12 Slack Tips to Consider

You can think of Slack as your company’s digital watercooler: Anyone in your organization can send messages to each other via this platform.

Several teams rely on Slack for internal communication. It’s like an online office that never closes. Your team can use the platform to have transparent, informative discussions in channels organized by team, project, and discipline.

While everything about Slack sounds great, the main challenge is to know where to start and how you can use the platform effectively.

In this guide, we’ll give you 12 Slack tips to maximize results and take productivity to the next level.

Ready? Let’s begin!

Slack Tip #1: Create Chat Channels Thoughtfully

The whole purpose of Slack is to organize chat rooms for different purposes, based on your needs and preferences.

You can create a channel for every team to keep conversations relevant and prevent them from mixing up with other stuff. This will also keep one text group from getting overwhelmed with notifications that don’t concern them.

Alternatively, you can categorize channels by specific topics.

Companies have been collaborating for ages. Slack lets users create shared channels to create a common communication point to ensure smoother workflow. This helps partnerships work better with minimal misunderstandings or bottlenecks—while keeping sensitive information away from prying eyes.

You can also have private Slack channels for limited access. These channels are only visible to people who have been granted exclusive permission to enter them. You can share confidential information here without having to worry about data leaks.

While all these channel varieties are great, don’t create channels for just about everything.

Before you create a public, private, or shared channel, think about whether you really need it. After all, the idea here is to organize conversations for your convenience—not to annoy you.

Slack Tip #2: Keep Track of Messages by Pinning Them

One of the primary reasons why business owners use Slack is to streamline efficiency.

Slack chat channels can organize information and projects, yes. But there’s also the flexibility to sort out critical messages that may get lost with time. There are two ways to resolve this:

  • You can pin relevant messages and files for future reference. This is a very simple process that lets you store the chosen message in an easy-to-access tab.

  • You can also use the Slack search bar to type in the keywords of the message you want to see. This is a quick way to locate lost messages as it brings up matching results.

Either of the two methods is easier than scrolling back through dozens of messages at a time and still potentially skipping over the one you need.

Let’s not forget this helps improve time management as well.

Slack Tip #3: Integrate With Relevant Apps to Streamline Workflow

Slack can integrate with over 1000 applications, giving you plenty of integration opportunities to streamline your workflow effectively and efficiently.

You can integrate the platform with some of the most commonly used productivity tools like Asana, Trello, Google Drive, Jira, and Zoom. An interactive chat bubble gets created within the channel. As such, you don’t have to open every single app and can streamline tasks seamlessly.

The app integration capabilities of Slack can also declutter your computer.

When you have too many tabs open, you may have to deal with a slow connection, which, in turn, can make it difficult for you to find what you want. The end result is wasted time.

Considering Slack works as an extension for all the integrated apps, you don’t have to open up unnecessary tabs, and instead, only those you really require.

Slack Tip #4: Learn Your @bc’s

Slack is the perfect email alternative. It’s an instant messaging app where you can communicate with your colleagues faster and more effectively. All you need to do to get someone’s attention is to use the @ functionality that lets you mention a specific colleague or a whole channel to get their attention.

Any message sent on the Slack channel will directly notify the channel members with the notification. Here’s how to do this:

  • @everyone: You can use this command as a prefix before any message in the #general channel to notify every member there—whether they are available or not. It’s an excellent way to notify the entire company about an important event or development.
  • @channel: You can use this command to get everyone’s attention in any other specific channel that isn’t #general. It works the same as the @everyone command, where notifying all the members of that specific channel receive notifications whether they are away or not.
  • @{colleague’s name}: You can use this command to notify a specific user in a wider channel. Use @ before their name, so it’s only them who receives the notification and not the tens or hundreds of other members.
  • @here: You can use this command to send notifications to only those people who are currently working. In other words, only those members will be notified who is online on Slack.

Slack Tip #5: Hit Mute When Needed

It’s common to be members of Slack channels that aren’t a high priority at the moment. Leaving them isn’t an option—but hitting mute is.

You can mute lower priority channels to avoid getting disturbed with notifications that don’t concern you.

If you want to mute a specific channel, click on the Channel settings button. It’s located in the top right corner next to the search bar. Click on Mute #CHANNELNAME.

