Read Slack for Dummies and learn how to streamline your team projects. Communicate and collaborate easily with anyone inside or outside your organization.

I’ve been working from home for about twenty years. That’s longer than most collaboration tools and apps have been around. As a result, my “veteran” community of remote business owners and I have created all sorts of ways to collaborate.

And now, we’re sort of stuck in our ways. I mean when you have twenty years of conversations in Google Chat or Skype — it’s hard to move to something different.

Call Me a Slack Dummy

Back in 2013, I heard a lot of my digital friends talking about being a part of a Slack group. I didn’t understand what they were talking about. So I checked it out.

Honestly, I just didn’t get it. I joined a few groups, participated in some conversations. But Slack never stuck for me.

Deep down inside however, I wanted to understand the power of Slack. I mean 12 million users can’t be wrong. Right?

Slack for Dummies Book Review

I recently received a review copy of Slack for Dummies and I am SO excited. Until now, I’ve been lurking my way around Slack. I’ve created a few channels for a couple of folks I work with. But that’s it.

The first thing I noticed is that Slack for Dummies is rather short — at least compared to the tome-sized books I’ve seen in the past. This was encouraging.

Like most of the Dummies series books, Slack for Dummies is written on a “need to know” basis. In other words, you don’t have to read it from front to back, you can simply search the index for the feature or skill you want to learn about and head straight to it.

But, if you’ve been slacking your way through Slack, like I have, it’s a good idea to read the first couple of chapters to get a sense for what the platform is all about.

Let’s Talk About the Author

Another thing I appreciate about Dummies books is that they choose expert authors. In fact, they tend to choose authors who are enthusiastic about the topic. I know this because several of my friends have written books for the Dummies brand and this describes them perfectly.

So, let’s chat about Phil Simon. First, you need to know that Phil and I have been friends for quite a few years. We met when he sent me one of his first books to review back in 2011. I think it was The New Small. So, you can say it’s been a while.

Since then he’s written tons of books, all about technology in one way shape or form. Back then he was a consultant, speaker and author. These days he’s all those things, as well as a trainer and college professor-for-hire.

So this is where it gets interesting as it relates to Slack for Dummies. Simon was a new professor with all kinds of projects and the world’s longest to-do list. He goes in search of ways to stay connected to his students. Long story short, he discovers Slack. He loves it. His students love it. And the rest is history.

What I Love About Slack for Dummies

Slack for Dummies is easy to read. I like to say that it’s like having all the help files on your desk. I also love that it’s easy to read and follow. Filled with lots of full color screen shots with large, easy to read text that’s bolded in just the right places.

a page from slack for dummies

What I Missed

This is me being nit-picky, but I missed any mention or chapter or use-cases for freelancers and solo-preneurs. If it’s in there, I missed it. I would have liked to see an entire chapter dedicated to small businesses, freelancers, digital nomads, etc. You know, those of us who have to interact with clients in organizations, other freelancers, and any internal team members.

If you are part of this cohort of small business owner, you’ll definitely benefit from the book and all of the functions you’ll need are there. It’s just that your team will be outside your organization.

While I understand that you have to pick an audience, I find that one of the things that makes Slack truly unique and desirable for this audience is that it’s relatively easy to integrate people with different email addresses into the platform.

Should YOU Read Slack for Dummies

Is Slack for Dummies for you? Well, if you’re one of the 30% of self-employed people in the U.S., I’d say yes. As of now, most of us are living off of email, turning emails to tasks and using a patchwork of software to communicate with people who all seem to have their own preferences.

As of now, I’m still exploring Slack, but I can tell you that I’m using this book in hopes of using Slack to bring all my conversations into one place.