In just a few short years Slack has quickly become the primary way in which co-workers communicate, some opting to even “Slack” someone (now a verb, like “Googling”), rather than get up from their desk and talk to them in person. But Slack is much more than just a communication platform, and you can expand its services and capabilities with the help of Slack apps and plug-ins.
Installing Slack Apps
To start this process, visit the Slack Apps page. Make sure you’re signed in to the workspace you want to install the app on first, however, as each app will only install once per workspace. For example, I have several clients I write for, and each site has their own workspace, so if I install the Google Drive integration while I’m signed in to the Make Tech Easier Slack room, it will only install for MTE and not the rest.
Similarly, some apps will only install if you have admin access to that Slack channel, depending on the level of functionality you’re trying to get out of it. For this example, we’ll show you how to install Google Drive (something any level of user can do), and what to do if you want to re-configure the installation or uninstall the app completely.
There are two ways the app might be installed. The first is if you simply post a Google Drive link into Slack, the chat application will automatically detect the file type and prompt you to see if you’d like to install the app from their repository.
The second is to visit the Slack Apps page linked above and search for Google Drive in the search bar seen here.
From here you’ll be greeted by a page which details all the various plugin capabilities and benefits you’ll get out of the app
To install the app, just click the green “Install” button found on the left side of the window.
Managing Slack Apps
Once you’ve installed the apps you want to use, every one will appear as a list underneath the list of contacts in the left bar on your main Slack window.
To manage which apps have what permissions (or to remove an app altogether), click on the link labeled “Apps” at the top and then choose the “Manage apps …” option found in the top-left corner.
From here you’ll see the complete list of all apps that are currently installed in that workspace. To uninstall a specific app, click on it in the list, and another page will appear.
From here, scroll down to the bottom of the feature list, and you’ll see a big red button labeled “Uninstall app:”
Click on this, and you’ll be greeted with a confirmation prompt. Choose “Yes” and you’ll be good to go!
Slack is an amazing program that has made the daily drudge of sorting through email chains a thing of the past and increased productivity across the board. Amazingly, you can increase that productivity even further with the help of the hundreds of Slack Apps and integrations that are being added to the platform every single year!
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