Question

Do you use Slack or email on your phone?

This sounds like a question with some obvious answers, but I'd love to hear if you've considered removing work apps on your phone; what held you back? why not?

My phone is something that's near me all the time, and any app on there can interrupt me and draw my focus horribly easily. You likely don't even need to act on a Slack message or email when you see it on your phone; even the more urgent ones can likely wait till you're on your computer... I've never missed the work apps on my phone and I personally think most folks wouldn't either if they gave it a shot.

Some context

I used to have the Gmail app on my phone. About eight months ago, I tried Superhuman and deleted Gmail in place of their mobile app, I've had it on my phone for years! I only ended up using Superhuman for about a month, and after that, I never bothered to install an email app on my phone; never missed not having it.

A PM I used to work with had a habit of deleting Slack off their phone every Friday evening so they can disconnect for the weekend. Since I heard of that, I've gradually gotten rid of almost every work app on my phone, notably Slack - which felt like the hardest to do.

I spend most of my day in front of a computer for work and a lot of other things, and I'm pretty sure most folks who use these apps also do. We're reachable most of the time anyway, and outside of that, I don't believe we need to always be reachable by any of these apps. If anything I'd draw the line at the Pagerduty app or similar.

Mentioned
#Slack #Productivity #Superhuman #PagerDuty #Spike #Gmail
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maguay's avatar
a month ago

I use both on my phone, though have notifications turned on only for important email contacts and direct Slack mentions/messages. And I check them both too much.

One thing I’ve noticed already with using Hey for personal email is that, since I’ve never enabled notifications for any senders, I forget to check Hey and so am more likely to only check it once a day or so. That already feels like a better habit; most email I get isn’t that urgent.

I try to check both less on the weekend, especially after clearing stuff out on Saturday morning. And while a full digital-free vacation is nearly impossible nowadays, with ride sharing, phone payments, maps, and more being the primary tools you use to travel, I still try to purposefully not check email and social media for a few days every now and then just to get away.

The upcoming iOS 14 has a new feature that lets you hide certain home screen pages on certain days, so I’m planning to make a work apps page and hide it on days I plan to be away to see how that goes.

4 points
siddxxvii's avatar
@siddxxvii (replying to @maguay )
a month ago

I fall in the same category. I just close the notifications for work apps on friday (slack + emails). As of the personal email I have also started using hey.com and since all notifications by default is switched off i hardly open the app to see emails or care about it, so i am saving time and focusing on more important stuff.

3 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @siddxxvii )
a month ago

Yup, that can work well if your work isn’t something where you need to be on call. I do almost wish there was an override for Slack notifications, like iOS Do Not Disturb mode, where basically if someone mentions you X number of times in Y minutes, then it will go ahead and send the notification, as a way to essentially make sure the most urgent stuff would get through (iOS lets any call where someone calls twice in 5 minutes come through). The danger would be that getting abused though.

1 point
DunjaLazic's avatar
a month ago

I try to stay away from using Slack on my phone, honestly feel like it's too interruptive and gives a sense of urgency without there being one necessarily. And totally agree on other points, especially that most of the time you can't act on messages anyway so it just feels forced. Also, as a manager, I don't like setting the example of being always online & expecting instant replies.

3 points
ingridgba's avatar
a month ago

I do use Slack on my phone for a simple reason - I prefer keeping conversations with colleagues in one app and not migrating it to Whatsapp / texts. I can turn off notifications on Slack and keep an "off" time ; I can't do that with Whatsapp.

3 points
dorlyneto's avatar
a month ago

To answer this question we need to step back and answer another one: do we have a scheduled moment during our day focused on messaging? (E-mail, slack, WhatsApp, etc).

Without that answer, doesn’t matter if you have or not the apps in your smartphone or a desktop app.

My strategy was to time-block when I can use this tools. Usually is during 30minutes between 2 sessions of deep work (at least 2 hours each one).

3 points
Jon_A_Haas's avatar
a month ago

Both, unfortunately. This is largely the result of working within InfoSec, wherein it is necessary to be able to both 1) get pinged and 2) respond to urgent emails when required. Realistically speaking, if something is of high enough urgency it should be highlighted via PagerDuty or similar, but there are many ways this could manifest differently.

2 points
magzape's avatar
a month ago

Only on the company phone, not on the personal one (I use two)

2 points
ClydeoT83-'s avatar
a month ago

I do use Slack and email on my phone. One of the main reasons I keep Slack on my phone is that it prevents work from slipping into my more social and private apps like Whatsapp. I know Slack is only for work so over the weekends I do not need to worry about the messages being sent or received there and I can even turn off my notifications. If it is urgent it will come through to me on Whatsapp.

