Should your team use Slack?

Simple Slack Tips for teams

As we discussed last week, when you work in a team, communication excellence demands a whole lot more than Skype can deliver. Proper team-led comms are what we needed, and Slack proved so comprehensive that we noticed the difference the moment we started using it.

Slack is designed to replace your inbox, becoming the place where all team communications happen. Last time we took a general overview of Slack in all its glory. This week we are giving away some top tips for making the most of this fantastic tool, really handy if you are used to Skype and new to Slack. If you have not give it a go yet, this might just inspire you.

Slack Keyboard shortcuts for teams

  • Firstly, there are loads of keyboard shortcuts. Explore them by keying in ⌘+? On a Mac and Ctrl+? On Windows
  • Next, If you do not fancy learning an amount of commands and keyboard shortcuts, just remember to do a  forward slash at the beginning of every message to see a list of commands to choose from  
  • Slack’s Quick Switcher is the fastest way to open a conversation. Press Ctrl+K on Windows or ⌘+T  on a Mac to surface the auto-complete and flip through channels, DMs and Groups
  • Pressing the Up arrow lets you edit your most recent message, whatever channel you are in
  • Finally, You can add reminders for yourself, the team, or an entire channel

Slack channels tips

  • If you want to make certain someone sees a comment you have made, use the @mentions tag
  • All Unread reveals all the messages you have not read from every channel, in one place. You can browse unread channels alphabetically, by age, or let Slack order them as priorities depending on what it thinks is most important to you – slack is that clever!
  • Private chat is the way to go if you want to have a private one-on-one conversation. Use @everyone in the #general channel to notify everyone when you need to speak to the entire team
  • Opening Recent Mentions delivers a list of the times your name has been mentioned. Click recent ones, and you go straight to the right place in the conversation
  • Hide unimportant channels by tapping their name in the list
  • Try setting up a #resources channel for the plugins, design resources and blog posts
  • You can star an item to signify something important or something you might need to revisit, for example, a URL or screenshot you will need later
  • You can star channels, messages and people. If you know something is essential, you can star it then click on the star to the top right later on to see all the relevant messages. In fact, every message, file and comment can be starred, and you can quickly view everything you have starred in time order

Slack notifications hints

  • Firstly, your notification settings for each channel can be set to @mentions to stop the system making noises at you
  • Set your notification sound in two easy steps. In addition, you can also customise the colours if you like, and add emojis. If you use Slack for more than one team, you can differentiate them with themed sidebars
  • There are various unread messages options, which you will find under the Read State Tracking option in the account menu
  • Next, you can add reminders for yourself, the team, or an entire channel
  • Focus on notifications for words that mean something to you – Go to Notification Settings, find Highlighted Words and add the words and phrases you want to trigger an alert when someone in the team uses them. Separate the words with commas, and they are not case-sensitive
  • You can also stop notifications for unwanted keywords and phrases from your channels

Slack search shortcuts

  • The search function in Slack is fantastic. It is effortless to search through old conversations and files
  • When you know what you are looking for, you can add search modifiers to help you find it. Examples are in:#channel and from: user. The tab key auto-completes user and channel names for you. If you cannot remember what you said but know roughly when you said it, you can use during: month to find it

Sack 3rd-party Integrations

  • It is easy to integrate Slack with Google Drive, Hangouts, Google Docs, Twitter and Dropbox. However, that is just the tip of the iceberg – there are lots more Slack integration options to take enjoy too
  • If you have any technical questions, you can direct @slackbot to find answers for you. Slack’s robot is so helpful – and he likes it when you are polite!
  • Add Slack email aliases to your address book and give them a memorable name

Why we moved to Slack

Slack is improving our team communication and our working lives. We would love to know how you get on with it. Alternatively, you could learn more about why we moved from Skype to Slack.