This article is part of a series in which we provide insight into our learnings on how to get the best out of Slack as your main communication tool.
Slack can be a fantastic and distracting tool at the same time. It keeps all your team communication in one place, but your team also likes to talk a lot! Below, we have listed a couple of good practices that are being used in the company to avoid Slack being a distractor. They’ll help manage your focus time and, as such, your productivity.
- Time reply. The expectation within the company is to reply within 24 hours — so chill out. Ideally, you reply the same business day. It’s wrong to think that Slack is a “get-back-to-me-now!” type of communication.
- Block time in your calendar to check Slack. Most of our leaders in the company have time blocked in their calendars to address Slack messages — in the early morning, around lunch, and at the end of the day. You don’t need to have it open all day. If people need something urgent from you, they’ll find another way to communicate with you. Find a cadence that works for your team.
Let go of your FOMO. You 👏don’t 👏 have👏 to 👏 be 👏 part 👏 of 👏 every 👏 conversation 👏 or 👏 channel. Get organized.
- Don’t star all channels. Is every channel you have starred really that important?! Starred channels are intended to prioritize your communication and should be the first ones you reply to or acknowledge when you open Slack. Hence, be picky with the channels you star. For example, the channel about a specific objective you will be working on during a quarter, your team-important channel. Everyone in the company should have their #co-important-all channel starred.
- Leave channels: It’s okay to leave channels that aren’t relevant to you. In fact, we recommend it. Remember you can always search for things in channels you’re not in while keeping your channel list limited to your most important discussions. Here’s a how-to on leaving a channel.
- Mute channels: Try muting channels you only need to check occasionally. Muted channels won’t appear bolded when there’s an unread activity, and you won’t be notified if you’re mentioned. Follow these steps on how to mute a channel.
- Archive channels: After a project ends, you can archive channels you no longer needed. All content will be saved and remain searchable, but no new activity can be posted to the channel. Read on how to archive a channel here. Take into account that for this action you probably will need to contact an Admin, so in this case, reach out to POPs through the Help Center.
- Add a purpose to every channel. As we mentioned earlier in this article, Slack offers different types of channels. Use these channels with the intended purpose. Leave all random and fun topics in your watercoolers and work-related conversations should happen in others.
- Do Not Disturb: When you really need to focus, turn on Do Not Disturb (DND) to snooze all notifications for as long as you need. If there’s an urgent matter, they can choose to send you a notification through a different channel such as WhatsApp.
- Block your notifications. Our CEO, Santiago Jaramillo, suggests blocking your notifications altogether. “ You don’t need them.” This way, you can keep Slack on the background whilst you get work done, you don’t have to manage your DND settings, and you don’t have to always open and close Slack countless times throughout the day.
- Channel-specific notifications. Some roles need to keep attention to alerts that may come from the platform, e.g., in the case of engineers to be alerted of 911 downtime or bug notifications. If you are part of a team that does need to keep Slack open all the time, there’s an option to keep notifications only from pre-determined channels, at it’s really useful. Here you can read on how to set this up.
- Key-word specific notifications. This feature will give you a warning whenever someone mentions a topic you care about. Be selective to avoid getting too many notifications. Here you can read on how to set them up.
Some days, it might feel as if everyone is pulling at you and needs something from you. Instead of feeling the urge to having to respond to everyone at once and at that very instant, set reminders instead. Ask Slack to remind you about certain messages that don’t require your immediate attention so that you can back to them whenever you have the headspace for it.
To set a reminder, hover over the message, click the ··· more actions icon, select “Remind me about this”, and select when you want to be notified.
Slack offers app integrations which will allow you to semi-automatically create a task out of a message. Check-out what project management tool you use to keep up with your tasks, either this is Evernote, Asana, Todoist, Trello, the possibilities are plentiful.
Shortcuts should become part of everyone’s skills repertoire. It increases efficiency, and you’ll be able to accomplish more tasks. It makes you a better multitasker, and you prevent work-related health issues related to extensive use of the mouse. Here are a few listed that, in our humble opinion, are the most useful ones:
These are the guidelines that we use at Bunny Studio. We genuinely hope that it will help you get your own Slack a bit more organized.
