Slack vs Missive
Slack is the ultimate reference in team messaging right now. 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 touched into people’s anxiety; it hit a nerve. People were drowned by hundreds/thousands of emails in their inbox and they needed a fix. Slack was the fix. But it came with a hidden cost.
On the other hand, Missive, also a team messaging app, totally embraces email. Here’s why your team should ditch Slack, embrace email and start using Missive for both internal and external communication.
Using emails for internal communication is slow, noisy and cumbersome. Slack, with its friendly 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. All organizations using Slack still exchange hundreds or thousands of emails a day with customers/prospects/partners/providers and what not.
When moving internal communication away from email to Slack, a second silo of vital information is created.
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.
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.
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 on the other hand is conversation/thread-based like virtually all email clients. Conversations can contain 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 scoped, labeled conversations (as opposed to channels), no topic gets buried. This leads to a truly asynchronous workflow and avoids the fear of missing out you get from Slack.
The email client UI applied to team messaging is the core innovation in Missive. 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 left column you can see something not found in an email client: Pins. Similar to Slack channels, Missive automatically creates a general room for your organization as well as 1-to-1 private rooms between each team member. These will be pinned by default, but you can also pin any email and / or chat conversations you have.
Pins are a great way to keep important conversations handy. They will stay right where you put them, contrary to your Inbox where new conversations will push older ones down. I personally always pin company-wide chat room plus conversations related to things I’m actively working on.
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.
Slack doesn’t offer any task or assignment features, although it does offer integrations with many tasks management apps and SaaS providers. Missive also has integrations with several popular products.
Yet another tool
With Missive, you can replace both your email client and chat application, meaning it’s one less tool to get familiar with, keep open and monitor.
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 Slack gets an update and this article becomes outdated, email us and we will update it.