Slack vs Missive

Slack, right now, is the ultimate reference in team messaging. It raised hundreds of millions of dollars and boasts about millions of users. The media branded them early on as the "email killer". This framing touches into people’s anxiety; it hits a nerve. People were drowned in their inbox by hundreds/thousands of emails and they needed a fix. Slack was the fix. But like any fix, it comes with an hidden cost.

On the other hand, Missive, also a team messaging app, totally embraces email. Let me show you why your team should ditch Slack, embrace email and start using Missive for both internal and external communication.

The silos

Using emails for internal communication is slow, noisy and cumbersome. Slack, with its accessible chat messaging UI and branding, brought a silver lining for many organizations who were looking for a better solution.

When the media says Slack is an email killer, what they are not saying is that it’s killing email for internal team discussions only. It’s not killing email for external communication. Every organization using Slack still receives and sends hundreds/thousands of emails a day to/from customers/prospects/partners/providers/investors and what not.

When moving internal communication away from email to Slack, a second silo of vital information is created.

Slack creates a new silo of vital information

It’s now harder to search for all relevant conversations related to a project, because some will be external in emails and others internal in Slack. Internal conversations related to external factors also lose context. For example, you could receive an email from a partner asking to change the terms of your partnership. You want to consult your teammates before agreeing, so you start chatting in Slack about the legitimacy of the requested changes. A heated debate ensues.

When using Slack, internal discussions are separeted from external ones.

Both the internal debate and the external conversation with the partner will sit isolated in their own silo. Don’t get us wrong here, Slack is a great improvement compared to the era where email threads were composed of both internal and external conversations. However it’s definitely not perfect: losing context and spreading information in two silos comes with a big cost on productivity.

In Missive, everything external is email, everything internal is chat. Both are merged in unified conversations. In the above scenario, you and your team would discuss the proposed partnership changes right in the context of the email using chat.

In Missive chat and email conversations are in one place.

Asynchronous

Slack is a channel-based team messaging app. You create broad channels (General, Sales, Development, HR, etc.) where your team(s) can discuss. Those channels are long lived and infinite, meaning older messages move up as soon as new messages are posted. Thus Slack is synchronous, it’s best to consume new messages as soon as they are posted, else you might miss some important content.

Slack responded to those shortcomings by releasing a feature named Threads. They let you start sub-threads inside channels. You can peak at the Slack's message threads FAQ entry to understand how they work (not simple).

Missive conversation are composed of either emails or chat messages
Use threads... but don’t if it’s important. (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

Missive on the other hand is conversation/thread-based like virtually all email clients. Conversations can be composed of emails, chat messages or a mix of both. For example, in the screenshot below, the selected conversation “🔔 Live read tracking”, is a chat conversation where we discuss about this particular feature implementation and track users who asked for it. With a scoped conversations (as opposed to channels), labeled, no topic gets buried. This leads to a truly asynchronous workflow and avoids the fear of missing out you get from Slack.

Missive embraces email UI and applies it to team messaging

The email client UI applied to team messaging is our core innovation. We firmly believe that the volume of internal conversations in organizations, even small ones, is so massive that it requires something more powerful than the infinite channels offered by Slack.

In the lower left column you can see something not found in an email client, the Pins. These act like Slack channels. Pins will let you access important conversations in a predictable manner. The conversations are never reordered by their last activity, unlike in traditional mailboxes. We also automatically create a 1-to-1 private room between each team member in an organization.

Pins in Missive acted like channels in Slack

As you can see above, the conversation preview in the Pins section shows the number of unseen entries (emails or chat messages). I personally always pin our team General chat room (Heliom) plus conversations related to things I’m actively working

Tasks

Missive offers the ability to create tasks in any conversation and a task can be assigned to one or multiple people. A lot of our daily tasks are generated from the interactions we have with the outside world (emails) and the discussions we have internally (chats). In Missive, a task is simply a comment with a checkbox.

Missive tasks

Slack doesn’t offer any task/assignment management. Slack does offer a lot of integrations with tasks management apps and SaaS providers

Yet another tool

With Missive, you can both replace your email client and chat application, meaning it’s one less tool you need get familiar with, keep open and monitor.

Slack alternative

What is the difference between Slack VS Missive?

Slack is a powerful team messaging app with a massive ecosystem of integrations, but we do feel it has major issues that will hinder your team’s productivity. We think Missive is a great alternative that takes a radically different approach to team messaging.

If you are interested in Missive and want me to help you setup or demo the app, don’t hesitate to book a spot here. It will be a pleasure for me to learn more about your business and see if Missive can help you achieve your objectives.

If Slack gets an update and this article becomes outdated, email us and we will update it.

Check out how Missive compares to Front app or Missive compares to Redkix app.