If you’d like some clarification, send your questions through the comments section. Happy to help!
Slack you later! 👋
Don’t miss out on our other articles:
- Our tips on how to use Slack (1/3): organizing your Slack . How to prevent Slack from becoming a cluttered monster that becomes too overwhelming to deal with.
- Our tips on how to use Slack (2/3): The bliss of lean and assertive communication.The importance of maintaining superior written communication.
Are you a seasoned Slack user and you have some additional tips and tricks? Please let us know by adding them to the comments section!
Everything you need to know to get started and get to work in Slack.
From channels to search, learn how Slack works from top to bottom.
Your profile & preferences
Adjust your profile and preferences to make Slack work just for you.
Connect tools & automate tasks
Connect, simplify, and automate. Discover the power of apps and tools.
Learn how to manage your Slack workspace or Enterprise Grid org.
Learning Slack made simple: tutorials, videos, and tips to get up to speed and get work done.
- Send and read messages
- Set your Slack status and availability
- View all your unread messages
- Use threads to organize discussions
- Understand your actions in Slack
- What is a channel?
The Quick Switcher: Skip gleefully from channel to channel with ⌘/Ctrl+K.
Need to quickly search the channel you’re in? ⌘/Ctrl+F will start that search for you.
Send something too soon? Press the up key to edit your last message.
Aug 18, 2015, 12:34 pm EST | 2 min read
Slack is How-To Geek’s go-to method for sharing ideas, collaborating, and just shooting the breeze. That said, during the course of time, messages can quickly become lost, and knowing how to search Slack can make your life substantially easier.
We’ve covered some of our favorite power user tips for Slack, but none of those delved into cutting through the crush and clutter of everyday communication. As time goes on, and more of your company’s employees add to the conversation, you’ll find stuff quickly gets lost or forgotten.
There are things you can do, such as starring information, but you might not always remember or you might simply miss something because you were away from your desk. Thus, being able to use Slack’s search powers effectively means that if your boss (or bosses) mentioned something vital while you were out to lunch, and you’re just learning of it a week later, you can go back and quickly find it to see what they were talking about.
Mastering Slack Search
Slack’s search box is located in the upper-right corner, when you click on it, it will offer some helpful tips for narrowing your search.
When you enter search term(s), results will begin to populate the right pane. At first, everything will be displayed, which you can sort by recent and relevant, as well as messages or files. These results will be displayed from all channels and members.
As you can see, our search term “slack” gives us over 800 results, which isn’t going to be terribly useful if we want to find exactly what we’re looking for. We need to be able to narrow things down so we’re not sorting through dozens or even hundreds of results.
In order to do this, you can use modifiers as pictured in the following screenshot.
If you can’t remember all the modifiers, simply enter the “+” key and they’ll be displayed in one handy list.
So, as a simple example, we want to narrow results down to our search term “slack” from a certain team member, but we still have 93 messages to sort through.
We can further constrain our results by adding another modifier, this time we’ll tack on the “after” term to narrow things down to every mention of “slack” in the last two weeks, and thankfully we only have three messages, which is far more manageable than 93 or over 800.
When you click on the message you’re looking for, it will scroll back to it so you can see it in context among the surrounding conversation.
Clicking on the “+” symbol next to each modifier will reveal further items. In the following example, we click on the “has” modifier, which expands to reveal properties.
This can be surprisingly useful, allowing you make short work of your Slack searching and you don’t even have to take your hand off the mouse.
Other Search Power Tips
Let’s review some of Slack’s other search features.
First, note you can switch between messages and files. Also, you can click the “include” option to filter out integrations and bots, as well as exclude any channels that you don’t have open. That way, if you know the information you’re looking for is in a current channel, then you can filter out everything else.
Finally, don’t forget your keyboard shortcuts.
- If you want to quickly conduct a search using the keyboard, use “Ctrl + F” on Windows or “Cmd + F” on Mac.
- To navigate search results, use the up or down arrows, and “Tab” or “Shift + Tab”.
- When you build a search query, you can submit it by using the “Enter” key.
Searching in Slack is not only pretty easy, it’s actually quite powerful and can make short work of finding stuff. Hopefully, from now on you will never lose track of another important message again.
