Slack is a great way to make your remote team feel a little closer. It is a valuable aid in many collaboration situations, although it is not so much a tool for project management. Rather it is a matter of relationships. Here’s what you need to know about using Slack and what it’s good for.
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The easiest way to think of Slack is: “WhatsApp for businesses.” If you are now wondering why businesses need WhatsApp, stay tuned with us. We’ll explore both how to use Slack and where it fits into your team’s workflow. We’ll also see why Slack’s utility goes beyond Assisting teams working from home.
What is Slack for?
Before we get into how to use Slack, it’s helpful to first understand why it’s needed in the first place.
consider what is missing From a remote work setup: The ability to lean over and tap your colleague on the shoulder.
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While you can always send an email to someone on the other side of the world, it’s not the same as asking a question quickly. Most of us check our email several times a day, which means we don’t respond quickly. Therefore, email is usually the longer form.
Sometimes you need to ask a question and get an immediate response.
Sometimes you need to ask a question and get an immediate response. Other times you may use some of the information but not consider it worthy of the entire email chain.
Slack also serves the need for chit-chat. While some managers may view chit-chat as a curse of productivity, the truth is that it helps build relationships, brings coworkers closer together, and generally greases the quagmire of teamwork. Slack can create a sense of camaraderie that other tools can’t.
In short, Slack is the one place for all communication that doesn’t lend itself to an email and doesn’t revolve around updates to an ongoing project. And given that many companies are spread across multiple sites or just huge buildings, it can also be useful for teams that are still in the office!
how to use slack
With that in mind, let’s take a look at how to use Slack.
First, you have to make sure everyone on your team has access. Slack is available as an app for Android and iOS, but it can also be accessed through the website at Slack.com. Everyone who wishes to participate will need to create a profile (you will also be given the option to do so when setting up your workspace).
To get started, you’ll need to create a “workspace” for your team. This is your personal Slack which will contain all the channels and conversations related to your organization. You can create a new workspace by going to slack.com/create.
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Choose a name for your workspace and add any coworkers you want to add immediately (or skip this step). You will also be given a URL that will be unique to your team based on the name of the workspace. This is easy, as users can go directly to that page to start a chat.
Of course, if your company already has Slack, you can just Join an already existing Slack workspace!
User groups and channels
From here, you can go about setting up some of the other features of your Slack workspace. For example, you can create new channels, which are effectively groups within your Slack workspace. These can be public or private and allow you to discuss a particular topic or chat within a specific group.
For example, you may have channels for different departments within your organization. Alternatively, you can have a channel for a particular project that a few people are working on. The channel can be anything. This serves to prevent a single thread from being shut down and unmanageable.
Here android authorizationWe have channels for device reviews, for YouTube channels, for “off-topic” chats, for different regions, for welcoming new members, and more.
You can view all current channels in the left menu under the “Channels” tab. To create a new channel, simply press “Add Channel”. All members can do so by default.
Administrators can also create user groups (they can extend this permission to normal users as well). This is a simple way to label entire groups of users for easy reference. For example, you may want to group managers, editors or freelancers.
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how to use slack for chat etc
Chatting in Slack should sound familiar to anyone who has used the chat app before. Simply go to the channel you want to chat with and scroll down the page to read past messages. If that’s all that has been said, you’ll have the option of jumping straight to the bottom. If you have something to contribute, just start typing in the textbox at the bottom. You can add attachments, links, and messages, and there are options for some basic formatting (bold, italic, bullet, etc.).
You can also tag specific team members by tagging them @His name. Tagging this way also works for user groups and channels. This will notify the person (unless they have turned off notifications in Settings). When you are ready to share your message, press Send.
threads and direct messages
Alternatively, you can directly reply to individual messages to create threads within the main channel. To do so, simply hover over the message and select the speech bubble icon to “Reply in thread.” If you’re on the desktop, this will open a window on the right, where you can see other responses as well. If you’re on mobile, just tap the message thread.
In addition to jumping between channels and threads, you can also send direct messages to people using the “Direct Messages” list on the left. This shows a list of people you’ve recently messaged. However, you can also choose to “Add teammates” to message someone new. Note that you can see who is currently online or offline, as indicated by a small green or empty circle next to their name.
tips and tricks
Now you know how to use Slack, it’s time to start using it Better.
Did you know that Slack means “searchable log of all communication and knowledge”? As you might expect, you can also search through an entire backlog of messages. This is extremely useful if you’ve missed an announcement, password, link, or anything else important to your workflow. Just type your search query in the search box at the top of the UI. You can also filter your searches this way.
If you want to practice in a secure setting, try talking to a chatbot.
Another advanced feature Slack offers is the ability to add “apps.” These are plugins that extend Slack’s capabilities or integrate it with other tools and services. For example, Vacation Tracker is a handy applet that lets users request and authorize (or deny) vacation directly through Slack. Giphy, for example, lets users share Gifs. Others include Google Drive, Dropbox, Gmail and more!
It can be easy to learn shortcuts to increase productivity, too. You can view a list of quick actions by typing “Ctrl” and then “/”. Meanwhile, Alt and Back can be used to quickly go back to the previous channel. find more here. If you want to practice in a secure setting, try talking to Chatbot, which is an automated bot.
To change your status or update your profile, click on your profile picture at the top right of the screen.
One of the most important things to learn when using Slack is knowing where and when to use the app. not to do.
While Slack exists partly to facilitate friendly conversations, it’s important not to let it become a black hole that eats away at your productivity. Ask yourself if a request works better as an email — if it requires an information dump, for example, or if it’s non-urgent. Similarly, be polite but at the same time try to get to the point quickly.
Respect your coworkers’ time.
Respect your coworkers’ time, and likewise, remember that you don’t always have to respond to messages quickly. Being highly productive sometimes involves being in a state of uninterrupted flow – which can be tough if people keep pinging you!
If you need some uninterrupted work time, try changing your position to let your team know you’re unavailable. You can also find the option to stop notifications in this same window. Click “Preferences” and you’ll also be able to set the windows during which you do and don’t want to receive notifications. It’s especially important to avoid stressful messages when you’re trying to relax after a long day. Creating a separation between your work life and downtime is extremely important, especially If you work from home.
And remember: people can see you. If you’ve been spending all your time in an off-topic lounge, it’s going to be obvious to your managers!
With all that said, there’s no right or wrong way to use Slack. Along with the office, you will find that your workplace develops its own work culture and tone. Treat yourself like you would the office, and you won’t go wrong!
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