Introducing PigeonBot: The anti-Slack app for Slack

PigeonBot for Slack

Slack can be a double-edged sword. On one end it's great at making you feel connected with your team and allowing you to hash out decisions quickly. But if you aren't careful this newfound sense of being connected can cripple your productivity.

Last year we made a bigger effort at being more mindful about how we use Slack at Wildbit. We know it can be quite disruptive, so we set a few ground rules to keep unnecessary distractions to a minimum. One rule was using email for things that aren't urgent. Email is still incredibly useful if you value uninterrupted focus time. For most people it has the expectation that an immediate response isn’t needed.

We realized that most of our distractions were from direct messages for things that didn't need to be discussed or completed that minute. This is the ultimate focus killer, even for seasoned multitaskers. I'm totally guilty of interrupting other people like this, so I kinda get why we do it. The convenience of sending a direct message beats the hassle of switching to your email client. So what if you could email someone from Slack instead? The same convenience as direct messaging without interrupting your teammates.

This is what makes PigeonBot super handy. PigeonBot is a Slack app that lets you send emails using the /email command. It's for discussing the things that can wait so your team can stay focused on what can't wait. Perfect for those moments where you're about to direct message someone for something that isn't urgent. Just /email them. Be patient. Let them focus and respond on their own time.

How to start using PigeonBot

PigeonBot is available from the Slack app directory. Once you’ve installed it, here's how to get started:

Send an email to a teammate

/email @user Why isn’t this code working? ```<blink>hai</blank>```

Send an email to yourself

/email me Don’t forget the milk tomorrow

Email a regular ole email

/email support@pigeonbot.com Greetings, earthling.

Add a subject line (Optional)

/email @user (Subject line here) Are the cool ranch doritos at your desk?

See who you’ve emailed

/email sent

Send an email to support

/email support Hello

See instructions

/email help

PigeonBot does a couple other tricks:

  • Slack markdown support - Tell your teammates how much you *love* them. Or send them a ```code``` snippet, that works too.
  • Reply via email - The sender’s email address will be used as the reply-to address. This makes replying via email super easy and keeps your conversation asynchronous.

Let us know what you think

Do you find this useful or have suggestions on how we can make it better? We’d love to know.

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