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Top 5 Slack Alternatives For 2021 (Features, Pros, Cons, Pricing)


Looking for excellent Slack alternatives?

Slack is a powerful instant messaging app that helps teams communicate in short quick messages.

However, the last time we checked, messaging isn’t all it takes to lead teams to success

Slack simply doesn’t have enough key features to help your team communicate efficiently and manage work all at the same time.

It’s probably why you and your team are searching for a Slack alternative, right? 

Well, don’t worry.

Your search ends here!

In this article, we’ll take a look at five fantastic Slack alternatives that can do so much more than just messaging.

Let’s go!

What Is Slack?

Let’s not forget that ‘Slack’ is pretty much the opposite of work.

In an alternative universe, we’re sure the lyrics to Rihanna’s “Work” would be this: 

rihanna singing

However, despite this, Slack is an instant messaging and team collaboration app that’s technically made for work. Slack also integrates with many other apps to boost its usability.

It’s a good alternative to emails because teams can send quick messages, have a  video chat, and share tasks all in the app.

The app also simplifies people’s work and boosts team productivity by providing your employees with a more personalized space for team communication.

Looking for ways to improve your team’s communication? Here are 13 easy ways to improve team communication.

Note: Slack is not a self-hosted solution. 

If you want more control over your team’s internal communication, then you probably need a self hosted Slack alternative. A self hosted collaboration app gives you complete control over all the messages and file sharing through a private team communication platform.

Top 5 Slack Alternatives For 2021

Here’s our list of five Slack alternatives for 2021:

1. ClickUp

clickup software on all devices

ClickUp is the world’s leading project management and communication tool.

From helping you manage your remote team to providing you with task management features, ClickUp is the perfect team collaboration tool.

And if you’re looking for free alternatives to Slack, ClickUp’s definitely the answer.

Key features:

Here are some of ClickUp’s key features:

1. Chat view

Use the Chat view when you need to talk about anything! 

It can be about your tasks or even your grocery list. 

woman grocery shopping

The Chat view allows you to harness the power of attachments, notifications, unfurled task links, and even embedding. 

And don’t worry, Chat view lets you keep track of all your comments and messages, so nothing gets lost. 

You can easily access all task mentions, links to external sites, and see who’s been added as a watcher all in Chat view.

adding views in clickup

Here’s what you’ll find in Chat view:

  • All your ClickUp task links 
  • Links to project-relevant external sites
  • An idea of which team members will get notifications for any updates in the chat
  • Unfurled task links
  • Rich text formatting

So, why not just replace those 100 Slack channels with one task management app?


ClickUp has Comments for any situation you can think of. 

You can edit, assign, and even reply to comments.

Comments are an easy and simple way to communicate quickly, and there’s no need to delete comments; you can just edit them instead!

When you have an urgent comment and want to make sure a team member addresses it, use Assigned Comments. The team member will be notified, and the comment will pop up as a task in their task tray. When they’re done, they can even mark it as resolved!

assigned comments in clickup

You can even use Threaded Comments to organize your tasks, images, and Doc comments by nesting your replies.

Worried about feeling overwhelmed by long blocks of text?

Don’t be.

When you want to highlight a section of the text, ask a question about a specific section, or you just want to keep your conversations organized, use Quote Comments

And if you really want to get your point across quickly, use Rich Text in Comments.

comments in clickup

You can use bold font or italics to make sure everything is easy to read. This way, expectations are crystal-clear, and tasks are completed as efficiently as possible.

Want to take a break from playing the grammar police? 👮

Add some fun Emojis to your text! 👻

3. Docs

It’s super-easy to create Docs, wikis, and knowledge bases in ClickUp.

Use Docs for real-time team collaboration and editing. Your Docs can have an unlimited number of pages, they can be shared with select people and can even be indexed by Google to pop up in search results! 

This way, you can create and share detailed info without relying on Google Docs.

[Whispers] Unlike Slack.

Docs also have Collaboration Detection that informs you when someone is viewing or editing the same Doc as you. 

woman saying im here

4. Slack Integration

Don’t want to break up with Slack? 😢

We have another solution.

