19 Best Slack Apps for Remote Teams in 2021

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February 21, 2021

Hi there! You found our list of useful Slack apps for remote teams!

Slack is a communication platform that enables remote teams to chat in real time through channels, threads, and direct messages. In addition to Slack’s normal features, users can add Slack apps, which are software programs that expand Slack’s capabilities. For examples, apps add functions such as video chats, games, document libraries, and workflow boards.

These apps are similar to Slack games and project management tools.

This post contains:

  • funny Slack bots
  • Slack bots for productivity
  • Slack apps for project management
  • free Slack apps

Plus more great integrations for Slack.

Here comes the list!

List of Slack Apps

From Asana to Zoom to Disco, here is a list of the best integrations for Slack that foster connection and facilitate collaboration between remote teammates.

1. Donut

Screenshot of Slack donut pairing

Remote work can be lonely. While in-office peers can chat by the coffee machine or wave hello in the halls, work from home employees have fewer opportunities to grow friendly with familiar faces. Donut establishes a virtual water cooler by pairing up random coworkers periodically, for instance, on a weekly basis.

The app automatically creates a private messaging thread for selected individuals, displays free spaces in both parties’ schedules, and prompts the employees to set up virtual coffee breaks. When the pair selects a time slot, Donut automatically sends a Zoom or Google Meet invitation to staff’s calendars.

Here at TeamBuilding, we use Donut to facilitate our Mr. Rogers calls. 🙂

Learn more about Donut.

2. Trello

Trello is both one of the most user-friendly project management software tools and the best Slack apps for project management. The program uses a Kanban-board format to divide projects into different steps. Users can add new cards to columns, assign tasks to team members, and move cards between project stages. Trello for Slack enables team members to add and edit cards within channels, eliminating the need to switch between applications. Through this handy app, teammates transmit updates instantaneously and streamline the process of online project collaboration.

Learn more about Trello for Slack.

3. Zapier

Zapier is an automation tool that connects apps and programs work flow. Zapier integrates Slack with thousands of other software applications such as Google Suite, Typeform, and social media. These integrations allow transferring of data between programs and publishing streams of updates into Slack channels. Users can program automatic actions and triggers, mechanizing manual processes and saving countless hours. Zapier’s effective automation makes it one of the best Slack bots for productivity.

Learn more about Zapier for Slack.

4. Giphy

Giphy is an online database of gifs, or short, soundless, looping video files. The Slack integration permits users to add gifs to conversations by using the /giphy command. For instance, if a user typed /giphy piglet, this appears:

Giphy pig

Users can either send the selected gif or shuffle for a new image. Also, admins can customize the search settings by appropriateness to ensure all gifs are work safe.

Giphy is one of the most funny Slack bots, and has major potential for online team building.

Learn more about Giphy for Slack.

5. Asana

The Asana Slack integration streamlines project management. Without leaving Slack, you can assign new tasks or mark tasks as complete, view progress, comment on posts, and view Asana data like milestones and portfolios. Since Slack channels are searchable, you can easily find and check assignments. Plus, the app’s automatic notifications keep teams updated.

Learn more about Asana for Slack.

6. Zoom

Screenshot of Zoom slack app

As one of the most widely used virtual meeting platforms, Zoom has become a staple of remote work. Integrating Zoom into Slack is a time-saver, as doing so enables workers to schedule and start meetings within channels, groups, or direct messages by typing a /zoom command. Plus, if Slack has access to user calendars, then teammates can share availability and determine the best time to meet instantaneously, ending back-and-forth scheduling messages.

Learn more about Zoom for Slack.

7. Loom

Loom is a video messaging tool that makes it easy for teammates to record and share short videos. Integrating Loom with Slack enhances teams’ communication abilities. The app is handy for training or short presentations that require demonstration but may not warrant a video meeting. Plus, Loom’s video messaging adds a touch of human connection and face to face interaction to the often isolating nature of remote work.

Learn more about Loom for Slack.

8. Disco

Disco is a recognition tool that facilitates peer to peer shoutouts and improves company culture. The app encourages teammates to give each other digital kudos for outstanding work or teamwork. Coworkers can react to the public praise with emojis, heightening the sense of recognition. Users can also nominate colleagues for awards within the app. Plus, the tool has a tagging feature that labels posts with organizational ideals, emphasizing the company’s core values.

Disco also includes cultural impact measurement tools such as pulse surveys, trend trackers, and usage metrics. These features make it easy for HR professionals to measure and tweak remote employee engagement via Slack.

Learn more about Disco.

9. GoogleDrive

Many remote teams already rely on the cloud-based Google Suite. Adding integrations like GoogleDrive saves teams time by permitting employees to access important documents directly through Slack. Users can create, share, and edit files within channels, and reply to document comments via Slack thread. The app delivers updates for actions like new files, access requests, and comments. Plus, Slack indexes documents automatically, so you can search by content, not just by name, for easy retrieval.

Learn more about GoogleDrive for Slack.

10. Google Calendar

Google Calendar is one of the best free Slack apps. By integrating Google Calendar with Slack, virtual teams stay more organized and up to date. The tool automatically updates Slack status to “in a meeting,” or “busy,” and shows compatible availability when teammates want to schedule meetings. The Google Calendar app permits users to schedule and manage meetings and events straight from Slack, making it easy to create, join, or cancel a conference call with a few clicks of a button. Plus, the app displays daily schedules and sends reminders as event start times approach.

Learn more about Google Calendar for Slack.

