Slack’s new ‘lists’ help track track and manage work projects


Slack’s list feature is now available to all paid customers, bringing work management capabilities natively to the collaboration app. 

The lists feature, which has been in private preview since it was unveiled in September 2023, lets teams track and coordinate various projects — anything from a marketing campaign or approval processes to a simple list of priorities, said Slack. 

The lists function in a similar way to specialized, best-of-breed work management apps on the market. Each list contains rows of task “items,” with columns of information on fields such as assignee, due date, statusand priority. There’s also a Kanban-style board view, where items are presented on item cards that can be moved between columns as needed — for example, from “in progress” to “done.” 

The key benefit of Slack lists is that project coordination can occur where work discussions already take place, said Slack CEO Denise Dresser.  

“When projects are failing, it’s because the work of executing a project or task is outside of where conversations are happening,” said Dresser. Slack lists put project management “right into the flow of work,” she said, without the need to switch between multiple apps. 

Each list item has a message thread where users can comment and @mention colleagues to pull them into a conversation. Additional files, including canvas docs or video message clips can also be uploaded to provide context around a particular task. A list can be shared across Slack with colleagues, channels, and external collaborators added via Slack Connect. 

There are different ways to share information between lists and Slack channels. For example, users can select a message in Slack channel and choose “add to a list” from a list of actions (the item title can be edited later).

It’s also possible to set up a workflow to automate information sharing between lists and Slack channels. For example, alerts can be created to automatically post a message in a team’s leadership channel when a project item is moved  from “in progress” to an “at risk” column. A workflow could also be set up in a Slack channel to make it easier to create items, such as ideas for a list of team priorities.

Slack plans to integrate Slack AI — the generative AI (genAI) assistant that costs an additional $10 per user each month — with lists. It will enable project recaps, for instance, and see list project information surfaced in genAI-powered search results. The feature is “coming soon,” the company said. 

Lists is the latest major feature to come to the app in recent years, following the addition of canvas documentshuddle meetings calls, and video and audio message “clips.”

“Slack lists reflects the company’s continued movement to be helpful in expediting tasks in the flow of work,” said Wayne Kurtzman, research vice president for social, communities and collaboration at IDC. “In short, Slack lists is a timesaver.”

He said the new feature makes it easier for the average worker to keep their and their team’s work more organized, and benefits from Slack’s no-code automations. “One of the differentiators of Slack lists is that it is just easy to use,” said Kurtzman. “I would expect upgrades to make this even more useful for collaborative work.”

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