A few key integrations can make your favorite workplace chat app even better
- Slack’s apps can automate your favorite productivity techniques.
- All kinds of teams can achieve greater efficiency with Slack’s 2,000+ apps.
- Slack + calendar is one of the best ways to improve your time management.
Slack might not have killed email. But it has helped us tame our inboxes, get answers quickly, and share cat memes en masse. With 10 million+ daily active users, Slack is helping a lot of us collaborate online, both in real-time and asynchronously. Integrating Slack with other great software makes it even more powerful, and your life that much easier.
This guide will walk you through how to find Slack integrations that automate your favorite productivity methods. We’ll also cover how to integrate Slack with your calendar for ultimate scheduling and time-management efficiency.
What are Slack integrations?
Slack integrations allow Slack to work with your favorite tools and apps. From spinning up a Zoom meeting right from Slack to getting messages from your calendar about your day, Slack integrations enable you to get more done with less time and effort.
This guide will briefly introduce you to some of the most beloved productivity techniques and cover how Slack apps can make them even more powerful. Then, we’ll talk about the best Slack apps for various teams. Lastly, we’ll talk about how to connect Slack to your calendar for ultimate efficiency.
Slack apps for the Eisenhower matrix
Getting more done is good. But how do you know whether you’re working on the right things?
The Eisenhower matrix is a way to categorize and prioritize items on your to-do list according to their urgency and importance. It’s named after one of our most productive presidents: Dwight D. Eisenhower. Before becoming president, he fought Nazis in WWII. Then after, he started NASA and DARPA, signed the Civil Rights Act of 1957, and forcefully integrated public schools in Little Rock, Arkansas. His secret? Among other things, he relied on the Eisenhower Matrix.
To use it, create a box with four quadrants:
In the top left quadrant, add tasks that are both urgent and important. In the top right quadrant go tasks that are important, but not urgent.
The bottom left quadrant is for tasks that are not important, but urgent. These are tasks that someone should do, and quickly. But you don’t need to be the one to do them. These are tasks you can outsource.
The bottom left quadrant is for tasks that are neither urgent nor important. These are tasks you should remove from your list because they’re not going to move the needle for you.
Priority Matrix helps you take items straight from Slack and formats them into a matrix, so you always know what to work on next.
Slack apps for Focus Time
There aren’t a ton of universals in productivity, but one of them is that focus matters. Multitasking is actually a myth. “Multitasking” is just task switching quickly. And those switching costs add up, eroding up to 40% of your productive time. That’s due to “attention residue,” aka our brain’s tendency to keep thinking about the previous task for up to 25 minutes after we stop working on it.
That’s why productivity nerds like Cal Newport and Nir Eyal argue that deep, productive work requires chunks of uninterrupted time that are at least two hours, ideally longer, to reduce unnecessary switching costs. At Clockwise, we call two or more hours of uninterrupted work time Focus Time.
To get more uninterrupted Focus Time, we recommend the Clockwise Slack app. It syncs your availability to your Slack status automatically so your teammates know whether you’re in a meeting or in Focus Time before sending you a message. And it can automatically turn on Do Not Disturb when you’re unavailable so you can focus deeply on the task at hand without interruption.
Slack apps for Pomodoro
In our distraction-heavy world, sometimes two or more hours of intense focus isn’t in the cards. Many people rely on the Pomodoro technique to get things done. In The New York Times, Dean Kissick explained how during lockdown he was able to “descend into a pomodoro-fueled delirium of work, creativity, household chores, tasks I’ve been avoiding for years, self-betterment and random undertakings from morning to night.”
An Italian business student invented the Pomodoro in the 1980’s when he tried working for 25 minutes straight, taking a short break, then working for another 25 minutes. After three rounds, he’d take a longer break. Francesco Cirillo found his technique made him far more productive, naming it after his tomato-shaped kitchen timer (Pomodoro means “tomato” in Italian).
There are several Slack apps that will help you live your Pomo best life. Like the Clockwise Slack app, they work by turning off Slack notifications when you’re in focus mode. Other examples include Pomodoro Tracker, OTTT, and Focus Mode by Geekbot.
Slack apps for time blocking
Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and Cal Newport use a productivity and time management technique called “time blocking” to get more done in less time. Time blocking is when you choose in advance when you’ll work on priority tasks and schedule those chunks of time on your calendar.