I also use this for my team as they know I will usually only contact them on Slack for work stuff and it allows them some privacy. I would only ever send them a Whatsapp if it is urgent.

I also sometimes use Slack to send things from my phone to my desktop and vice verse so I can easy copy and paste that information.

2 points
etok's avatar
a month ago

It's all about the SLA - at our company, we minimize our SLA on Slack and have standard meetings so people come prepared and ready to batch their questions.

I don't mind getting lots of notifications, I can turn on DND or I can read and prioritize.

2 points
sazwqa's avatar
a month ago

I use Slack on both Mobile and Desktop with a single caveat -- notifications are disabled on my phone. This way, I have the flexibility of using either platform without the interruption of notifications.

If a major part of your work day revolves around a desktop/laptop and are finishing off things there -- there shouldn't be a need to use the Mobile for Slack. That's why I keep it in passive mode (with notifications turned off), that way -- I can catch up if I'm feeling like not pushed to do so by the notifications.

2 points
Bernard's avatar
a month ago

I have both Slack and Superhuman installed on my phone as I like to be “away from the computer” when I write thoughtful emails. I go for long walks to think and write.

Additionally, I travel(led) every week to my client sites and having both Apps on my phone was a big plus when I was on the move as I like to be responsive (during work hours). Being able to address anything that comes up while I’m in an Über, at the airport, or on the airplane without opening up my MAC is very convenient.

2 points
rddiroma's avatar
a month ago

I've installed Slack and work email on my phone. I like being able to stay connected while on the go, but it can certainly get distracting. I modify the notifications, and tuck them away when I'm trying to focus and get work done.

1 point
Umair_zo's avatar
a month ago

I use both slack and email app on my phone. Slack is mostly used fot internal team communication. Nobody in the team emails each other anymore. And email for external communication. The way i disconnect is, scheduled notifications completely off for weekends during certain hours. On weekends i only check email and slack for 2 hours. My team is only allowed to contact me if there is a firefighting which they are not able to control and they need my intervention, on whatsapp.

1 point
yadu's avatar
a month ago

I do use slack on the phone, there are 2 reasons for that. One, I don't want to communicate with my colleagues over WhatsApp or any other app which is not work-related, and Second, Slack integrations work pretty well, I do not need to wait for an email to be received if there are any issues in the production. Also to extend it a bit further slack notification preferences are well thoughtfully designed, one can simply mute the notifications for mobile or for specific channels.

1 point
JulienDambron's avatar
a month ago

Email yes but only with minimal notifications, Slack no!

1 point
ashleelogan's avatar
a month ago

I'm using Slack to contact with my friends , Slack is enough safe to use for long time . Slack is easy to interact and secure

1 point
Sivan's avatar
a month ago

I only user Spike for email. I got rid of every other email app and make sure not to have any other messenger apps on my phone, besides for whatsapp for personal use. Since Spike makes the email feel like chat- it solves the problem of needing any other messenger app. I've also set up priority notifications, so I only get notifications for important messages.
Lastly, when I really need to disconnect, I turn off ALL notifications or just go on airplane mode :)

1 point
abhi's avatar
a month ago

I do use both of the apps on my phone though I have turned the notifications to "Silent". This helps me to not get distracted from messages and only see them as a whole when I scroll down the notifications while actually using the phone.

1 point
nazking15's avatar
a month ago

I keep all the "productivity" apps on my phone but make judicious use of muting them during personal time and also, from time to time, stop them from working in the background on the phone so I don't get notified all the time.

1 point
Themystery's avatar
a month ago

The snooze feature by slack is wonderful. Automatically turning off & on of the notifications ensure that I don't get bothered or miss anything important the next day when I start my work.

1 point
unxrlm's avatar
a month ago

I definitely use Slack and company email on my phone. I was never explicitly asked to do so but for me, it's to facilitate my day. For one, it allows me to roam around, maybe walk my dog if I'm home or commute without worrying about missing something important. For two, I don't like surprises so if something is brewing, the sooner I know the more I can prepare. I don't have to work on the weekend but on occasion, if I feel it may make my Monday that much easier, I might spend an hour or so on something. It's a personal choice but it gives me better control over my schedule.

1 point
CookieDuster_N's avatar
a month ago

I have both and use them both just to keep a tap on current events.

1 point
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