If you want to contribute anything to this article, such as a comment or question, please leave your feedback in our discussion forum.
As Slack has become one of the most popular workplace tools, there’s a pretty good chance you’re using it at your job. There’s also a good chance that you or someone you work with has developed a few bad Slack habits that not only frustrate your team but also reduce productivity.
I use Slack every day, and while I agree it has some benefits–especially for remote workers–it can get frustrating when your team doesn’t have a common set of Slack guidelines or etiquette. With that in mind, here are seven things you should stop doing on Slack right now, and what you should do instead.
There are times when it’s entirely appropriate to send a message and notify an entire channel. Those times are rare, however, and usually, it’s better to just post your message or tag the appropriate people. The same goes for @here. Unless you have an urgent message that absolutely requires the attention of everyone in a channel, use these tags sparingly.
2. Sending multiple messages in a row
You’ve seen it before. In fact, you’ve probably done it. You send a series of messages in a row, instead of thoughtfully composing a message within one post. It might not seem like a big deal, except Slack is hard enough to search and keep things organized. Help your team out by consolidating those messages into one post. Especially if it’s a DM. No one wants that many notifications in a row. Plus, what if I want to reply in a thread? Which message should I respond to?
3. Replying in-channel instead of in a thread
Speaking of those threads, use them. Don’t just drop your reply into the channel, but take the half-second required to click that little “start a thread” icon, and start a thread. Slack is already mostly a constant stream of noise, so the least any of us can do is try and keep things organized. Be kind to your team members and use threads.
4. Posting the same message in multiple channels
If your company uses a lot of channels for different teams, it might seem like it makes sense to post important messages in multiple places. The problem, however, is that not only does that mean some people will have to filter through more noise, but it also means you end up with conversations about those important issues in different places.
Instead, take advantage of the fact that Slack allows you to copy a link to a post, and just share that in the other channel. That way team members who want to engage in the conversation can simply click through to the original message. It’s also a good reason to have a central “Announcements” channel for your entire organization, so you have a natural place to post important information.
5. Using Group DMs
Sending a direct message to a small group of people seems like a great idea. You can loop only the people who need to know into a conversation, especially if it’s sensitive. There are a few problems though, like the fact that you can only have so many active DMs, which means that eventually, that important conversation won’t appear in the navigation. Ever try to search for a group DM later? If you don’t remember exactly who was in it, forget about it.
Also, you can’t add someone to a group DM after the fact, meaning that it’s hard to bring someone else into a conversation when you realize you need more input. Instead, it’s often a better idea to create a private channel with a small group for those conversations.
6. Making every conversation public
One of the principles that proponents of Slack often advocate is to have every conversation in public channels for the sake of transparency and collaboration. Some conversations, however, shouldn’t be public. Some are personal in nature and should either be handled in DMs, or even better, in person. Other conversations may not be sensitive, but are irrelevant to anyone not directly involved, and as such just create more noise.
7. Not acknowledging messages
It’s totally reasonable to want a little peace and quiet from the constant stream of Slack notifications. However, if someone sends you a message, especially a DM, it’s just good etiquette to at least drop a little acknowledgment. Even if you can’t respond, or handle whatever the request is, a simple check-mark emoji goes a long way.
Watch our videos on how to start really using the Internet.
Slack has taken the synchronous communication platform by storm. Messaging as a means of workplace communication has never been easier, but with all the distractions in an everyday lifestyle, it is extremely hard to stay on top of all the slack messages you receive. Certain messages carry more importance than others and without this one simple customization in Slack, your remote workplace would be all over the place. With multiple channels and direct messages to manage, your workplace becomes a mess to manage and oftentimes you miss meetings and important deadlines. With the remote workplace taking a massive step during this time, Slack has stepped up to the challenge of managing your workplace. If you are a Slack-enthusiast or someone looking to stay organized, you are in the right place! Slack allows you to set reminders for specific messages to ease your workflow.В
After just a few simple steps, you will never miss another message on Slack. As demoed in our How to Use the Internet Series: How to Set Reminders for Slack Messages, here is our step by step process to help you optimize your workplace.В
How to Set Reminders for Slack MessagesВ
To begin, open Slack in either your internet browser or downloadable desktop app.
