It's fascinating how the word "slack" has transformed from being linked with low productivity to becoming an essential part of our work routines today. From group chats to direct messages (DMs), Slack is a highly efficient communication tool, gaining popularity across industries. 

Slack pricing for this business communication tool starts at $7.25 per user per month. It offers three pricing plans based on the per-user model and a tempting free tier. A free forever plan is also available, albeit with limited features and significant restrictions on video conferencing software. 

Slack is one of the most widely used business communication platforms globally, with over 10 million daily active users, including our entire Spendflo team. 

With its lively and user-friendly interface, helpful bot, and easy-to-use workflow rules builder, it's no wonder we've stuck with Slack plans for over seven years. However, one vital question is: Should you stick with the free plan, or would a paid one benefit your business more? 

In this blog post, you'll explore all the Slack pricing plan options, its compliance and security aspects, tips for using Slack effectively, and its competitors in the market. Considering its price, we will also underscore whether the platform is worthwhile.

Slack's key features and capabilities

Let’s go over some key Slack features that enhance teamwork efficiency and keep team members focused on their objectives:

1. Managing and tracking documents

Slack is connected to many popular apps and tools to make your work easier. By syncing with well-known file management platforms like Google Drive and Dropbox Paper, teams can streamline workflows and save significant work hours. You can share files in channels and get feedback from colleagues without leaving Slack. The platform also notifies you when files are updated, so you always stay in the loop.

2. Using shared channels across the workspace

Slack connects all stakeholders, including in-house teams, freelancers, contractors, and remote workers, to stay updated together across projects. You can also use the communication platform to collaborate with external teams. 

Shared channels bridge the gap between different Slack workspaces, facilitating seamless communication and collaboration with external partners, clients, or other organizations. This feature is available on paid plans and is excellent for coordinated efforts between organizations or business units that need ongoing and secure communication.

3. Pinning messages and links in channels

When you need quick access to critical information, you can pin messages in channels to ensure they remain visible to everyone all the time. Up to 100 messages, files, or documents can be pinned in each channel or direct message. 

However, pin only the most valuable and essential items to avoid clutter.

4. Setting reminders

It’s easy to forget important agendas during a busy workday. Use the /remind command to prompt yourself or others about events, meetings, deadlines, messages, files, and more. 

This user-friendly feature also allows you to use the Google Calendar app to manage your daily schedule and customize notifications by channel. 

5. Advanced search modifiers

Slack's search function acts like a Google search, helping you quickly find whatever item you need. Put a specific term in quotes for exact matches or add an asterisk after a partial word to search for any related instances. 

Additional filters, such as filtering by sender, channel, date, or content type, also help narrow down specific messages or files. Also, linked files are indexed, allowing instant searches through their contents in Slack.

Maximizing productivity with the key benefits of Slack

Slack's deceptively simple interface hides a powerful suite of features that can streamline communication, enhance collaboration, and boost team productivity. Here is how:

1. Better security and compliance

To ensure robust security and compliance, Slack provides enterprise-grade security that includes data encryption in transit and at rest, supports enterprise key management, and integrates seamlessly with well-known DLP providers. 

According to Gartner, 88% of enterprises consider cybersecurity a primary concern. This is where Slack's Enterprise Grid shines, offering formidable security capabilities that make it a preferable choice for companies prioritizing risk minimization. 

2. Integrated collaborative workflows

Slack plans offer seamless integration with over 2,600 third-party applications, positioning it as a vital hub for various organizational workflows. Whether you're brainstorming, sharing files, or soliciting feedback, Slack simplifies collaboration. 

It effortlessly integrates with popular tools like Google Drive, Asana, Jira, Trello and so on, allowing fluid work across multiple platforms. Slack also supports easy file sharing, enabling you to upload documents and files directly from conversations. 

While there are upload limits—typically between 300MB to 1GB, depending on your subscription plan—Slack provides sufficient space for sharing most file types, including documents, images, videos, audio, code, etc.

3. Improved productivity

Slack boosts team productivity with features such as pinned messages and automated reminders. Pinning crucial messages to channels ensures that essential information like login details or project resources are easily accessible, avoiding the clutter of extensive chat histories. 

Moreover, Slack's reminders help keep everything on track, whether personal or team notifications about looming deadlines, ensuring that vital details are always within reach.

4. Status update reminders

Let's face it: keeping various systems updated can be challenging. Slack simplifies this with its no-code Workflow Builder tool, which allows you to send automated reminders. 

