Slack for families

By Tom on April 4, 2016 — 1 min read

We’ve recently been experimenting with using Slack at home. It’s been pretty great so I thought I’d share our setup in the hope that I might find others doing similar things. If you are, I’d love to hear about it!

So I recently setup a Slack team for our family, it’s called “The Willmots”. So far it’s just my Wife and I hanging out. Pretty chill. Even though this might seem like it’s just another way to communicate with each other there’s something about it being “Slack” that has made me much more likely to regularly post there.

So far we have 4 rooms:

  • #life–the family equivalent of #general.
  • #acorn–we have a holiday cottage, this rooms for everything related to that.
  • #portugal-trip–we’re going to Portugal next week.
  • #new-car–we’re buying a new car.

I expect we’ll continue to add new rooms as we come up for uses for them.

Notifications

The biggest benefit I’ve seen so far has been in Slack’s ability to pipe in notifications from tonnes of services and tools. Here’re some of the things we have set up so far:

  • When either of us uploads a new scan to our shared Evernote, it’s automatically posted. Useful for staying up to date with bills, letters that concern us both etc. (We scan all our paperwork in Evernote and discard).
  • Using the Nest Thermostat we’re able to tell whether there’s anyone in the holiday cottage and are notified when they leave and return.
  • Every morning at 7am the day’s weather forecast is posted to #life.
  • Using the IFTTT iOS location feature we get a notification each time either of us arrives home.

We also use the /remind command for a bunch of things, including:

  • Every Monday evening we’re reminded that it’s bin day along with which bin to put out.
  • Every Monday evening we’re prompted to update our weekly Abel and Cole food order and every Tuesday evening we’re reminded to put out the empty food boxes for pickup.

We’ve only been running this for a week or so, it’s early days and I’m sure there are a bunch of other useful things I could be doing. Perhaps you have some you could share?

Leave a comment

  • Nice setup! :)

    I use Telegram with my wife and works out nicely for us, since at the moment we don’t really need different streams. Notifications and reminders look interesting though, will definitely play around with Slack or Telegram bots to create something similar :)

    • Yeah I think bots / integrations are one of the biggest benefits with Slack, I’m keen to discover and setup some more.

  • Don’t forget to add annual and monthly reminders for stuff around the house that you should do. E.g. An annual reminder for cleaning the leaves out of your gutters, testing your electrical safety switch in your fusebox, testing the steam release valve in your hit water system, cleaning your solar panels, washing your fly screens and getting pest person to spray for insects, spiders and ants. Then you’ve got your monthlys reminders to test your smoke alarms and stuff like that!

    • I just setup a Slack team for our family, and one of the first things I did was add a Google Calendar integration for this sort of thing!

      We have a shared calendar, and now it pipes create/edit/delete for events into the #life room, but also Monday mornings get a week summary which I think will be super useful.

  • Love it Tom!

    Tom (my husband) and I use Redbooth (a task management system) to assign work and personal tasks to each other.

    – Vineeta

  • Tom,
    We too use Slack for familial chatter. It has been WAY better than Google Chat (which we used exclusively), especially with the rooms for related topics.

    Using slack for planning trips is easy too, as we recently took a trip to Puerto Rico and had a room where our friends were guests. This way we could all be a part of the dialog.

    I’m definitely going to start using the /reminders. Thanks for pointing that one out. Also the integrations with IFTTT… I haven’t yet dabbled in that arena, but I think I might :-)

~ fin ~