11. Slack for Gmail

Slack for Gmail integrates email, allowing remote teams to easily forward outside messages or turn lengthy email threads into real time chats. This app benefits customer service and sales teams especially, as it makes discussing client communications an instant and seamless process. Users can add notes and tag teammates to give context to the email and ensure a swift response. Not to mention, the Gmail app allows recipients to forward attachments too, making it easy to add important files to other integrations like CRM or cloud storage apps.

Learn more about Slack for Gmail.

12. TimeBot

TimeBot is a time off tool that organizes team time off. The app permits employees to request time off and managers to approve requests directly from Slack. TimeBot stores history of time off, syncs calendars, and sends reminders as vacations approach. The app also includes message scheduling features. Delaying delivery on messages lets teammates send instructions and reminders while out of office, or communicate with colleagues in different time zones more comfortably.

Learn more about TimeBot.

13. OfficeVibe

Measuring employee morale from afar can be tricky. OfficeVibe provides employee engagement tools that help managers keep a pulse on remote team health. The app generates scheduled or spontaneous surveys. Anonymous feedback features encourage employees to respond honestly. Survey analysis tools break down results into metrics, alerting managers to the areas that need the most attention. The app also offers suggested talking points, collaborative agendas, and team goals to help structure more effective virtual one on one meetings.

Learn more about OfficeVibe.

14. Obie

Obie is an app that connects wikis and other knowledge bases to Slack. Users ask questions like “Where can I find a W-9?” and Obie responds with the appropriate files. This integration is ideal for companies that store documents across multiple platforms, as it consolidates directories and saves teammates the time needed to check several programs. Obie reduces repeat questions, especially since users can search Slack channels for past inquiries. No longer will remote employees need to wait for a manager or teammate to respond to a simple question, as Obie gives workers access to immediate knowledge

Learn more about Obie.

15. Sparkly

The Sparkly app fosters connections between remote colleagues by matching teammates based on interests. The bot surveys users about interests, offering common choices as well as a submit-your-own option. A few times a week, Sparkly matches up team members based on mutual preferences. Without casual meeting spaces like break rooms and water coolers, virtual teams may struggle to find common ground. Sparkly makes it easy to find coworkers with similar tastes. Random meetups are fun, but conversations based on shared interest form more meaningful and memorable connections, and may even result in work friendships.

Learn more about Sparkly.

16. LucidSpark

LucidSpark is a virtual whiteboard that facilitates brainstorming and collaboration. Unlike many other digital whiteboard apps, LucidSpark shows preview thumbnails of boards within Slack channels. The app delivers automatic updates that alert channel members to new ideas. Users can launch team brainstorming sessions by using Slack shortcuts, as well. Slack’s searchable nature makes it easy to trace the development of ideas and quickly find early drafts.

Learn more about LucidSpark.

17. Jackfruit

Jackfruit is a video app that adds a livestream to whatever Slack channel it joins. When invited to a channel, Jackfruit posts a video link members can click to join. Users can also access video rooms via Slack Workspaces. Plus, active attendees can prompt other channel members to join by sending alerts.

Jackfruit takes the work out of scheduling team video conferences or virtual coffee dates. The app adds a face to face element to virtual water coolers, simulating the experience of visiting an office break room. Since the video is always on, colleagues can pop into rooms at random instead of planning a meetup.

Learn more about Jackfruit.

18. Code Names

Code Names is a game that challenges players to guess words based on hints. Figuring out a code name reveals the identity of the corresponding player– either a red agent, blue agent, innocent bystander, or assassin. The goal of the game is for a team to identify all of its operatives. Code Names is a favorite team building board game, and now has a Slack version. Unlike many other Slack games, which tend to be two player, Code Names involves multiple participants and is a great remote team bonding opportunity.

Learn more about Code Names for Slack.

19. Harvest

Harvest is a time-tracking app meant especially for teams. The Slack integration enables coworkers to start or stop timers, manually log hours, and check colleague’s workflows before reaching out. Managers can view data, check project progress, and track budget directly in Slack channels. Harvest is collaborative in nature, and makes it easy to correlate team time into single reports.

Learn more about Harvest for Slack.

Conclusion

While Slack is a powerful platform on its own, the hundreds of possible app integrations enable organizations to build the ultimate venue for remote collaboration. Apps consolidated communications into a single workspace, making it easier for employees to find necessary information and eliminating the need to switch back and forth between multiple programs. Plus, app scheduling enables a set-it-and-forget-it mindset, allowing managers to maintain the regularity of team bonding activities or coworker recognition even when busy with other work.

For more tips on optimizing remote work, check out our post on how to manage remotely and work from home tips.

FAQ: FAQ: Slack Apps

Here are answers to common questions about Slack Apps.

What are Slack Apps?

Slack Apps are bots and software integrations that expand the platform’s capabilities, performing tasks like synchronizing calendars, scheduling video meetings, tracking client payments, encouraging employee engagement, and prompting fun games between colleagues.

What are the best Slack Apps?

The best Slack apps for remote teams include Donut, Slack for Gmail, Trello, Zapier, and Obie.

How do you add Slack Apps?

To add Slack Apps, either navigate to the “Apps” section at the bottom of the menu within Slack and browse options, or search within the Slack App Directory and click the “add to Slack” button. You can also build your own bots for Slack, or integrate bots found through sources like GitHub.

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Author: Angela Robinson

Team building content expert. Angela has a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and worked as a community manager with Yelp to plan events for businesses.

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