To Set Reminders:В
- Open a Chat Window within the Slack Channel (or Direct Message) you want to set a reminder in
- In the text bar, type вЂњRemember toвЂќ and then type exactly what you want to remember
- Click вЂњEnterвЂќ and then hover over the three dots on the right side of your screen
- Hover over вЂњRemind me about thisвЂќ and Select when you want to be reminded
To View Your Reminders:В
- In the text bar, type вЂњ/remind listвЂќВ
- Click вЂњEnterвЂќ or вЂњReturnвЂќВ
And there you have it! You know exactly how to remind yourself and others about upcoming вЂњto-doвЂ™sвЂќ. Whether itвЂ™s optimizing your workplace or just personal reminders, Slack does it all for you in just a few, simple commands.В
Want to learn more tips and tricks? Check out the rest of our How to Use the Internet Series. This Youtube series of short video demonstrations are designed to teach users various online skills through visual storytelling, like creating GIFs, how to embed an image in email, and more. Whether you are an office worker that needs help with Slack or youвЂ™re teaching your parents about their new Android Phone, weвЂ™ve got you covered!В
Learn the three building blocks of how you and your team get work done—no matter your location
The sudden shift to remote work for millions of people means additional pressure for teams to stay aligned, feel connected and get work done.
Slack was built for this. Because it’s a channel-based messaging platform, all your work—conversations, files, even third-party applications such as Zoom and Google Drive—is organized in one place and accessible from anywhere. This makes it easier to access information, collaborate effectively with your coworkers and, ultimately, get work done faster.
Here are three top tips to help remote teams get started using Slack.
1. Use channels to create a virtual office in Slack
In Slack, work happens in channels—dedicated spaces for all the right people to have focused discussions on a specific topic. In lieu of working in the same location together, channels allow everyone to see the same conversations and stay up to date with the latest files and decisions, keeping your team naturally aligned from anywhere.
Here are a couple ways that remote teams set up channels to stay connected and work together:
- Create a dedicated channel for every project—like #acme-virtual-event-2020—and move all status updates, meeting notes, discussions, files and feedback into that channel. Information is centralized and readily accessible, no longer scattered across multiple email threads.
- Create team channels, for example #team-marketing, and use them to hold daily meetings or stand-ups and to stay connected throughout the day.
Read on for more tips on how to work effectively in channels.
Name your channels with intention
What’s in a name? Well, a lot! Properly naming your channels is a simple way to ensure that collaboration stays on topic, and it signals relevance to team members considering joining.
We recommend using a consistent set of channel-naming conventions so that channels are easy to find and parse.
Pin important files and messages for your team
Project plans, creative briefs and FAQs can all be pinned to a channel, so that everyone in it can quickly find the most important files and messages. To start:
- Click the pin icon to view all pinned items in a channel or message
- You can pin an item yourself by hovering over the message or file you’d like to pin, clicking the “more actions” icon and selecting “Pin to channel”
Use the #general channel for announcements
When your team members aren’t all together in the office, it’s important to have a single place where everyone can go to get information.
Because every member who joins your workspace is added to the default #general channel, it’s a great channel to use when you want to make organization-wide announcements. If you are an administrator on the team, you can also restrict posting permissions to certain members, to ensure that the announcements posted are from the right members and the channel stays on topic.
Related: Learn how to set up a #general Slack channel for announcements
2. Stay engaged with your team, from anywhere
Working remotely doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice human interaction. In fact, many teams are already using Slack to help foster alignment across departments and time zones.
Ultimately, a strong team culture is critical for maintaining cohesive, motivated and resilient remote teams.
Unity, a platform for 3-D developers, shifted its 3,400 employees in 17 countries to a fully remote workforce in less than a week. The company credits Slack (and Slack channels) for making it possible. After Unity directed its workers to shelter in place, engagement in the Slack channel #unity-all—a channel usually reserved for the company’s most important news—soared. The increase in engagement indicated employees’ deep need to feel connected and find answers to their questions.
Use emoji reactions to celebrate and engage
In Slack, you can use a wide range of emoji to react to any message with a single click. Emoji reactions, or what we scientifically call “reacji,” are a nice way to celebrate teammates, no matter where they are. It’s hard not to feel appreciated when you see the :tada: and :clap: reacji add up.
