We live in a super connected world, but you already knew that. I don’t know that my children know what a landline is. We’re working through the difference between speakerphone and Facetime. At the risk of sounding really old – back in my day, call waiting was a really big deal!
Given our seemingly endless options for communication, how do you stay in touch? Here are 8+ of my favorite communication tools:
Slack is a team communication app that absolutely rocks. You can set up public “channels” or chat streams for your whole team, individually message anyone in the Slack team, and set up private groups with specific members.
In the workplace, this has been a phenomenal way to engage the team in both the serious/practical, as well as the ridiculous (#random channel, anyone?). The number of .gifs in my email inbox dramatically decreased as soon as we implemented Slack in my last workplace.
The ability to create new private groups for each project we worked on was also fantastic – no more, “Wait, did I tell that person?” Highly recommend. Best of all, the FREE version has been robust enough for everything I’ve used it for.
A tried and true classic. When I converted to a MacBook a couple years after converting to an iPhone, the idea that I could have iMessages on both my computer and phone was awe inspiring. If I respond to your message lightning fast, it probably means that I’m at my computer. I assume that Android has something similar.
An oldie but a goodie. I do have to admit that since I use FaceTime for video calls (which I pretty much only do with the kids and geographically-distant family), I rarely use Skype anymore. Skype also has a chat feature, which I’ve never gotten into, but I’ve got friends that swear by it.
Conference call with anyone, anytime, for free! I love the ability to record calls for future playback. Occasionally, I’ve noticed some spottiness in the calls, but for the price, it can’t be beat.
Voice chat with one or multiple people, all on your own time? For a busy mom, this means that I can hear my friends’ voices, but don’t have to answer the phone immediately. I also love the ability to send a voice message and get a text message back – because sometimes you’re just not in a place to talk out loud (hello, toddler bedtime routine).
The ability to publicly share my phone number but not have it actually be my phone number? Yes, please. Also, visual voicemail (aka – getting your voicemails as a text) = gold. I’m notorious for not checking voicemail, so the ability to get a text or email with the voice dictation is great. Granted, it’s often only about 60% accurate, but it’s typically enough to decipher the gist of the message and respond accordingly.
Facebook Messenger + Facebook Groups
I wasn’t sure what to think when they separated Facebook Messenger app from the regular Facebook app, but it’s grown on me. I also didn’t see the point of Facebook Groups…until I logged into it. Both apps help me to be more purposeful with my time, and eliminate the “I went on to post to one specific group, and 45 minutes later I still hadn’t done it!”
Any other social tool out there
Too many to list, but there’s really no excuse for not being able to find and connect with someone these days. That’s both super scary and super helpful. No matter what the movies show, “I lost your phone number” just doesn’t quite fly.
Which of these tools do you use and love (or not love)? Any others you’d add to a must-use list?