You can integrate Slack with ClickUp to do so much more than just chat with team members.

Here are some of the amazing things you can do with this unlimited integration:

  • Customize Slack notifications
  • Create ClickUp tasks from your Slack feed
  • Move Slack comments into your Tasks
create a clickup task from slack

When task links are posted in Slack, they’ll have all the detail and context you need to be able to take action.

Here’s what you can change right from your Slack app when you integrate it with ClickUp:

  • Task statuses
  • Who the assignee is
  • Task Priorities
  • Task due dates
  • Tags

There are also dropdown actions that let you manage due dates, priorities, and statuses right from your Slack channels.

And ClickUp can instantly send notifications about tasks to any Slack channel of your choice. This includes tasks created, comments added, and even status changes.

Wish you had known about all these wonderful features a long time ago?

But we’re not done.

Here are a few more advantages of using ClickUp:

ClickUp pros

ClickUp cons

  • Can’t export Dashboards

Check out ClickUp’s roadmap to see how we’re fixing these minor drawbacks. Also, check out all the exciting features that this free Slack alternative has in store for you!

ClickUp pricing

ClickUp has a powerful free plan for unlimited users with paid versions starting at just $5 per user/month. 

ClickUp customer ratings

  • G2: 4.7/5 (2000+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.7/5 (2000+ reviews)

2. Microsoft Teams

microsoft teams homepage

Microsoft Teams is an instant messaging app that fosters team collaboration and quick feedback loops. This app is free for Microsoft 365 users.

This chat application is suitable for schools, healthcare workers, and frontline workers.

But is this chat app suitable for you?

Let’s take a look:

MS Teams key features

  • Use the scheduling feature and calendars to stay ahead of your projects
  • Create a channel with many team members or opt to chat with private chats
  • Use the video conferencing feature to host voice and video calls with team members
  • Screen sharing and file sharing

MS Teams pros

  • Integrates perfectly with the rest of the Microsoft 365 suite
  • Available on web, desktop, and mobile apps (iPhone & Android)
  • Guest access lets you collaborate with clients and add temporary team members to a Microsoft Team
  • The instant messaging feature helps teams avoid long email chains

MS Teams cons

  • Many other Microsoft tools offer similar functionalities like Skype and Yammer
  • Limited to 200 public channels and 30 private channels
  • Once you add someone to a Microsoft Team, they automatically have full access to everything

MS Teams pricing

This team collaboration tool has a free plan and its paid plan starts at $5/user per month.

MS teams customer ratings

  • G2: 4.2/5 (8000+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.4/5 (3000+ reviews)

Check out more alternatives to Microsoft teams!

3. Rocket Chat

rocket chat homepage

Rocket Chat is an open source team chat app. 

The chat app lets you create chat rooms and host online meetings with screen sharing, which they claim reduces at least 30% of time spent on time-wasters like social media. 

But is this open source messaging app a time-waster itself?

Let’s find out:

Rocket Chat key features

  • @mentions for individuals and announcements
  • Video conferencing features, including voice and video calls with screen sharing
  • Direct messages between multiple users
  • Engagement dashboard to see how users are responding to the team messaging app

Rocket Chat pros

  • The chat app is secure, and it adds an extra verification step when completing certain actions
  • Translate your messages through Microsoft Translate to bridge communication gaps 
  • Sort conversations by last activity or alphabetical order
  • Available on mobile, web, and desktop

Rocket Chat cons

  • Interface design is not as user-friendly when compared to other Slack alternatives
  • Mobile apps aren’t as functional as other competitor mobile apps
  • Video calling feature sometimes fails to notify users that there’s an incoming call
  • Since it’s an open source tool, so it has some bugs

Rocket Chat pricing

This messaging app has a free plan and paid plans start from $3/user per month annually.

Rocket Chat customer ratings

  • G2: 3.8/5 (100+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.4/5 (100+ reviews)

4. Google Chat

google chat homepage

Google Chat (previously called Hangouts Chat) is a team chat app that integrates seamlessly with project management tools like Salesforce and Jira.

But how well will this messaging app integrate with your company?

