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.
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.
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:
Place asterisks around text to make it bold.
To italicize text, place underscores around it.
Add ~tildes~ to either side of our text to
Place backticks (`) around content to format it as .
Add an emoji by adding colons around the emoji name :emoji name:. For example, :smile: becomes
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.
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Connect your Google Drive to Slack.
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.
Integrate Google Calendar.
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.
Integrate with Skype.
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.
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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.
If you type in:name, you can search direct messages with a specific user.
Search messages you’ve sent by typing from:me.
Type from:username to find messages from a specific user.
If you’re looking for a URL, try typing has:link to narrow down messages that have links.
Type has:star if you’re looking for a message you’ve starred.
If you’re looking for a message that contained an emoji, type has:emojiname.
You can also search by date and time by using terms such as “yesterday,” “today,” “2016, “Friday,” “May” or “week.
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.
Sign out everywhere.
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.
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Send a notification to everyone.
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.
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.
Use the shrug shortcut.
Just type /shrug to add ¯_(ツ)_/¯ to any message.
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Add color to your messages.
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.