Slack It To Me: 7 Simple Tips To Optimize Slack

February 9, 2021

“I’ll slack you.” If you work at an organization that uses Slack, that’s probably something you hear or say often. If you do not use Slack and/or aren’t familiar with it, I promise it’s not as offensive as it sounds.  

It’s incredible how communication platforms like Slack are integrated in the day-to-day of employees around the world. Especially in the past year, it’s how people stay connected, collaborate, and in many instances, experience company culture.  

That said, as folks lean on Slack to lessen the volume of emails and meetings, it can run the risk of becoming overwhelming, disruptive, and counterproductive. The good news? There’s plenty of tips and recommendations out there on how to avoid just that.   

Whether you’re new to Slack or someone who uses Slack as a verb, here are a few ways to optimize Slack for you, your team, and organization. (And if you’re rolling out Slack company-wide, be sure to educate your people on said tips!)  

Quick tips for Slack sanity:  

  • Organize your sidebar and customize the section names to keep channels, DMs, and apps neat and tidy based on your preferences. 
  • To put it bluntly: Avoid blowing up channels. Responding in threads is the right way to go for responding to messages in channels to keep conversations organized and contained. (And it’s a good idea for DMs, too.)  
  • Most of us have probably been on the receiving end of a “reply all” situation with large email communications. Manage the permissions for @here and @channel in company-wide channels to avoid excessive noise, to keep announcements focused, and to not disrupt employees in other time zones.  
  • Avoid a Slack attack consuming your day. Configure your notifications to set notification triggers (meaning, whether a DM, mention, and/or keyword will trigger a notification) your notification schedule (i.e., only during working hours, no messages on the weekends, etc.), notification sound and appearance, and more.  

    Tip: When you need to go heads down, how about turning on “Do Not Disturb” to pause your notifications? Your team will see that notifications are paused and will still have the option to notify you if something is urgent. 
  • Have you ever looked at a Slack message, went back to what you were doing, and realized, perhaps days later, that you forgot to respond? SAME. Use the “unread” and/or the “remind me about this...” features to easily re-visit messages when you have time to do so.
  • Alleviate the pressure to respond to messages right away. Let your team know when you’re in a meeting or not in the office by syncing your Slack status with your calendar.   

    Tip: Not into that? You can also simply manually update your Slack status to let people know if you’re heads down, on calls for a period of time, or if you’ve stepped away.  
  • Repeat after me: It’s OK to leave channels! If the topic is no longer relevant or a project has ended, say sayonara.
 Additional reading: 

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Becky Sennett

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