We’re big fans of Slack here at Percipio, it’s an essential part of our toolkit and as a communication tool, it carries the lifeblood of our business. All of our coordination and collaboration flows through it, it keeps us connected on a daily basis both with each other and with clients too. We’ve picked up a few tips over time that help keep this as smooth as possible, Slack-hacks if you will.
Avoid notification overload
Is the slack notification alert is ringing overtime, stopping you from reaching anything resembling a flow state? Are you flinching as the alert goes off every 3 seconds? You probably need to take a look at your notification settings.
In the Slack preferences, the first section is conveniently ‘Notifications’. Switch this to Notify me about… Direct messages, mentions and keywords. Thank us later. Just make sure that everyone else is aware that they need to @ you in the slack chat to get a response.
Set a notification schedule
Still in the preferences, you can set a notification schedule. If you want to prevent alerts haunting you in the dead of night, here is the place to do it.
Reduce channel clutter like a star
If your channel list starts getting super long like ours, finding the channel you need can become like finding a needle in a haystack. In truth a lot of channels may not be relevant to you anyway. To keep the Slack sidebar as simple as possible, star the channels that you use on a daily basis. Just click the star next to the #channel_name and it will populate a list above the main channels list. Collapse the channels list and you’ll have a much cleaner interface.
In addition to using the starred feature, you can create new sidebar sections to group together similar slack channels. Right click or Ctrl-Click on a section header in the sidebar, then select ‘Create New Section’. Call this what you like and you can tuck these folders away when you aren’t working on that client for example.
Pin important items to the channel
Templates, rules or briefs for a project can be pinned to a channel to make it easier for everyone to have the relevant information at hand.
/ Slash command shortcuts /
Type forward-slash ( / ) to activate the shortcuts menu anywhere in slack, and continue typing to access quick settings. For example, say you’re stuck in a big bit of work, you’ve got a deadline looming and you can’t focus for the other distractions
/dnd – Do not disturb! If you need to pause your notifications temporarily get your head down this is a quick fix, don’t forget to switch back when you are free again.
/status – Opens the status menu if you want to list yourself as gone to lunch or out of office.
Shortcuts like this used daily can save you precious time.
Slackbot is your friend
Not only can you use the slackbot channel as a personal notepad, but you can ask it to do things for you like set regular reminders.
Try for example;
remind me Check in with Design team at 10:00 every weekday
Slacks has an app store with loads of convenient integrations with other software. We use the Github and Trello integrations everyday. These allow us to update progress from Trello, and commits on Github to the relevant channel. We share these channels with clients to give a feed view of progress.
Another integration we love is Giphy. type /giphy followed by the text and you’ll instantly get a suitable animated Gif. Don’t like the one they suggest? Hit the shuffle button. Once you’re happy with the result, don’t forget to press SEND!