Let’s take a look:

Google Chat key features

  • There are audio and video calls available through built-in integration with Google Meet
  • Use Google’s powerful search to look up room members, past conversations, and shared files
  • Meet bot 🤖 integrates directly with Google Calendar to schedule meetings for you

Google Chat pros

  • Easy to integrate with other Google Apps like Google Docs and Google Sheets
  • Have one-on-ones with team members or invite them to a group chat
  • Opt to keep unlimited message history for users in your organization as an admin
  • Available on iOS, Android, macOS, and Web

Google Chat cons

  • No free plan unless you have a corporate G-Suite account
  • Team chat app doesn’t have public channels like Slack
  • Can’t see if the other party has received and read your message
  • No online status customization such as no ‘busy’ or ‘away’ options

Google Chat pricing

This messaging tool offers no free plan, but the paid plan starts at $4.80/user per month.

Google Chat customer ratings

  • G2: 4.3/5 (800+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.6/5 (1000+ reviews)

5. Workplace from Facebook

workplace by facebook homepage

Workplace from Facebook is a team communications app that’s been developed by well…Facebook. 

The chat app has over five million paying subscribers.

But will you want to join the five million after we check out the features in this messaging app?

Let’s check it out:

Workplace from Facebook key features

  • Create different groups for each team or project, and start file sharing
  • Decide how private you want each group chat to be and who’s allowed to post
  • Create live chats, captions, and translations to engage people wherever they are, and get real-time feedback through comments, polls or Q&As

Workplace from Facebook pros

  • Use Facebook’s well-known interface to create groups and host live chats with your whole team
  • Employees are always kept up to date with their personalized news feed
  • Suitable chat tool for knowledge management as the knowledge library helps you create, store and share static content like HR policies 

Workplace by Facebook cons

  • Doesn’t let you keep track of tasks assigned to different team members
  • The admin controls don’t allow full access; things like removing an employee can’t be done within the tool; you have to go through customer support

Workplace from Facebook pricing

This messaging app has a free plan and paid plan starts at $4/user per month.

Workplace from Facebook customer ratings

  • G2: 4.0/5 (1500+ reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.4/5 (900+ reviews)

Why Do You Need A Slack Alternative?

You now know what the best alternatives to Slack are.

But in case you’re still on the fence about migrating to a new app, here are four reasons why you need alternatives to Slack:

A. The endless messages

Slack is a communication tool with a lot of group chats, which means that it’s easy for information to get lost.

Also, teams might fall into the trap of discussing multiple topics in one channel, which is even more confusing.

Imagine discussing your favorite movies in the same channel as an important project. Team members would have to read between the lines, literally.

B. The lack of visibility

Slack is kinda like your pet.

It needs all the love and attention it can get. 🐶

dog being funny

Not sure what we mean?

If you don’t devote all your attention to the app, then it’s highly unlikely that you’ll see all the messages that have been sent. 

We’re serious. 

Even a 20-minute break could lead to major abandonment issues for the communication app, and you’ll have to deal with the tons of unattended messages.

C. The minimal transparency

Everyone who uses Slack knows that it’s possible for people to miss a message they sent.

So what do they do?

They start using direct messages to get their point across.

If your team members start sticking to direct messages and not public channels, conversations, and knowledge get siloed

And as a result of minimal transparency, teams get divided and form their own little cliques.

woman yelling

D. The price

Slack costs $8 per user, which isn’t exactly ideal for a small team or startup with limited resources. 

And remember, you’re paying $8 per month for a communication app that doesn’t do much more than messaging!

Time To Stop Slacking

Slack might seem like a handy chat tool, but does that mean it’s a good team communication solution?

Unfortunately, this team chat tool needs to pick up its slack in some areas.

Luckily, there are a few messaging tools that can easily take Slack’s place.

And while we did mention some decent alternatives, none of them is as advanced as ClickUp. Not only does ClickUp have every key feature that the other apps have, but it also has so much more! 

ClickUp not only comes with a built-in Chat view that easily rivals Slack, but it also offers tons of other team collaboration and task management features like Goals, Comments, and Agile Dashboards.

So stop slacking and get ClickUp for free today!

man saying stop slacking

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