A Better Way To Communicate

Today’s Toolbox Tuesday brings me to one of my favorite ministry tools of all time: Slack. It’s a powerful too to help you communicate.

Slack shortens the communication chain within your organization, tying leaders and volunteers together with a beautiful interface on mobile or desktop platforms.Click To Tweet

The application allows you to create a private “intranet,” complete with discussion “channels.”

Example: Let’s say that I need to share some information about an upcoming Sunday programming change. I can share that information within the #sunday_programming channel. Once I do, only those who subscribe to that channel will be notified of the change. But, if I need to share something with everybody I can post in the #general channel, which allows everyone to see it.

communicate with Slack

Slack permits you to create as many channels as you like, and even to specify who has access. You may lock “private” channels so they are invitation only. This is good for conversations between staff members, your board of directors, or for sensitive topics.

You can share files, and upload videos or audio files. There are also tons of integrations with apps you may already be using like Google Drive, Diggbot, and Paypal.

The application is free as long as you don’t need some of the extra features like voice calling, screen sharing, or priority support.

We have been using the system for about 9 months and have about 25 people using the free version. It works like a charm.

The best way for you to understand how it works is to start using it. Download the Slack iOS app or the Google version or sign up at slack.com.

This is a no-brainer – check it out!

Need more toolbox suggestions? Check out my review of Calendly and Canva

If you want to read more about the founder and designer of Slack, I found this cool article.

Have Trouble Scheduling Appointments?

You can save at least an hour or more per week by scheduling your appointments through Calendly.com.

So, here’s a scenario that used to drive me crazy.

Someone emails or texts me saying, “Hey, can we get together this week to talk?”

I say: Sure, when?

They say: I can do Monday in the morning.

I say: Sorry, I have Mondays off, how about Tuesday?

They say: Lemme check [2 days later] No, Tuesday is a no go, Wed?

I say: OK, I usually have Wed except for this week, how about Thursday?

They say: Thursday morning is good.

Now, all we have to do is decide on a time! It’s endless.

At first, I dealt with this by hiring an assistant and that worked and still does. But it’s expensive. I still have an assistant, but I have started using Calendly.com, an application that allows people to schedule appointments on their own. It’s effortless and easy.

First, choose an appointment type (15min, 30min, 60min, etc.) and then apply each to a recurring schedule. Or, if you wish, create custom days and times.

Whenever someone wants to meet, they simply check your Calendly link (it also embeds into your website) for an opening. The app will show them the available days and time slots–then allow them to schedule it. You can specify any information that you need from them, such as meeting location, topic of discussion, etc.

Sample Screenshot

The amazing thing? The app interfaces with iCal or Google Calendar. So, when someone schedules an appointment Calendly spontaneously puts it into your calendar, notifies you by email, and sends them a reminder as well.

It’s brilliant!

So put this one in your toolbox, ministry leader. Save time and ease the hassle of scheduling appointments with Calendly.com.

(note, I’m not sponsored by them–I just love the application)

You can check out my Calendly here