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12 Slack Hacks to Make Communication at Work Easier

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Linsay ThomasGuest Blogger
October 05, 2016 · 2.3k Views

If your job requires collaborating with others on a regular basis, your team may use Slack. Slack is a cloud-based internal tool to help team members stay productive. You can create channels for various topics and projects so everyone stays connected. You can integrate all the apps you use the most so you don’t have to deal with the constant switching back and forth. You can also send instant messages to specific colleagues.

Slack offers a lot of functionality, but chances are you may not even be aware of most of the features you can use to do even more. Read on to discover a dozen different ways in which you can use Slack to save time and be even more productive.


12 Slack Hacks for More Effective Communication at Work


  1. Use keyboard shortcuts.

    slack keyboard shortcuts

    Source: developpeur-wordpress.com

    It takes time to go to a menu and select what you’re looking for. As with any app, keyboard shortcuts can save you time. While you’re in any channel, type /keys and you’ll bring up the keyboard shortcuts screen. You can also go to Preferences, then Advanced Options and select Other Options to turn on certain shortcuts to make your experience even better. You can also print out this article for reference. It features the most commonly used shortcuts for messaging, navigation and switching teams.

  2. Format text. 
    Slack doesn’t offer the formatting tools that Word has, but you can still add some formatting to make your text stand out. You just have to remember a few symbols to make it work:

         triangle icon  Place asterisks around text to make it bold.

         triangle icon  To italicize text, place underscores around it.

         triangle icon  Add ~tildes~ to either side of our text to strikeout.

         triangle icon  Place backticks (`) around content to format it as slack code.

         triangle icon  Add an emoji by adding colons around the emoji name :emoji name:. For example, :smile: becomes smile emoji on slack

         triangle icon  Here’s a cool hint: If you know what kind of formatting you want, but don’t know how to accomplish it, type the format you               want and a guide will appear on the right to help. 

    slack icon You might also like: How to Write Effective Emails to Save Everyone's Time

  3. Connect your Google Drive to Slack.

    google drive slack

    Source: get.slack.help

    Chances are, you already have a Google Drive for storing files. Get the best of both worlds by connecting it to Slack. You can do this by sharing your Google Drive link with Slack. Enter the link into a message box and Slack will ask you if you want to import it. Click “Yes” and your files will be imported into Slack so you don’t have to toggle between apps.

  4. Integrate Google Calendar.

    google calendar on slack

    Source: get.slack.help

    Besides connecting your Google Drive, you can also connect your Google Calendar. This is one of the newest and most useful features. Slack currently doesn’t coordinate team reminders, so Google Calendar fulfills this need. With Google Calendar, you can also post reminders to various channels. To integrate Google Calendar, go to Configure Integrations, select Google Calendar and continue with the steps to connect.

  5. Integrate with Skype.

    skype on slack

    Source: blogs.skype.com

    Don’t communicate enough with your team through Slack? Ask your team members to add their Skype information to their profiles and you can call them when necessary. When you open up the team directory, you’ll see the person’s Skype details.

    slack icon You might also like: 8 Simple Ways to Better Manage Your Time

  6. Search easily.
    Looking for a specific keyword in one of your files or messages? You can easily conduct advanced searches and find what you need. If you type in:channelname, you can search a specific channel.

         triangle icon  If you type in:name, you can search direct messages with a specific user.

         triangle icon  Search messages you’ve sent by typing from:me.

         triangle icon  Type from:username to find messages from a specific user.

         triangle icon  If you’re looking for a URL, try typing has:link to narrow down messages that have links.

         triangle icon  Type has:star if you’re looking for a message you’ve starred.

         triangle icon  If you’re looking for a message that contained an emoji, type has:emojiname.

         triangle icon  You can also search by date and time by using terms such as “yesterday,” “today,” “2016, “Friday,” “May” or “week.

  7. Reminder features.

    slack reminders

    Source: tipsforbeginner.com

    Slack is a great tool for setting reminders, which can be extremely helpful if you have a busy day ahead. Besides setting reminders, you can easily manage them as well. By typing in /remind list, you can view all of your upcoming reminders and their IDs. The ID is important in case you ever want to cancel a reminder. Type /remind cancel [ID] and that reminder will be removed from the list.

  8. Sign out everywhere.

    slack sign out everywhere

    Source: uk.pcmag.com

    You may be signed into Slack on your desktop, laptop, smartphone and tablet. Signing out on all these devices individually can be a tedious process. Thankfully, you don’t have to. Just go to Account & Profile, then Settings, then Sign out all other sessions.

    slack icon You might also like: 8 Eays Ways to Create a More Productive Workspace

  9. Send a notification to everyone.

    slack channel notification

    Source: Slack

    Want to get everyone’s attention? Just use the @everyone tag in your message and everyone in your team will receive the message. If you want to communicate with everyone in your channel or group, use @channel or @group, respectively.

  10. Highlight words.

    slack highlight words

    slack highlight

    Source: get.slack.help

    If you’re interested in communication regarding a certain word or phrase, Slack will notify you when the word is used. Go to You, then Preferences, then Notifications, then Highlight Words.

  11. Use the shrug shortcut.  

    slack shrug

    Source: Slack

    Just type /shrug to add ¯_(ツ)_/¯ to any message.

    slack icon You might also like: 21 Twitter Accounts to Follow for Helpful Career Advice

  12. Add color to your messages.

    slack color message

    Source: littlebigdetails.com

    Black text is so boring. Change the color to red, blue, green or whatever your heart desires – as long as you know the six-character hexadecimal code. Type in a code and a color swatch will appear. Just make sure you type in all six characters. Typing in just three or four won’t produce any results. Check out this list of over 500 hexadecimal color codes.

Slack is a great tool for enhancing communication and productivity within a team. Even if Slack seems to be working well for you at the moment, there’s always more you can learn to make Slack work to your advantage. Use some of the hacks above and you’ll be able to check off more items on your to-do list and maybe add a bit of fun to everyday communication with your team.

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linsaythomas profile picture
Linsay Thomas is a seasoned writer and editor who has written thousands of articles about topics such as saving money, healthcare, law, pets and education. She hails from California, where she lives with her husband, two children and a menagerie of pets. When she's not writing, she enjoys sports, breeding chocolate Labs and visiting the beach.

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