Emoji reactions are also a handy way to show teammates when you’re looking into something or to help keep track of when a task is completed. And that’s the magic of a reacji—it’s far less disruptive than a message but can still convey so much!
Remember to make time for face time
Working remotely doesn’t mean you have to work alone. It’s important to create moments for face time, whether that’s a regularly scheduled video call with your immediate team or asking a colleague you’ve been messaging to hop on a call to hash things out faster.
Slack has voice and video calls built in, so you can start a call with any member of your workspace right from the platform, without having to leave Slack and go into a browser or calendar app. Much like the way you’d walk up to a colleague’s desk, you can do the same in Slack with a quick call.
If your team already has a service for video and voice (Slack integrates with nearly all of them), you can easily connect it with Slack to bring all of your communication into one convenient place.
Where are the documents? I’m waiting! Fancy a coffee? Happy new year!
Updated Messaging platform Slack is first out of the gates of 2021 with a good, old fashioned TITSUP*.
4 January was the first working day of 2021 for many, but as the clock passed the 15:00 UTC mark, and much of the US began to ruefully turn off their out-of-office notifications and stare blearily at inboxes rammed full of a festive fluff, hipster chat outfit Slack decided to extend the vacation for some by ignoring message requests.
Or delivering messages woefully late and, helpfully, in the wrong order.
“Customers may have trouble loading messages or connecting to Slack,” the support orifice of the ridiculously overvalued firm intoned. A warning that some may struggle to load channels or even connect to the service was also proffered but other than an apology and a boilerplate “Our team is investigating and we will follow up with more information as soon as we have it,” there was little help for those finding that their daily dose of prevarication was temporarily missing.
Customers may experience issues connecting to Slack to loading channels at this time. Our team is on the case and we will keep you posted. Apologies for any disruption. https://t.co/A17yXzyV5a
The previous emission from the Slack support team back on 23 November exclaimed: “Good news! The issues with degraded performance are no longer impacting customers.”
Which is a bit unfortunate.
The messaging app, which may or may not be used by Vulture Central’s scribes as a means of avoiding seeing each other’s ugly mugs or hearing our rasping post-Christmas voices, stopped working smoothly at around quarter past 3 this afternoon.
The timing is unfortunate. Slack is due to be “deeply integrated into every Salesforce cloud” if trumpeting about the acquisition of the collaboration platform is to be believed. Presumably that will include the odd wobble just as the first working day of the year gets under way if today’s antics are anything to go by.
Salesforce’s buyout of Slack is to leave chief exec Stewart Butterfield in charge of the messaging app, which is slated become an operating unit of the CRM software monolith. In a statement on 1 December when the buyout was announced Salesforce declared: “As the new interface for Salesforce Customer 360, Slack will transform how people communicate, collaborate and take action on customer information across Salesforce as well as information from all of their other business apps and systems.”
The purchase has not yet completed but is expected to do so in Q2 this coming fiscal year, meaning this summer in the northern hemisphere. Slack has 87 customers who pay $1m or more per year, as we reported last November. ®
* Total Inability To Support Usual Prattling
To revist this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories.
To revist this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories.
You’ve KonMaried your closet. You’ve made strides toward Inbox Zero. You’ve unburdened yourself of your old tweets, and now you feel free as a bird. The one thing left to do: find harmony in your digital work-life by tidying up your Slack.
If you’re one of the 8 million people who uses Slack as an intraoffice communication platform, then you’re likely well aware of how slovenly the app can be. Slack is a time-saver, and Slack is a time-suck. Slack liberates your inbox, lets you organize office chats around any topic you choose, and—perhaps best of all—equips you to create custom emoji of your colleagues’ faces. Slack also bombards you with notifications, leads to superfluous conversation, and has likely stolen precious hours of your workplace productivity.
Time to clean it up. Use these tips to whip your Slack into shape.
Take an audit of your channel subscriptions. Maybe you joined an event-specific chat that’s been dormant for months, or you still belong to #fishchat long after the office fish died. You can leave these channels by selecting the channel name, navigating to the gear icon at the top, and choosing “Leave Channel.” For channels you can’t quite bear to leave but don’t need to check very often, choose “Mute Channel” instead. This will inoculate you from notifications without sacrificing your membership to the group.
