5 Tips and Tricks You Need to Know About Slack
Master Slack to improve your company's communication.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Whether you're transitioning your team to remote work or simply want to improve team communication, consider looking into project management software. Knowing where to start is a challenge, and there are several different programs you can choose from. Some apps may fit your team better than others. This article aims to explain the benefits of one program in particular: Slack.
What is Slack?
Slack is a free-to-use project management software that's used to promote team communication. It's primarily a messaging app used for connecting your team together and is available for desktop and mobile devices. Besides messaging, it allows for file sharing and app integration to increase productivity and efficiency. It's also a useful tool for project managers to view all the communication and progress surrounding the projects they oversee. The following tips and tricks will help you start implementing this app into your team:
1. Create chat channels.
Slack's main feature is a way to organize chat rooms for different purposes. Channels are completely customizable to your needs and preferences. A channel can be created for each team involved in a project, so relevant conversations can happen in separate locations. This helps prevent one text group from becoming overwhelmed. Channels can also be categorized by a specific project or topic.
Many companies collaborate with each other, and shared channels provide a communication point for multiple groups. This allows partnerships to work together better without releasing more information than is needed. These are valuable relationships, and Slack wants to make sure the flow of communication is constant.
Private channels can be created for limited access. They're only visible to those who are granted permission to enter them. This can be a place for sensitive information exclusively for managers. I like to use them as a place to store things I might forget. Again, the flexibility of these channels can fit pretty much every need you may have.
Related: 4 Ways You Can Use Google Hangouts to Optimize Efficiency
2. Keep track of messages.
The purpose of Slack's chat channels is to organize information and projects to streamline efficiency. Despite all that, important messages can sometimes be lost with time. There are two ways you can resolve this:
- Messages or files that need to be referred to often can be pinned. Pinning a message is simple, and stores the chosen message in an easy-to-access tab.
- A search bar allows you to type in keywords that bring up matching results. If you know what you are looking for, this is a quick way to locate a lost message.
These features make finding information easier than scrolling back through dozens of messages at a time, potentially skipping over the one you need. It's just another benefit of using Slack to improve your time management.
3. Set Do Not Disturb.
You can get notifications at any time! When you're ready to turn in for the night, be sure to enable Do Not Disturb so someone else's productivity doesn't get in the way of your much-needed sleep. This is especially valuable when working with people in different time zones or with flexible schedules. Sleep deprivation negatively affects your work performance the next day, so it's important for you to rest when you can.
Related: 6 Tricks You Need to Know About Zoom
4. Connect with your employees.
Slack is good for so much more than communication and organizing. Using its features helps you connect with your employees and share your appreciation for them. Connect your Calendar to Slack and you will receive a notification when it is somebody's birthday.
The direct messaging system in Slack gives you a location to share personal messages with your employees. Some people enjoy receiving praise in public for others to see, which can be done on public channels. For the more introverted, a private message can show you care and appreciate them without making them feel uncomfortable.
Going back to channels, you can decide to create some casual chat rooms for your employees to connect with each other. A positive company atmosphere is important, especially when collaboration is involved. For teams that work remotely, co-workers can feel like nothing more than a name on a screen. Getting to know those names and the stories behind them can help your team foster a strong work ethic and a desire to cooperate.
5. Integrate apps.
Many of the apps your team already use can be integrated with Slack. These include, but are not limited to, Google Drive, Dropbox, Asana and Zoom. When you use these apps, they follow the pattern of conversation seamlessly. It creates an interactive chat bubble within the channel itself so you don't need to keep every single app open.
The app integration capabilities of Slack also helps declutter your computer. Having too many tabs open may slow down your connection and can make it difficult to find what you need, wasting valuable time. Slack works as an extension for the apps you need and can open up those tabs only when they are needed.