How to Add Apps to Slack
Now we get into some of the more business stuff as well. So, if you're using Stripe or PayPal or Chargefire or a bunch of other services to manage subscription payments or credit payments or invoices or quick books or whatever you might be using in your business, you can use the built-in box to give you information about those things and at the end of this presentation, I'm gonna show you a whole sort of string of automations that give you a really good overview into something like a customer journey. So the PayPal bot not only allows you to gain information about PayPal, but you can actually pay people on your team just by sending a message to a bot. So you can actually send a message to the PayPal bot and say, "Pay at Melissa 45 dollars for lunch." And it will do a transfer directly from you to them one more time where you don't have to leave Slack. For Stripe, it will give you analytics, so maybe a payment failed on Stripe. So maybe you want to have that post into a finance channel ...
so that everyone on your finance team can see that and respond to it in kind. Google Calendar has a really great integration with Slack as well, so you can have, for example, a shared team calendar or maybe just your own and any time you create a new appointment in that calendar, it can actually post that information to Slack so that people can see it. So, for example, if you book into a team meeting, rather than having to worry about what everybody's emails are and inviting everybody, you can just use that Slack channel as notification of the new Google Calendar item. Meekan scheduling is a fantastic bot. So, the average number of emails required or messages required to schedule a meeting is 8.1, which is kind of a ridiculous use of time and if you think about it that's actually a small number because usually you're going back and forth about a time and sometimes you have to go back and forth about a place. So what Meekan does is connects with your calendar and syncs within real time. It doesn't matter what platform you're using, whether it's Office 365 or Google Calendar. And you can say, "at Meekan", so you can call out that bot. At Melissa and I need a half hour meeting sometime in the next week. And that's it. You can use natural language for that. And it will respond and it will say, "I've looked at your calendars and this is the best time for both of you." And then if you say "Book it", it will add it to your calendar and add it to their calendar and you're done. And the really super powered part is that you can use Meekan in an entire channel of up to thousands of people if you wanted to, so it literally can pull hundreds of people's calendars and recommend the best time in about five seconds. So you never have to go back and forth. Birthday bot is just a nice one for team culture as well. We use that, it knows when everyone's birthday is and it will give you all, except for that one person, a one week warning and then a one day warning, and then it will actually post in the channel to wish them a happy birthday. As I go through these examples with you, I want you to keep in mind that whether or not you use these specific bots or these specific integrations, these are the kind of things that are possible, these are the kind of things that might take you 30 seconds or 45 seconds or 60 seconds, but you're doing them dozens or even hundreds of times per day. And that switching cost, that context switching that we get from that is actually exhausting to our brains. And we can really avoid a lot of that here, and again, it makes it so that there's a sort of central place that we can see everything. There's a whole bunch of health and medical plugins for Slack. So, there's simple ones that will actually just tell you to stop and breathe. And you can tag one of the meditation ones, that stop and breathe one, you can actually send a message and say "Meditate" and it will immediately give you a ten minute meditation that you can follow. So, in the surveys that we've done with our team, which again is very remote, one of the things that came up was there was a bit of a lack of health and welness support, which is sort of to be expected with a remote team because we're not in the office watching people. So we're able to implement these kind of things to remind people to take a break and recommend really simple exercises they can do in about 30 seconds. But you can even take that a little further using something like Count It or Health Hero and actually do fitness challenges with a remote team. So if people have the Fitbit or if they have Strava on their phone or they have some other health tracker, you can actually pull in that data and create a leader board and show that this person did seven miles of walking and this person did ten miles in one day and you can actually create competitions around that, but just providing that level of accountability and transparency that makes people do it more. Slack is also great for hardcore development management, so any developer is probably familiar with GitHub, so anytime you have a new deployment or a new update to GitHub, you can actually have that post into a channel to let people know. So, again, if you notice there's a theme. A lot of this stuff is about awareness, but many of these allow you to interact in a two way fashion. So, you can have that. Hubot is another one, JIRA Cloud is a well known, project management tool for software development. But the real power tool comes with Zapier and IFTTT. So, I have some other courses in the catalog here at creative live that really teach you how to automate lots and parts of your business and your personal life and through the tools that I love to talk about a lot are IFTTT and Zapier. So, IFTTT and Zapier basically allow you to create an automation that is a trigger and an action. And you can look at both of those and see the hundreds, or actually, well over a thousand different applications that it integrates with, but essentially, once you hook up Slack with one of these tools, you're opening yourself up to be able to interact with pretty much any app that your company or service might be using on a regular basis. So, whether you're simply getting information or you're actually creating an action based on something that you do within Slack, you can usually do that with IFTTT or Zapier, and let me give you an example of that in the end as well. And this is just sort of general communication tools. So, Skype is there at the bottom. We like to use Zoom for video conferencing. So, one of the things you can do is we can have another slash command for Zoom. So you can say "slash Zoom", and it will immediately create a video room for you to talk to and you click that and everybody can go into it. So, what you'll see there is a lot of back and forth and people are typing, and typing, and going back and forth with 20 different things. You might decide, hey it'll be really more efficient if we just jump on a quick call for five minutes and clear this up, share my stream, whatever. So you can do that with the Zoom, Screenhero or Apperian all these things allow you to share your screen, real time, and you can do that through slash. You can also subscribe a channel to an RSS feed, so if you are in an organization where you're producing content, whether that content is a podcast or a blog post, you can automatically have any new posts go into the channel so everyone knows that it came up, and then you can even discuss it if you need to and act upon it. And then MailChimp, there's other newsletter for us that go in there, but MailChimp can post into Slack when you get a new sign up, and I'm gonna show you a really cool automation with that as well.