For example, if your team uses Jira to track alignment with group objectives, you can set up Slack to send a workflow reminder to your team channel hours before your weekly stand-up call. This ensures everyone has time to update their Jira stories and tasks, maintaining up-to-date project tracking.

5. Knowledge channels

Slack channels are the platform's effective tool for keeping discussions organized by topics. People can join these channels to engage in conversations, but even if someone isn't a channel member, they can still access its information through the search feature, provided the channel is public.

6. Slack canvas

Slack Canvas is a relatively new feature with significant potential for enhancing knowledge sharing and retrieval. It allows for the creation and management of documents directly within Slack. These documents can feature-rich text formatting, include graphical elements, embed multimedia, and contain information cards linking to resources inside and outside Slack. 

Canvases can be linked to a specific channel as an additional sidebar element or embedded directly into messages, accessible within channel or DM feeds. This integration of documents within Slack opens up many possibilities for improving information dissemination and boosting productivity. 

Examples include:

  • Creating training paths to speed up employee onboarding
  • Compiling FAQs to reduce repetitive inquiries
  • Providing links to external resources to minimize the time spent searching through different systems of record

Choosing the right Slack plan for your need

Slack pricing is influenced by several factors, including the number of users, storage needs, and desired administrative controls. 

Here’s how you can choose the most appropriate plan for your organization: 

1. Free Plan

The Free Plan is ideal for individuals or small teams looking to get started with Slack. It provides essential tools for communicating and collaborating without any financial commitment. The recording storage is limited to the 10,000 most recent messages, suitable for teams with minimal data retention needs.

Key Features:

  • Access to 10 integrations with other applications like Google Drive and Office 365
  • One-on-one voice and video calls
  • Standard support with access to Slack's essential help documentation

2. Pro Plan

The Pro Plan offers more tools and comprehensive capabilities for small to medium-sized businesses that require greater functionality and integration. It is priced at $7.25 per user per month when billed annually and $8.75 per user per month when billed monthly. Also, there is no limit on message history, allowing for extensive archival of communications in terms of recording storage.

Key Features:

  • Unlimited integrations with third-party apps and enhanced search capabilities
  • Group voice and video calls with up to 15 participants
  • Interactive screen sharing and more customizable workspace options

3. Business+ Plan

Targeted at larger organizations, the Business+ Plan provides advanced tools for administrative control, security, and compliance needed to manage complex business operations. 

The Business+ plan costs $12.50 per user per month when billed annually. Considering the recording storage of this plan, the compliance exports and data governance tools are included for high-level oversight.

Key Features:

  • SAML-based single sign-on (SSO), real-time Active Directory sync with OneLogin, Okta, and Ping Identity
  • 24/7 advanced support and 99.99% guaranteed uptime SLA
  • Enhanced security with data loss prevention (DLP) capabilities

4. Enterprise Grid

The Enterprise Grid plan is ideal for large businesses or industries requiring the highest security, compliance, and scalability. It supports complex, interconnected workspace environments. Pricing for the Enterprise Grid plan is customized based on the specific needs and size of the organization. Businesses with this plan can get solutions for managing vast amounts of data with enterprise-grade security.

Key Features:

  • Ability to manage multiple interconnected workspaces seamlessly
  • Dedicated customer success teams and 24/7 support with a four-hour response time
  • Advanced security features, including enterprise key management and integration with enterprise mobility management (EMM) providers

Setting Up Slack: Step-by-Step Guide

Let’s walk you through the process of setting up Slack:

1. Getting started 

First, you'll need to create your Slack workspace. Visit Slack's official website and click on "Get Started." Follow the prompts to set up a new workspace. You must provide an email address, create a password, and name your workspace. Once your workspace is created, you can customize your team's URL to log in.

Note that you'll become the workspace's primary owner when you create a workspace. So, if you plan to use Slack for work, make sure that you create your workspace using an email address from your company's domain.

2. Inviting team members

After setting up your workspace, it's time to bring your team on board. Navigate to the 'Invite people' section under the workspace settings. You can invite team members individually by email or share a link to allow people to join directly. As people accept invitations, they'll appear in your workspace.

3. Creating channels

Channels are the heart of Slack's communication. You can create channels for different teams, projects, or topics. To start, click 'Create Channel,' give it a name, describe its purpose, and decide whether it should be public or private. You can then invite members to join the channel, or they can join on their own.

