Slack has become one of the most-used collaboration apps. It is used by many companies and teams and is overthrowing old chat group models. However, as good as it is, most users only use it as a simple chat application for sending messages to individuals or groups. There are many more things Slack has to offer, in addition to instant messaging.
Here are seven tips to get the best out of Slack.
1. Getting Slack reminders
This feature means you never have to forget an important thing again. You can get it to send reminders to yourself or even members in the channel. These could be reminders for important meetings, to-do items or even motivational messages.
To set a reminder, type:
/remind @Afam Drink Water 2 PM.
2. Reducing noise
Slack has your organization all in one place. Unfortunately, many people often have a lot to say. To mute notifications when you are mentioned and also make sure unread messages are not bold, type
/mute in the message box. This is especially useful for channels where you have a lot of updates from bots.
If you just want to have some “me” time and not have anyone to disturb you, you can enable the Do Not Disturb (DND) mode by clicking the bell icon from the sidebar and selecting the time or typing the
/dnd command. Now all your teammates can keep sending you stuff, and you can get to them the next morning.
And here’s the best thing, It’s already enabled automatically from 10 PM to 8 AM in your timezone, but you can change the default time if you want. Once the DND time is done, you’ll get a notification of all the things you missed.
There’s also an emergency mode that allows your teammates to push through a notification, but only if it’s really important.
3. Text formatting for messages
Just like many messaging apps, Slack allows the formatting of messages. This comes in handy when you need to point something out or perhaps bring others’ attention to your message. Some basic formatting can be done with the use of asterisks (*), underscores (_), and tilde (~) symbols.
- Asterisks (*) are used to make words bold by placing them at both ends of the intended word.
- Underscores (_) around any word makes it appear in italics
- Tilde symbols (~) around a word makes a strike-through appear.
Now, if you prefer a lengthy post with more formatting options, you can click the “+” button and select “Create Post.” A new window will pop up for you to start typing.
Slack supports simple Markdown. You can format text using the popup bar and drag in images. Once you’re done, share it to whichever channel you want.
4. Quickly search and send a GIF image
This might be one of the coolest features of Slack. I spend a lot of time on Giphy trying to find the right GIFs or animated images to slack some of my cool colleagues. This is not the most productive way to spend working hours. Thankfully, Slack makes this search quick and effective.
/giphy and a word or phrase you need a GIF for, send the message and you are all done.
5. Keep track of all important messages
This is a simple, but very time effective, hack. Having to scroll through message lists to find that one important message, or to scroll through channels to find just one message, is not just a laborious task but also a very big test of your focus.
Slack provides a sweet and easy way to pass this huddle. The steps are pretty straightforward.
1. Once you stumble upon an important message, click on the star to the right of the message.
2. Whenever you need to see your important messages, simply click on the star in the topmost right corner.
6. Quick catchup on conversations
For most Slack users, especially in large to medium organizations, there are many channels and a lot of catching up to do every morning. Many users probably have the habit of going through every channel one after the other to read all the messages just to make sure they didn’t miss out on anything important. You can waste as much time online as you sometimes do in the real world.
A better way of reading all the messages from your channel is by using the Slack “All Unreads” feature. This feature shows all the messages from your channels you have not read in one place. It gives the option to browse these unread messages alphabetically or by newest or oldest.
To set up all unreads:
1. In Slack click your workspace name in the top left.
2. From the menu select Preferences.
3. Click “Sidebar.”
4. Check the box next to show All Unreads.
7. Integrate Google Drive
Google drive has become invaluable to today’s organizations. Slack has also done very well to make sure that an integration is seamless. The steps are quite straightforward.
1. Click on “Apps” on the lower-left corner of your application.
2. Search for Google Drive using the text box.
3. Click “Install” in front of Google Drive
4. Click “Authenticate your Google Drive account.”
5. Sign in to Google Drive and click Install.
A whole lot more can be done to optimize your Slack usage and make you even more productive. The good thing about Slack is that it has a great team that constantly improves the app for the millions of users worldwide, so you can expect more cool features and functionality that will help you easily harness the best features of slack.