If you want to mute notifications for all channels, you can do that too. All you have to do is turn on Do Not Disturb mode, and it’ll be done.

Slack Tip #6: Create a Separate Channel for Announcements

With workforces going remote, it can be a bit difficult to keep everyone on the same page. Luckily, on Slack, you can create a separate channel for making company-wide announcements.

The other alternative is to use email, but when everyone is already communicating and collaborating on Slack, the latter is just a better place. All you have to do is make a channel and restrict the permissions so that only a select few people, like executives and HR personnel, can post on it. So it should be read-only for every other member.

That said, the type of channel you have will also affect the limitations you can set up. For instance, if you have a free account, you can only restrict permissions in the #general channel.

Slack Tip #7: Set Reminders

Managing action items can become hectic if you have overly active Slack channels.

A colleague may have asked to do something on a channel. But after some time, you may lose this conversation when other members start talking. What you can do is set a reminder on the platform.

Slack allows users to easily set reminders about generic items, as well as specific messages. You can use either the lightning icon in the message box in any channel or click the options button on a specific message that you want to be reminded about.

Here’s a detailed tutorial on how you can set message reminders in Slack:

  1. Select any message that you want to be reminded about.
  2. Click on the three vertical dots located on the right. A dropdown menu will appear on your screen.
  3. Hover your mouse over the Remind me about this option, and select when you would like to be reminded by Slack.

In case you’re using a mobile app, simply touch and hold the message. Tap on Remind me, and select when you want to be reminded about the message.

Tip #8: Get on a Video Call and Share Your Screen

Slack and make video calling easy, letting you skip the pain of booking a conference room.

The platform has a built-in calling app feature that offers audio, video, and screen sharing to review work with other team members. Moreover, you can integrate Slack with other dedicated video applications like Cisco Webex Meetings and Zoom to begin a meeting.

To start a video meeting, type a slash command (Example: /zoom or /ciscowebex) into the messaging field, and the call will begin.

Slack Tip #9: Leverage the Slackbot

Bots play a very crucial part in your Slack life. You can use it to change the office playlist, monitor your website uptime, find out the Wi-Fi password, and much more!

You can also use the Slackbot to automate specific tasks within your company. You can use its basic interface to set up a notification if a certain phrase is used across your organization.

Slack Tip #10: Host a Daily Stand-up Meeting

Many remote teams have 15 or 30 minute-long meetings to see when everyone is with their respective workload. This ends up eating a lot of your time over a week—time that could be spent on working on those projects.

Slack lets you replace this in-person meeting with a stand-up meeting in Slack.

Set a reminder that posts in your team channel every weekday morning, acting as a prompt for your team to check in. Not only will this get the job done within 30 seconds (or less!) for every person, but there will still be complete transparency for managers and your team members.

Slack Tip #11: Utilize Emoji Reactions to Speed up Approvals

Slack offers plenty of emojis that you can use to make approvals quick and easy.

For instance, you can ask people to claim a request by clicking on the thumbs up (👍) emoji to know they are working on the task. Once the review is complete, they can click on the tick mark (✔️) emoji to let everyone know that it’s finished and ready for review.

What’s more, you can use emojis to create a poll. Whether it’s picking a team lunch destination, choosing between two projects, or all deciding the toppings on a pizza, you can use emojis to get consensus in a flash by polling your teammates in a Slack channel.

Here’s an example of how to create a poll using emojis:

Alternatively, you can add a dedicated app like Simple Poll or Polly for more advanced features, including anonymous polls or recurring surveys.

Slack Tip #12: Preview Document Without Leaving Your Workspace

Remember we mentioned that you could integrate Slack with Google Docs and Google Drive?

Integrating Slack with Google Docs lets you collaborate on a lot of files and preview them inside Slack. This may not seem much at first, but when you share a lot of files and others have a large team, all these spare precious seconds can add up and boost productivity considerably.

Plus, the integration itself is quick and easy to set up, so why not take advantage of it?

When you share a Google Doc, Google Sheet, or any other Google Drive link on Slack, Slackbot automatically sends you a prompt asking you if you want to connect Google Drive to Slack. Click on Yes, allow.

This will integrate your Slack with your Google account. After logging in, all you have to do is select Allow, and your accounts will be connected.


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Bryan Wise
Bryan Wise,
Former VP of IT at GitLab

Incredible companies use Nira