Swedish developer and nerd dad supreme, Peter Fjallstrom recently published a list of all the ways his family uses Slack, the integrated messaging system that claims to end email. Fjallstrom uses code hacks to ping his children’s locations and add items to his family’s online grocery order.
But you don’t have to be a hacker to make Slack work for your family. Here are 10 easy ways parents can use Slack.
1. Calendar coordination
Slack integrates easily with Google Calendar making it easy to view and schedule events for the whole family. You can use Slack shortcuts to add reminders.
2. Photo and video sharing
Slack’s easy file sharing is perfect for family members who want to privately share pictures or videos of a new baby, graduation or birthday. The files are easy to download, should grandma want to print them off. You can also integrate Slack with Google Drive or Dropbox if you want to create a central hub for photos and videos.
3. Grocery lists
Image: zlapps /todo
Slack channels are an easy way to divide family conversations by topic. Creating a #Grocery channel, allows family members to let you know when they use the last of the milk, eggs or cereal. There is also the /To-Do app, which easily adds to-do lists to each channel. You can check off items as they are complete (picked up dry cleaning) and assign them to team members.
4. Video chats
Image: google hangout/slack
For families that are spread out, Slack integrates with Google Hangouts, so you can start a video chat with cousins around the country. Members of your family can also add their Skype handles to their Slack profile, making it easy to call them that way.
5. Address book
Slack easily integrates with Google Drive, so users can create, edit and share documents with addresses, phone numbers and birthdays. For far-flung families, creating a living document where members add and update their address and contact information can be a lifesaver when it comes to remembering where Uncle Jerry is now. You can also pin a document to a channel, making it easy to find and update.
6. All the reminders
Adding a reminder is easy in Slack. Need to remind your kid they have a dentist appointment at three? You can set a reminder, or add it to a to-do list.
7. To-do lists
Keeping track of the endless duties of parenting can be exhausting, and who hasn’t forgotten to pick up posterboard for a school project or save milk cartons for teachers? By sharing these duties in Slack, you can keep track of who needs what markers for which project and how many snacks to buy.
8. Appointment scheduling
In my house, scheduling an appointment usually takes five emails between my husband and I. You can use Slack in a variety of ways to solve this problem — using Google calendar, group messaging, and reminders.
9. Vacation/reunion planning
@lyzl I set one up for my family last year to coordinate plans for a family reunion. Worked great when I could get them to use it!
— Chris Hubbs (@cjhubbs) February 15, 2016
Engineer and dad Chris Hubbs used Slack to plan his family reunion. He kept it simple, using it for group chat and photo sharing. But the possibilities are endless for planning vacations and get-togethers. You can start a channel for activities, coordinating hotels and flights, or assign potluck items as tasks via a to-do list.
10. RSS Integration
Fjallstrom used his school’s RSS feed to keep up-to-date on his children’s school activities. But that’s not the end to the RSS integration. You can set up Slack to notify you when your cousin posts on her blog or when the sites for your child’s dance studio or summer camp post updates.
Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.