There are numerous tools to schedule messages in Slack. In this post we’ll review some of the leading options.
As teams become ever more distributed, the need to operate asynchronously continues to grow. Slack goes a long way toward solving inherent communication challenges for distributed teams. The ability to schedule messages in Slack takes things to the next level. Humans invented computers to do math (and other things) faster than the smartest brain. If your company’s offices span multiple timezones, this may be news to you, since you probably do the same timezone calculations many times a day. We’re happy to report that this is no longer necessary, you can now schedule messages in Slack without doing any math.
Nightowl is more than just a message scheduler, it’s a full-featured email-like interface for Slack. Users can schedule messages, taking advantage of some awesome timezone capabilities that work for both users and channels. Recurring messages take advantage of the same scheduling features to simplify repetitive workflows.
Like BCC in email, messages can be sent to any number of users, groups, public channels, and/or private channels at the same time. Messages are delivered from your own user, and recipients won’t see any difference from a normal Slack message. You can even create drafts and recipient groups (think distribution lists).
Nightowl takes full advantage of Slack’s App Home to make it dead simple to manage existing scheduled and recurring messages – you can cancel them, edit them, or convert them to types of messages. Check out the app page for screenshots, the docs for a deeper dive on features, and the pricing for a pleasant surprise.
This option comes directly from the Slack team using the new Workflow Builder tool, though it takes a bit of work to get it configured in your workspace. An important limitation to recognize is this will send all the messages from your ‘Workflow’ rather than your user. Depending on your use case, that may not be an issue.
A newer app on the Slack scheduling scene, Gator will schedule messages from you and defaults to sending at 9am in the recipients timezone, doing that annoying math for you. It doesn’t yet have an option for recurring messages or for handling channel timezones, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see it come out soon. There’s also the price to consider, which starts at $50 making it the priciest option we’ve found.
A popular app that has both scheduled messages as well as as a recurring feature. It is able to schedule messages up to 120 days in advance (compared to the 360 days that Nightowl offers). Schedule lets you list & delete messages you’ve created, though all interaction is through slash commands, which we’ve found to be confusing for many Slack users. This is a simple but well built app.
Choosing the right option for your team depends on your needs, but with options like Nightowl, it doesn’t depend on your budget. Check out our blog for more listings and feature comparisons of leading Slack apps.