Slack Survival Tips

✨ Slack tips to survive and thrive online 🚀

Published: Thursday, Apr 21, 2022 Last modified: Sunday, Sep 11, 2022

Prompted by Rehan van der Merwe and my plea video.

Proposals to make Slack better at workplaces:

Tag @mention the relevant team member

If you don’t tag the team member you cannot expect that team member to read it.

Limit amount of channels

More channels makes it more difficult to navigate between and as a consequence hides content. Keep your team to one channel.

Prioritise by Stars

If you are working across teams, star the channel if you need to do something with it. That way you’ll get a clean side bar.

Use the reminder function to remind yourself to respond

Typically one can use both the bookmark and reminder function to not miss an important message or question.

Bookmark across teams using Pins

Instead of bookmarking, you can Pin important messages. Other team members will be able to see it.

Pinned messages

Say “bye” 👋

One gigantic problem with Slack is disconnecting from work. Establish a Way of working with your team. For example the simple gesture of saying “bye” at end of the working day might help.

Focus time

You can set your slack work hours, it will put the 💤 icon next to your name if you are offline.

Notification schedule

Use huddles

Frictionless quick conversation and share your screen via huddle.

You don’t need Zoom or Google Meet.

Record a video clip

If you need to show something, instead of calling for a huddle and a screen share, take a short video of the issue!

A video can be worth a 1000 words if you are reporting a bug for example that relates to UX. It also avoids wasting time, since you can retake the video to make sure it communicates your intent.

Organise channels

Group and organize your channels in the menu by category (called sections), you can even place an icon next to each category.

Foster a positive culture

Inspired by https://www.heytaco.chat/ for driving team building.

Some workspaces make Friday a half day and make it a point to recognise the past week’s worth of work with some “shout outs” and fun.

Last, but not least summarise

When there is a finding / decision / conclusion, make the effort to summarise. A good structure is the Alexandrian Pattern (also used in ADRs):

  1. Context
  2. Problem
  3. Solution

The summary ideally fits in a 280 character tweet!