Time blocking helps you:
- Prioritize important tasks
- Spend less time on each task
- Keep you on-task
- Pre-decide what to work on next
- Improve your completion estimates
Time blocking is fully compatible with the Pomodoro technique. You can use it to pre-schedule the tasks you’ll use your pomos for.
To use Slack for time blocking, you’ll want to integrate Slack with your task manager or project management software. Let’s take Asana as an example. It allows you to turn a Slack message into an Asana task in a few clicks without ever leaving Slack. Then you’ve got to schedule that task on your calendar. For that, we recommend integrating Clockwise + Asana. With this integration, you can schedule tasks on your calendar right from Asana.
Slack integrations that boost productivity for teams
Here are some examples of Slack integrations for various disciplines and working groups.
Time-saving Slack integrations for developers
To find the right Slack apps for your Engineering team, start with the software you’re using. If you’re managing tickets with Jira, for example, the Jira Cloud Slack app notifies certain team members (or whole teams) about hotfixes or urgent issues. Next, think about what you need to do. If you’re a software developer who works on Slack apps, for example, Slack Block Kit makes it easier to compose, update, sequence, and stack blocks (reusable components that work almost everywhere in Slack). Stack Overflow for Teams unlocks information typically stored in outdated wikis and long email threads.
Slack integrations for project management
Slack has a whole category for project management Slack apps. Start by looking for integrations with the tools you’re already on. If you use Asana, Trello, or any other popular project management software, you’ll likely find ways to connect them with Slack in the app directory. There are also tools that can help with project management like Evernote and Frame.io that integrate with Slack.
Slack integrations for designers
Just like project managers, designers can find their own category of relevant Slack apps. Whether you’re a Figma or Sketch shop, Slack has you covered. You can also combine Slack with cloud storage apps like Box, Dropbox, and Google Drive to more easily share prototypes straight into a Slack channel or direct messages. Slack makes collaboration easier with integrations with tools like SketchTogether.
Slack integrations for customer support
If you work in customer support, be sure to boost your workflow by checking out Slack’s curated selection of customer support apps. There are plenty of popular integration options like HubSpot, Intercom, and Freshdesk to keep you on top of your tickets and in touch with your customers and teammates.
Slack + calendar = productivity
Connecting your calendar to your Slack workspace can help supercharge your time management and automate your calendaring. Imagine, for instance, your teammates knowing whether you’re in a meeting, outside of working hours, or heads-down on a project without having to ping you. Here’s how to make it happen.
Slack + Google Calendar integrations
If you’re a Clockwise user on Google Workspace (G Suite), it’s a snap to integrate Slack with Google Calendar. Just click here to give Clockwise permission to connect to your Slack workspace. If you’re not using Clockwise yet, click here to get started for free.
- Syncs your availability to your Slack status automatically
- Gives you a heads-up about what your day looks like
- Automatically turns on Do Not Disturb when you’re unavailable
Slack + Zoom integrations
The Zoom Slack app allows you to seamlessly start a Zoom meeting straight from Slack.
Speaking of easy Zooming, we also offer the easiest way to add a Zoom meeting to your Google Calendar invite with one click. Plus, when you schedule meetings in Clockwise, you automatically see suggested times that create the most Focus Time for you and your team. It’s an easy way to find less-disruptive meeting times, have less fragmented time in your day, and make fewer unnecessary decisions.
Slack + Asana integrations
As mentioned earlier, Slack integrates with Asana to make it easy to add tasks right from Slack. We also offer an Asana integration that enables you to schedule tasks on your calendar with a few clicks for easy time blocking.
Create customized apps and workflows
Here’s a peek at what you can do with Workflow Builder. If you work a lot with Google Sheets, we don’t have to tell you twice about the tedium of data entry. Consider adding Google Sheets for Workflow Builder to your Slack workspace. With this app, you can send to or receive data from Google Sheets, so you can cut down on manual processes.
Note: The availability of different tools depends on the subscription of your Slack account. Be sure to check out Slack’s pricing page for details.
Through Slack apps you can combine everything great about Slack with 2,000+ of your favorite tools and apps. To choose which Slack apps to try, start with the software you’re already using. Then, look for tools that can help you with the tasks specific to your role. One place to start for every team is combining Slack with your online calendar.