How One Agency is Using Slack to Limit the Time Spent in Email

By Jason Swenk on June 1, 2016

Are your team within your agency losing far too much time in email communications both internally and with clients?

In this episode, we’ll cover:

  • Gaining control of your clogged and cluttered email inbox.
  • A system that sorts, organizes and stores emails in a way that makes sense.
  • How to save time so you can get busy making money.

Today’s guest is digital agency owner Ian Garlic who owns Authentic Web, a video production and distribution agency and host of the podcast, TAO of Inbound. He shares with us a solution for sorting and organizing internal communication.

Buried by emails?

As his agency grew, Ian was having a problem with his email inbox getting clogged. He was cc’d on everything but wasn’t necessarily involved in the details of every project. So, when Ian needed to jump in on something he was digging through emails trying to get a macro picture of what what going on by having to weed through all the micro details in old emails.

The solution Ian discovered is Slack – a communication tool for tracking, sorting and archiving team communication. (The opinions expressed in this interview are our own. Neither Ian or I are affiliates of Slack.)

Eliminate the time suck of email

[clickToTweet tweet=”Get a high-level, quick view of what’s going on in your agency.” quote=”Get a high-level, quick view of what’s going on in your agency.”]

Benefits to Slack:

  • Create different channels for sorting and organizing information (client or topic specific). Do you dig through emails looking for information only to realize it’s buried in with something completely unrelated? Slack eliminates this problem by sorting things in the channels your create.

  • Tag people when their attention is required. Do you skim (or skip) over emails where you’re cc’d only to realize that your input was needed but you were only half-listening? Slack will keep you and your team in the loop but individuals can be tagged and notified with their attention is needed.

  • Automatically sequences information in chronological order. Ever scroll through an chain of emails trying to determine which parts of the conversation came before others? Who said what and what? Try as it might, Gmail and others can’t always keep it all straight for us. Slack puts communication in chronological order and archives the old stuff for you.


  • Cool integrations with PM software and GoogleDocs. No more switching between email communication and your other agency tools. It’s all in one place on Slack.

Getting started with Slack

Slack is free to use but there are of course a variety of upgraded paid levels (information located on the Slack website). Ian says it’s fairly easy to set-up but like anything else, there’s a learning curve involved. You’ll change and tweak the way you create your channels and hashtags as you learn what works best for your team.

3 steps to setting up:

  1. Create your teams and invite members.
  2. Create your channels. (Authentic Web has channels for: weekly meetings, KPI’s, each client, miscellaneous and one for office humor.)
  3. Download the mobile/tablet apps so you can use Slack without going through a web browser.
PRO TIP: Ian is pretty active on Instagram. He uploads images and stores them in Slack where he can grab them at anytime and post to Instagram right from his phone. Use Slack like a server-on-the-go.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Get out of your in your inbox and get busy generating revenue! #slack #productivity #digitalmarketing” quote=”Get out of your in your inbox and get busy generating revenue! “]
If you want some other tips on being more productive, check out this post and download my Productivity Funnel.

Improve Your Business

Increase the productivity of your team by decreasing the amount of time they lose in their email inboxes will create smarter and quicker strategies when working on client projects.

If you need any help or advice on any topic to do with your digital agency, I have probably experienced them myself and can help you from what I learned. From what to do with your sales processes, ways to increase your profit margins or how you can build authority for your agency.

I can show you how to stop losing money on projects, why solid processes for performance based pricing can be the best pricing strategy and how having remote working or freelancers in your team can be beneficial and the best ways of managing them.

Learn about my career and different experiences as well as tips, tricks and insights by checking out my blogs that cover a wide variety of topics.

Find more from my Ask Swenk series and more of my videos on my Youtube channel. There you will find advice from myself and other agency experts.

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