ↑
Jump to next unread channel or DM ⌥ + Shift + ↓ Alt + Shift + ↓
Open the Threads view ⌘ + Shift + T (only in the Slack desktop app) Ctrl + Shift + T (only in the Slack desktop app)
Browse direct messages ⌘ + Shift + K Ctrl + Shift + K
Browse channels ⌘ + Shift + L Ctrl + Shift + L
Open conversation details ⌘ + Shift + I Ctrl + Shift + I
Open a conversation's canvas ⌘ + ⌥ + . Ctrl + Alt + .
Expand or collapse all sidebar sections Alt + Click Alt + Click
Upload a file ⌘ + U Ctrl + U

Top Slack Integrations

Slack's power lies not only in its core features but also in its ability to seamlessly integrate with a wide array of third-party applications and services.

These integrations span across various categories, enhancing Slack's functionality and making it a versatile platform for teams of all types.

Here, we'll explore some of the most popular Slack integrations and how they can benefit your organization:

Jira Integration

Ideal for Agile Teams: If your organization follows Agile methodologies for project management and software development, the Jira Cloud app for Slack is a game-changer.

It enables team members to receive real-time notifications about project updates and track issues without leaving the Slack interface. This integration ensures that everyone is on the same page and can respond promptly to project-related changes.

Google Calendar Integration

Streamlined Scheduling: Keeping track of your schedule is crucial in any workplace. With the Google Calendar integration, Slack users can sync their calendars with Slack. This integration does more than just display your calendar; it dynamically updates your Slack status based on your calendar events.

It also sends reminders, making it easier for you to manage and communicate your schedule with your team. No more missing important meetings or forgetting to update your availability.

Salesforce Integration

Real-Time Data Sharing: For organizations focused on sales and customer service, the Salesforce integration is a game-changer.

It facilitates real-time data sharing between Salesforce and Slack, streamlining workflows and ensuring that sales and customer service teams have access to the latest information.

This integration helps sales professionals stay informed about leads and opportunities without toggling between applications, ultimately leading to more effective customer interactions.

Zoom Integration

Simplified Video Conferencing: Video conferencing has become an integral part of remote work. Slack recognizes this and offers a seamless Zoom integration. With this integration, meeting organizers can schedule, join, and even record Zoom meetings directly from within Slack.

This is especially convenient for remote teams and those heavily reliant on video conferencing for meetings and presentations. It ensures that your team can collaborate effectively, whether they're in the same office or scattered across the globe.

GitHub Integration

Empowering Developers: Software development teams can't function without proper code management. The GitHub integration is designed with developers in mind. It allows developers to stay up-to-date with code changes, pull requests, and issues right within the Slack environment.

This integration is a must-have for teams working on software projects, as it simplifies the tracking of code-related updates and ensures that everyone is on the same page when it comes to code management.

Trello Integration

Seamless Project Management: If you use Trello for project management, the Trello integration with Slack is a valuable addition. It allows project managers and team members to manage Trello cards, update due dates, and move cards between lists—all without leaving Slack. This integration streamlines project workflows, making it easier for teams to collaborate and stay organized.

Asana Integration

Effortless Task Management: For those using Asana as their project management tool of choice, the Asana integration is a game-changer. It allows project managers and their teams to create and assign tasks directly from Slack.

Team members receive notifications about task assignments, due dates, and updates, all within the Slack platform. This integration fosters efficient task management and ensures that project-related information is easily accessible to everyone involved.

Dropbox Integration

Streamlined File Sharing: Collaboration often involves sharing files and documents. The Dropbox integration allows teams to seamlessly connect their Dropbox accounts to Slack. This integration makes file sharing and collaboration on documents a breeze.

Whether it's sharing design assets, spreadsheets, or reports, Slack users can easily access and collaborate on files stored in Dropbox, enhancing overall productivity.

Slack in the Collaboration Software Market

Slack occupies a unique position in the collaboration software market. It excels in streamlining communication, making it a valuable tool for both small startups and large enterprises. Slack's focus on real-time communication and its user-friendly interface have contributed to its rapid growth.

Competitors of Slack

While Slack has established itself as a prominent player in the realm of team communication and collaboration, it faces competition from several noteworthy rivals, each offering its unique set of features and strengths:

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is one of the primary competitors to Slack. It goes beyond traditional chat and video communication, incorporating comprehensive features like file sharing, task management, and automation tools.

With its centralized workspace, Teams is an attractive option for organizations deeply integrated into the Microsoft ecosystem. It offers both guest accounts and a free tier, making it a robust contender in the collaboration software market.


Renowned for its video conferencing capabilities, Zoom has expanded its offerings to include Zoom Chat, a direct competitor to some of Slack's core features. Zoom Chat provides functionalities such as chat, search functions, granular admin controls, and secure file sharing.

For organizations already using Zoom for video conferencing, it presents a compelling option for lightweight chat features within a familiar platform.


Twist distinguishes itself from Slack and similar tools by emphasizing a minimalist approach to team communication. Unlike many competitors, Twist lacks an online status indicator, promoting a more focused and less interruptive work environment.

Twist offers a free tier with message retention limited to one month, making it an appealing choice for teams looking for simplicity and distraction-free communication.


Mattermost positions itself as an independent alternative to Slack. It provides an open-source, self-hosted platform for team communication and collaboration. This approach allows organizations to have more control over their communication infrastructure.

Mattermost caters to those who prefer self-hosted solutions and offers features similar to Slack, including channels, integrations, and file sharing.


Slack stands as a versatile and powerful tool in the landscape of team communication and collaboration. Its evolution from a simple email replacement to a comprehensive cloud-based platform has been marked by a commitment to streamlining communication and enhancing workplace efficiency.