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Alternatives to the email grind

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Probably the top name in business chat is Slack. It features automatic archiving of all interactions, a good search engine and the ability to work across virtually all devices. Because it’s hosted online and is customizable, Slack is easy for techies to set up and maintain.

Here are a few other team communication options. To be included here, Slack alternatives have to be free or affordable for small businesses, web-based and attractive.

Azendoo focuses on alleviating Slack’s clutter, centering “discussions” around one topic that can include documents and images. Communication happens in the comments, so each group of conversations is already filtered for relevance. Azendoo’s “subjects” can host multiple discussions.

Bitrix24 has one of the best free CRM software options. Beyond having most of Slack’s features (except it can’t export chat history), Bitrix24 places no limit on search history, has free video conferencing and free screen sharing. It also has built-in tasks and document management.

Fleep lets you send messages to anyone with an email address. If you’re sick of asking people to sign up for different platforms just so they can chat, Fleep is a great option. One way Fleep distinguishes itself from Slack is that it’s “user-centric” instead of “team-centric.” In other words, Fleep allows both outbound and inbound communication.

Moxtra stands apart from Slack because it extends from communication to collaboration, emphasizing teamwork with chat, service integration, document collaboration and annotation, teleconferencing, conference recording and broadcasting, and screen sharing, along with most of Slack’s features, like direct messages and usage statistics. Moxtra also does well on mobile for Android and iPhone.

Rocket.Chat is an open source Slack alternative. This means your IT team can go crazy. Rocket.Chat has lots of features Slack doesn’t, including audio and videoconference, built-in live chat for web, screen-sharing, self-registration, theming and branding. Oh, and it not only offers iOS, Android and downloaded versions for Mac and Windows, but it’s also available for Linux.

For a completely free Slack alternative that isn’t open source, Ryver is likely your best bet. It offers unlimited chats, data, guests, post, search, teams and users. Ryver targets Slack’s limited free version, offering threaded posts and discussions along with a number of paid Slack features.

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