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What is a Slack App?

What is a Slack App? And how can you improve your productivity by using them? Learn why Slack apps are essential for increasing work output.

March 14, 2022

Good news: you can be more productive on Slack without having to put in extra effort–and apps are the reason why.

Slack is the renowned conversation tool teams use to chat and coordinate on projects. It provides channels and private messages for people to accomplish their work together, share files, coordinate meetings, and more. Unfortunately, many people never get past the chat features to discover the apps that could make their jobs a lot easier. 

That’s where we come in.

In this post, we want to explain what a Slack app is and what they can do for you. We’ll also explain why Wrangle deserves to be among the list of Slack apps you consider adding to your account. Knowing how well those apps can serve you can unlock your productivity in simple yet powerful ways.

Why Does Slack Need Apps?

What is a Slack app? Simply put, it’s a program either built in-house or by a third party that adds new features to your channels you didn’t previously have. 

Slack App Directory

Sometimes, these apps connect to another program–for instance, Google Docs–and allow you to do work within the channel. They can automate some of your repetitive tasks, help set up meetings, or add additional capabilities to your existing chat channels.

Let’s think of a few examples:

  • You’re a marketing manager who regularly receives requests to run ad campaigns on behalf of recruiters in the human resources department. You need to build a form so you can collect standard information from clients and organize their submissions for your team.
  • You’re collaborating with another team in a different country on a single document. Instead of passing files back and forth by email, it’d be easier if you all could work from the same document and chat with each other while doing so.
  • You’re a customer service representative who uses different platforms to talk to employees and customers. Having all of those communications in one platform would make life easier.
  • You’re putting together an office reunion and you need to figure out people’s food preferences, allergies, etc. You could ask them individually, but it’d be easier if you could create a survey for your colleagues to complete.

Slack apps could make life easier in these scenarios because those apps allow you to do this work without having to leave the system at all. The app library contains multiple programs to help you accomplish the following within the chat channel:

  • Collaborate on a Google document or spreadsheet
  • Conduct surveys so you can quickly gauge a team’s reaction to a course of action
  • Send records from your CRM to your colleagues
  • Talk to customers who accessed the chat feature on your website
  • Send GIFs (because who doesn’t love GIFs?)

There’s more Slack apps can do. We even have a few favorites.

Where You Can Find Slack Apps

Now that you’re convinced Slack apps are the greatest invention in the world, you need to know where you can find them. To add a new app within Slack, click the Apps button in the left-hand sidebar. (If that’s not visible, then you click the More button.) You can also bookmark the Slack app directory for easy access in your browser. You’ll see the full list of apps designed for productivity, social media, building a workplace culture, and more. 

Sidebar in Slack

Included in that list is Wrangle, which was recently profiled as one of Slack’s featured apps! We’ve spent some time talking about what apps in general can do. Now let’s talk about how Wrangle specifically can meet your organization’s needs.

Add apps screen in Slack

How Wrangle Gets the Most Out of Slack

Wrangle is a workflow system operating entirely within Slack. It allows teams to set up workflows with forms, approvals, and task assignments, so your colleagues can review marketing campaigns, fulfill IT requests, onboard an employee, and more. 

Users can set steps for workflows in advance and tell the system which of the members of their team should be notified for particular tasks. In this way, Wrangle ensures your colleagues are always notified when someone is waiting for them to complete a task.

Remember our scenario with the marketing manager who needed to create a form? Here’s how that person could have done so using Wrangle:

  • They set up a form within Wrangle and called it “Ad Campaign Request”. That form asks for basic information, such as the budget, how long the campaign should last, and what geographic areas should be targeted.
  • To request an ad campaign, the client would open Wrangle, select that form, and fill out the information.
  • Once the form is completed, Wrangle will notify the appropriate contact on the marketing team that they have a new request. (Wrangle knows how to do this because the manager set up the workflow in which they designated particular tasks to certain team members.)
  • As your team member creates the ad campaign, they’ll check off specific steps in the workflow on Wrangle. The system will notify the client of the work that’s been done.
  • When the project is completed, Wrangle will notify the client that all steps for the ad campaign have been completed. By doing so, Wrangle cuts down on the number of emails in which someone has to “follow up” with another employee because they don't know the status of their project.
Sample Wrangle task list in a Slack thread

Wrangle also helps teams analyze their workflows by providing reports on how long it took each team member to complete their tasks. Those teams can use that information to sharpen how they manage projects in the future.

Try Wrangle for Free

Slack apps can make you more productive, and Wrangle can help! Install Wrangle in your Slack workspace to see how much of a different it can make in your business process management.

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  • Access to all features
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