Next, organize your channels by importance. Channels you check multiple times per day should get a “star.” This will send them to the top of the sidebar. Select the channel you want to prioritize, then click the star icon at the top of the channel, just beneath the channel name.
Hide everything else. (Yes, really. Just do it.) You’ve denoted your most important subscriptions; everything else is just clutter. To do this, click your name at the top left corner of Slack, then select Preferences. Click on “Sidebar,” then select “Unreads and starred conversations.” This will keep your starred channels within view, and will show unread direct messages, but won’t display everything else. See? Tidy!
You’ll want to know when someone pings #snackchat about the cupcakes in the sales department. But when someone annoyingly alerts @here about their personal IT crisis? You don’t need that blowing up your workspace. Customize your notification settings by navigating to the gear icon in the top right corner of a channel. You can set alerts for all messages, just direct messages, or no messages—with different settings for desktop and mobile.
You can also set times when Slack won’t send you notifications at all, like after you’ve gone home for the day. Enable an automatic time frame for Do Not Disturb Mode by navigating to Preferences > Do Not Disturb. For more temporary leaves of absence, you can set your status to “Away” by clicking your icon and selecting “Set yourself to away.”
Sometimes, though, you need a reprieve a little more quickly—like when you’re sharing your screen in a meeting and that one co-worker won’t stop Slacking you GIFs. For that, simply type /dnd in any channel and add a length of time (say, “30 minutes” or “today”). It’ll shut your notifications up on the spot.
All this tidying up might make you want to streamline your interface. To switch to a more minimalist view, head to Preferences > Messages & Media and select “Compact.” (Your default is set to “Clean.”) This removes user avatars, so more messages fit on the screen at a given time. You can also minimize image or GIF previews with the command /collapse.
To further customize your view, change the theme colors. Navigate to Preferences > Sidebar > Theme to browse such color combinations as “aubergine” and “choco mint.”
Each time you log into Slack, remind yourself of why you’re there. (It’s to work, remember? Not just to trade memes with your coworkers all day.) You can create a custom loading message to greet you each time you sign on. Find your workspace name in the top left corner and select “Customize Slack.” From there, choose Loading Messages > Add a custom loading message > Add message.
Not being able to find what you’re looking for is frustrating, whether you’ve misplaced your phone or you’re dealing with a simplistic virtual search feature.
If you use Slack , however, you can rest easy: The platform’s search function applies to messages, as well as phrases mentioned in documents, files or tweets that have been integrated into your team.
So you should be able to find what you’re looking for — if you take full advantage of the powerful search tool.
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How to search in Slack on a computer
For a basic search, start here:
1. Open Slack and navigate to the correct workspace, if necessary.
2. Click into the search bar at the top-right corner of the screen.
3. Enter your query and then hit “Enter.”
From there, you’d be able to view the search results, or further refine your search parameters using the menu on the right side of the pop-up.
There are also shortcuts you may wish to use.
- For example, to search the channel you’re currently viewing, type “Ctrl+F” if you’re on a PC or “Command + F” if on a Mac, to limit your search to that particular channel.
- If you want to specify a multi-word query, rather than getting back slack messages with any of the words in your search, you’d simply put quotations around that query. So as an example, you’d enter “writing prompt” to exclude entries that only have either ‘writing’ or ‘prompt.’
- Another useful option is the “has:[X]” function. So if you insert the word “star” or “link” into that search option, you’d see the messages and files which are either starred or have a link. The same goes for the “from:[user]” command.
How to search in Slack on a mobile device
1. Open the Slack app and log into your workspace, if necessary.
2. Tap the search icon.
3. Tap into the search bar again and enter your query, then tap the search button.
You’d then see a list of matches appear, sorted into messages and files, and you’d be able to change the order from oldest to newest or vice versa.
Unfortunately, there is not a way to access that powerful advanced search option that you’d get on the desktop version. But remember: Those search commands still work on the mobile version of Slack. So you can use those to help narrow down your matches and find whatever it is that you’re looking for.