Slack has become a staple of work communication, so learning how to use Slack efficiently is necessary for most online organizations.
When Slack fails, Twitter erupts, and teams all around the globe are left to wait while they wait for it to resume.
Likely, your team is also using Slack for internal communication. So, this might be a good moment to learn how to use it!
What Is Slack?
It’s a web-based, real-time communication program, a private chat, and a collaboration area for your staff that can be used on PCs/laptops, mobile devices, and even a web app.
Many organizations use it as their primary internal text-based communication channel, with email/private forums/chat rooms having been replaced.
How to Use Slack: Know The Interface
Your Slack workspace is a private instance of the Slack communication software. The usual name and URL for the workspace will be the company’s name.
If you sign in to Slack using a link, the workspace name will appear in the upper left corner.
The most common way that Slack separates information into separate silos for different teams and topics is through channels. They’re similar to email threads.
The top left corner of your Slack interface displays all public channels, including the “Channels” link and the “Threads” button.
Creating a new workspace will include the channels #random and #general by default.
If you’re a freelancer or an employee looking for a way to utilize your current Slack workspace, you’ll almost certainly discover various departments, themes, and task channels.
How To Use Slack Channels
Channels are an excellent way to segment the communication in a company to make sense for everyone. The first step toward getting the most out of Slack is establishing and joining the correct channels.
You may also use groups to manage larger teams across many channels on premium plans.
Creating a Channel
Creating a channel in Slack is simple if you have the appropriate permissions. To do so, you must be a “Full Member” or “Admin.”
To add a channel, click the link “Add a channel” immediately below the listed channels or the highlighted plus sign next to the “Channels” header in the menu.
The “Create” button is where you go to generate a channel. Fill out the name and then click the “Create” button at the end of the page.
Channels on the channel platform may be public or private. Anyone can see public channels, whereas no one can view private channels outside of their network.
Click the menu link to create a channel, then fill it in with the name but this time choose “make channel private.”
Joining a Channel
You’ll automatically be part of the default channels when you join a workspace. The default channels in new workspaces are “general” and “random.”
If you want to link to other channels, go to the main channels menu and select a different option.
There’s a section on this page where you can view a channel breakdown for channels you haven’t joined yet. Keep in mind that only public channels will be shown here.
You may access all of the channels simply by clicking on them. If you click on a channel, it will show you the channel in “View Mode.” You can view recent messages and choose to join.
After you’ve verified it’s a channel you want to join, click the “Join Channel” button to complete the process.
Add People To The Channel
It’s more efficient to invite/add them to the necessary channels rather than have them go through the complete workspace and figure out where they should be when adding fresh team members to a workspace.
To add users to a channel, go to the channel you wish to add people to and click the “Add People to This Channel” link. Instead of “channel,” it will say “private channel” in private channels.
If the channel is private, Slack will display a notification informing you that the new member will see the entire chat history of the private channel.
Check whether the “Make a channel for this discussion” option is selected. If not, select it and click Continue.
You should see a page to add people to the channel now.
If you don’t want the world to see it, click “Make this channel private.” you’ll be sent straight to the “Add members to CHANNEL” page if it’s not. Select the team members you wish to add from the drop-down menu and then click add once you’ve found everyone.
How to Give a User Credentials to Create Channels
Everyone in your workspace can establish a channel by default. If you’re a visitor, you must ask the Slack admin to change your status to guest.
If you’re the workspace administrator, you can quickly change individual team members’ credentials in the “Manage Members” section of your Slack workspace administration.
Slack Message Options: Chats, Threads & Direct Messages
There are three basic separate messaging options in Slack:
Slack’s primary communication building block is regular chat messages. They’re what fill all of a Slack workplace’s numerous channels.
You may send a chat message by clicking the join button for any channel, writing it out in the text area, and then pressing enter.
A Slack thread is one in which there is at least one response. They’re a good way to keep discussions on track.
You may start a thread by replying to any chat message or direct message on any channel.
When you click it, a thread tab will appear on the right-hand side of the main chat bar. You may reply by typing your message and hitting enter after opening it.
When a message has shown into a thread, the “Start a thread” button changes to “Reply to thread,” and you will also be able to see the number of replies under the original message.
Direct Messages (Private Chats)
A direct message is a chat message addressed directly to another user in the workspace. You may send direct messages by selecting the name/icon of any user who has previously sent a message.
If the person hasn’t communicated with you lately, click “Direct Messages” in the left-hand menu to look for them.
In this case, the two of you will be engaging in a private chat.
Mentions are a fantastic method for ensuring that a certain team member pays attention to your message.
If they have a web app or a desktop app open, they will hear a sound alert on Slack that informs them of a new message addressed to them.
If you need to provide information to everyone in a certain channel, you may want to use the “@” key, either to quote a person, a channel or to communicate with the whole channel.
On the other hand, these two commands aren’t well-received by Slack users since other members frequently misuse them. Please don’t misuse them as a result.
You could be asking yourself, “What’s the point of changing Slack’s appearance?” But when you consider how much time you’ll spend staring at this interface, it all makes sense.
Depending on the demands of your job, you might be spending just under a third of your working day at work.
To change your Slack theme, go to “preferences” by clicking your workspace name in the top left corner and selecting it.
Then, go to the “Themes” menu and select the Light vs. Dark Slack theme. You may also freely personalize the sidebar’s theme to your preferences:
To the right of your name, you may choose a different Slack theme. You can also share your customized Slack theme with other people by clicking to the bottom of the page and choosing “Customize my style.”
Tip #1: Use Slack in your browser
You can open and close the page as you need to check in with your team.
Tip #2: Disable notifications
With notifications switched off, you push yourself to open Slack when necessary.
That way, you won’t be distracted by updates or messages while you’re working.
Use the desktop app to set up your Slack notifications for optimal focus.
Tip #3: Quick edit
To modify your message without leaving the keyboard, click the up arrow key on your keyboard in the channel you emitted the message. Slack will instantly launch the editor if you do this.
Tip #4: Set a reminder using Slackbot
Forget about making a to-do list in your iPhone, pasting it into Evernote, or creating a calendar event to remind yourself.
Instead, select Slackbot in Direct Messages (usually the first option) and write the following:
/remind [me / @someone / #channel] [what] [when]
Enter your command, and your favorite sidekick Slackbot will take care of the rest.
Tip #5: Quick memos or notes
You may use similar approaches to simplify your note-taking on Slack.
As long as you keep your notes in a protected section of Slack, they’ll be there for the rest of eternity if you send a direct message to Slackbot (or yourself).
Tip #6: Star important messages
To add a star to an important message, click the Star symbol. This allows you to store all of your vital messages in one place and make them easily accessible.
In the top right corner of your Slack window, the starred messages will be saved in “Starred Items.” You may quickly access everything from your Starred Items menu.
Tip #7: Only show unread channels
If you’re a member of more than five channels, I recommend you only view unread channels on your side panel. Then, Star any channels or direct messages that you wish to keep in place.
To do so, go to Preferences > Advanced > Channel List and pick “My unreads, along with everything I’ve starred.”
Tip #8: Mute distracting channels
To stop receiving notifications from a certain channel, go to settings, uncheck it, and turn off the option to receive notifications.
Tip #9. Notification preferences
You may also customize how your notifications are managed:
Here’s the keyboard shortcut to make it simple to modify your notification preferences:
- Mac: Command +,
- Windows: Ctrl +,
In the Preferences menu, you may change your notification display and sound.
There you go! That’s all you need to know to become more productive and efficient at Slack. All it takes is a bit of practice, patience, and some dedication to become a complete pro!