At Forge and Smith, we like to keep up with all the latest tricks of the trade. With so many projects on the go, and given the collaborative nature of our work, we rely on a variety of applications to keep everyone on the same page. Who doesn’t like getting new stuff?

This summer, Slack officially become our chat tool of choice. We’ve used other platforms in the past, but Slack’s potential for integrations has definitely raised the bar. A little bit of automation goes a long way in upping your game.

Here are the five reasons why we chose Slack:

1. Slack provides instant gratification

Real-time updates allow for improved messaging with less disruption. With Slack, desktop notifications can be customized to your preference. In terms of content sharing, drag and drop any files you wish to send and hit return. It’s that easy. Whether it’s a private message or a group thread, creating specific channels for your latest project is always a snap.

2. Slack makes a great filing system

Slack allows the staff to corral their conversations in a good way. Any information that is entered is automatically indexed. This storage component is incredibly helpful. You never know when you may need to reference a previous conversation; Slack makes this task easy with its intuitive Search box.

3. Slack gives me the freedom to move

Increasingly, I find myself outside the office to meet up with prospective clients. With Slack, I can check on a project’s status anywhere with confidence, all with a quick glance at my smartphone or watch. Slack easily integrates Trello—another recent addition to our office—along with Gmail, Dropbox, Google Drive and Google Calendar. Whether you prefer Zapier or IFTTT, Slack works seamlessly with both. This consolidation of resources is a convenient stress reducer.

4. Slack inspires

When it comes to Slack, there’s so much you can do. Its flexibility allows us to integrate our internal services more efficiently. What you build is limited only by your imagination.

5. Slack is the new water cooler

The added benefit of integrating Slack into the work environment is that it provides a transparent stream where everyone can have a little fun. You always need a place to share those highly amusing and opportune GIFs you come across. Slack enables staff to curate the discussions they participate in.

As agency Principal, I’m constantly seeking new and interesting ways to streamline the web development process. As it turns out, I’ve now got an office full of “slackers.”

And things couldn’t be better.