4. Customizing notifications

To ensure you're not overwhelmed by notifications, tailor your Slack settings to suit your preferences. You can set up notification preferences for each channel, choose when you want to receive notifications, and even set 'Do Not Disturb' hours for uninterrupted work time.

5. Integrating apps and tools

Slack allows you to integrate many apps and tools to enhance productivity. Go to 'Apps' from your workspace and explore the Slack App Directory. You can find and install apps like Google Drive, Trello, or Zoom directly linked to your Slack and streamline your workflow.

6. Launching and learning

With your workspace set up, channels created, team members invited, and apps integrated, your Slack environment is ready to go. Encourage your team to explore Slack's capabilities and use the available resources to learn how to make the most out of this powerful collaboration tool. 

Don’t forget to regularly update your setup and train your team on new features.

Tips for using Slack effectively

Here are a couple of tips to maximize productivity and collaboration on Slack.

1. Optimize notifications

Adjust your notification settings to stay informed without being overwhelmed. Customize notifications to alert you about mentions, direct messages, or specific keywords. This helps you stay on top of important communications without constant interruptions.

2. Organize channels wisely

Organize channels by team, project, or topic to keep discussions focused and searchable. Archive inactive channels to streamline your workspace.

3. Utilize Slack integrations

Take advantage of Slack's integrations with other tools like Google Drive, Trello, or Asana to centralize your workflow within Slack. These integrations let you share files, update project statuses, and manage tasks without leaving the platform.

4. Employ Slack commands

Learn Slack's slash commands, such as /remind for setting reminders or /who to get information about team members. These commands can speed up your interactions within Slack, making your use of the platform more efficient.

5. Pin important information

Pin important messages or documents in channels to keep essential information accessible to all channel members. This practice helps maintain focus on key topics and ensures that important resources are easy to locate.

6. Regularly review and update your status

Keep your status updated to reflect your availability. This can inform colleagues about your availability for chats and meetings or if you're out of the office.

Slack alternatives to watch out in 2024

Several promising alternatives to Slack are gaining attention for their unique features and capabilities. Here's a look at some notable platforms set to make an impact in 2024:

1. Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is one of the more robust team communication platforms available, and it's competitively priced. The advanced Teams plan costs only $4 per user/month, and the full-on Microsoft 365 experience costs only $6 per user/month. Its strengths lie in seamless integration with Microsoft products and enhanced security features, making it a go-to for enterprises embedded in the Microsoft ecosystem.

2. Discord

Originally popular with gamers, Discord has expanded its offerings to cater to a broader professional audience. Its intuitive interface and robust voice chat capabilities make it attractive for teams looking for informal yet powerful communication tools.

3. Google Workspace

As a paid option, it takes a lot of work to beat Google Workspace pricing. Starting at only $6 per user/month and offering an undeniably robust platform for workplace collaboration, many businesses leverage this platform for most business operations, like email, document sharing, and slide presentations. 

Still, Google Chat – which Workspace users can utilize for instant messaging – doesn't yet have as many features as Slack, and you can't build workflow rules in channels and chats in quite the same way. 

Maximize your Slack investment with Spendflo

Streamline your procurement processes and enhance efficiency with the SaaS procurement and renewal solution Spendflo's immediate Assisted Buying. By integrating this service, you can receive real-time updates via Slack, fast-track your renewals and purchases, and guarantee significant savings in resources. 

For team messaging and everyday communication, Slack remains a preferred choice among many businesses for good reasons. The paid plans offer valuable customization and automation features, making them a worthwhile investment for any business committed to enhancing communication and collaboration.

Want to save more on your Slack subscription? 

Get a free savings analysis today and optimize your Slack investment further!


Is it worth it to pay for Slack?

Investing in a paid Slack subscription can be highly beneficial, especially for teams that require more extensive collaboration tools. Suppose your team needs access to an unlimited message history, advanced security features such as SAML-based single sign-on (SSO), compliance exports for all messages, or integration with many external services. In that case, a paid plan may be essential. The decision to upgrade should consider factors like the size of your team, the necessity for these advanced features, and the potential for Slack to improve communication and workflow efficiency within your organization.

How many total users can use Slack for free?

Slack offers a free version that can accommodate an unlimited number of users. This makes it a viable option for small teams or organizations exploring Slack's basic functionalities without a financial commitment. The free version includes access to 10,000 of your team's most recent messages, ten integrations with other applications, and one-to-one voice and video calls.

Guru Nicketan
Content Strategist
Karthikeyan Manivannan
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