6 Useful Slack Tips You Should Know
Slack is arguably the most popular communication and collaboration application used by more than 750,000 organizations and 12 million users worldwide daily. Positioned as a messaging app for teams, this robust project management software offers much more and seriously intends to make email become a thing of the past.
The service saw a massive surge when demand for remote work increased due to its ease of use and rich package of the enormous amount of advantageous features. It has replaced other collaboration & communication tools for many teams, including the ApexTech team.
Through a greater reliance on Slack, we have discovered some little tricks and hidden features even first-time users can take advantage of to simplify their workflows. Here are our six favorite Slack possibilities that can help you and your team communicate more effectively and get the most out of this incredible application.
Keep focused with customizable notifications
Though Slack is indeed helpful software, you can get overwhelmed with numerous notifications coming from multiple channels. It’s also a distraction when you need your full attention working on core projects. The service creators have thought this through and offer several options that allow users to give increased control over what, when, and how they are notified.
Prioritize your notifications
Click on your Slack photo → go to Preferences → select Notifications. There you will see all notification options and be able to choose the conversations & channels you would like to mute and those you need to keep track of to stay updated on the projects that matter. Also, there is a possibility to set different sounds for various messages.
Going further with notification configuration, you can set up words and phrases you would be alerted to if someone mentions them. This will help you to keep tabs on different tasks. You can add keywords for topics or project names, clients or accounts, or even your name. So that if your coworkers mention you without tagging you, you will be still notified. The section with keywords you will find in the same Notifications settings.
Use notification schedules & Do Not Disturb mode
What is more, now you can set all those notifications you would like to receive only on particular times and days. The most obvious variant is to set your working hours, for instance, from 10 am to 7 pm 5 days a week or according to your workdays.
Another Do Not Disturb (DND) feature allows pausing notifications outside your working hours. Though your colleges will be able to send you messages in this period, they will arrive in 1 hour, the next day, or the date you will choose. If only your teammate decides the information is urgent enough to notify you, in this case, they will reach you.
To make these settings work, click on your Slack photo → select Pause Notifications and then choose DND mode duration or Set a notification schedule.
Stop forgetting things with the Slack bot
When you get really busy, it’s easy to forget the action items you assigned or what your team decided to do. There is no more helpful feature than Slack Reminder. It allows setting all kinds of reminders both for yourself and for your colleagues. It’s even possible to set reminders for the whole channel using /remind command in direct messages to Slack Bot. Type /remind, then choose yourself or a team member using @ or #channel, what to do, and a due date.
The alternative way to remind yourself about some vital decisions or tasks you discussed is to select the needed message and click the three dots to open more information. In the opened menu, you will see Remind me about this option. Just select the time when you need to be reminded.
Simplify search with advanced options
Don’t despair if you haven’t starred or pinned a vital message. With Slack search capabilities and modifiers, you will be able to find any information or file once you remember any of the details like date, channel, who, or to whom it was sent.
Go to the Search box of Slack or use CTRL + F to start the search. Instead of browsing all the channels and chats through, you can filter the search results with many parameters, including:
- in:#channel name or @username
- Or to:#channel name or @username, if you are sure that what you are looking for is located in a particular chat
- from:@username to find a message from a particular team member
- has:link or has:reaction when searching for messages that include URL or have received reactions
- after:your date, before:your date, on:your date, during:month/year filters will help you narrow down your search to specific dates and periods.
This is extremely convenient when you need to find some specific information.
Integrate the everyday work tools
Isn’t it great to have all your favorite apps and work tools in one place and being updated in real-time? This is very true with Slack. The service enables integration with up to 10 apps on a free version and no limit for Slack’s paid plans. It’s possible to add such tools as Google Calendar, Google Drive, Jira, Dropbox, Salesforce, and dozens of other applications.
Check the list and see what makes sense for you. To do this, go to Apps in the sidebar and use the Search box to find those you need. Add them in Slack and turn on the sync option.
Get more value from your tools with Slack integrations.
Create folders to reduce clutter
Slack’s updated user interface lets you create sections to group channels and better organize your workspace. Hover over the Channels, click the three dots icon and select Create a new section. You can name it to your liking. Upon the creation, drag channels or Direct Messages (DMs) into it.
Get to know keyboard shortcuts
Like many other software apps, Slack offers numerous shortcuts that help users navigate with minimum effort, save time and increase efficiency. The list of shortcuts is massive, and you can see them all by pressing CTRL+/. You are unlikely to remember all of them. Instead, pick two or three that can replace the manual manipulations you do more often and test them. Once you get used to them, choose two or three more.
One more tip for the road
We have only scratched the surface of a few of our favorite tricks in Slack, but there is a lot to learn if you want to become a Slack pro.
One final tip – don’t be afraid and practice on yourself. If you aren’t sure about formatting a message or sending files or something else, the safest way to test it out is to send it to yourself by clicking on your name under DMs. Plus, you can use chat with yourself to save links, messages, and information you will want to use or send later.