Team Chat

Chat is one of the most powerful collaboration tools, allowing teams to communicate simply in real-time, or asynchronously. The New Google Chat keeps your team in sync. Learn how to create rooms, add documents, assign tasks, and more - all without leaving Gmail. Learn about other Chat products as well, including how Chat compares to Slack.

The version of Google Chat that launched in Sept 2020 includes many new advanced futures designed to help teams collaborate effectively. In the new Chat you can create Rooms for projects, collaborations, or themes. You can also add documents and tasks to Rooms. Tasks you assign to people will show up in their Gmail sidebar if they have Google Tasks open.

NEW: We're currently waiting for Google to launch Spaces - a new tool which wraps features of multiple products together into a virtual workspace for teams.

We think chat is one of the most important tools for team collaboration. Make it your own by starting with our 5 things to try now list, and then customize your use of chat to your own team's dynamics. And don't forget to install the mobile apps and desktop apps to finish the experience.

Google Chat is part of the Berkeley Lab Technology Toolkit - access is provided at no cost to all Lab accounts and full support is provided by IT.


Lots of people at the Lab use #Slack for team chat. Most of them use the free version, though there are a number of groups that use paid licenses. The Lab does not currently have an enterprise license for #Slack, but we are currently in discussion with the vendor about the possibility of creating a purchasing vehicle to make it easier to acquire paid licenses individually.

IT believes that most teams will be well served by Google Chat - it has very similar features to Slack, though it approaches the concept of team chat slightly differently. While Slack does have a number of "power features" that Google Chat doesn't yet have, Google Chat offers integration with G Suite, including deep integration into your Gmail, that we believe that for many users will make Google Chat a better experience.

The new Spaces features should also bring Chat closer to feature parity with Slack.

Google offers information for Slack users on how to best use Google Chat, including feature comparisons, here.