The desktop and browser application Slack is widely used among companies as a way to manage and mobilize their team. According to its website, Slack has over 10 million daily users around the globe. If you’re a business looking for a way to keep track of your employees, or you’re an employee just getting started with a company that uses Slack, this article will teach you how to use Slack.
Learning how to use Slack is very simple, as the application provides an extremely user-friendly experience and interface. Regardless, in this guide to Slack, we give an in-depth look at the best Slack tips, ideas, and tricks to ensure you get the most out of it. Keep reading to learn about channel notification set up, sharing files and sending direct messages, and everything in between.
What Is Slack?
Slack is a platform used by companies for the communication of their work teams. This platform allows real-time communication through chat, direct messages, and content sharing. Thanks to Slack, you can unify systems, software, and tools like Google Drive in a single ecosystem that allows collaboration to work effectively.
Why Do You Need Slack?
Slack can be an exceptional project management tool that can replace direct messaging and instant messaging, as well as email between team members. Slack users can use the desktop version to perform their work activities in a single application, and coordinate and collaborate from anywhere. They can utilize the mobile version if they’re on the go.
Slack Use Cases
- Workspaces: Slack allows users to configure one or several workspaces for the same business. Depending on the size of a business, it may be necessary to have only one workspace or several if it is a large company.
- Direct messaging: The Slack workspace allows you to send a message to your remote team members. The messages are instantaneous via chat. Thanks to this feature you can reduce the use of emails or text messages. You can share relevant messages to a public channel or send private messages.
- Team communications: Slack is a communication software that allows you to communicate with a single team member or the entire team quickly. Slack communication is easy through your workspace channels. It also provides a convenient way to view the conversation history.
- Channels: In Slack, you can create channels dedicated to certain topics. There are public channels that can be joined by any member of your team. Private channels require an invitation to join and participate from the channel management team members. Discussions in channels help remote and in-person workers stay connected.
- Sharing: Slack allows you to share files and documents, apart from text messages, to a team channel. Through the application, you can share documents, images, videos, and audio files with your work teams.
Key Terms You Need to Know to Use Slack
Channels are spaces created to work in Slack and share messages and files with people in a team. Each team can have entire channels dedicated to dealing with specific topics or projects and thus be able to work in an organized way.
There are many channel suggestions, but you can customize your channel directory however you see fit. For example, there are some Slack channels for software engineers to find advice and support, and other Slack channels for product managers.
A Slack workspace is a place designed for a team to stay connected. In a workspace, teams can work efficiently by finding the information and tools they need, as well as services, to help them work together. Email threads can become lengthy and confusing. A Slack workspace can be easier to navigate.
Using the custom status tool offered by Slack, you can let your colleagues know that you are having lunch, busy in a meeting, or on vacation. Suggested statuses can be customized by the workspace administrator. You can set your icon to the do-not-disturb mode if you are going to be unavailable for an extended time.
In Slack, keywords are used to notify you when a topic you are interested in is being discussed in the channels you have joined. Slack will send you an alert so that you see the keyword highlighted in yellow in the conversation. You won’t be notified if the word is mentioned in confidential conversations in a channel you haven’t joined.
Huddles refer to audio-only conversations that occur through a Slack channel or direct messages. Slack allows you to send audios via chat to one or more members of a team’s channels. This can be useful for focused, one-off conversations with a single user, as well as to communicate important information.
Equipment You’ll Need for Slack
- Internet connection: To use Slack effectively, you will need a good, stable, and secure Internet connection. Since in Slack you can handle sensitive information of your company, it is better to connect on a secure network, such as your home network or your phone, and not on public networks. You can also set up two-factor authentication.
- Laptop: You can use Slack from your laptop. It is best to use Slack from your work laptop, so you can do all your tasks from one place. However, you could use Slack on different computers and there would be no problem.
- Slack app: You can use the Slack application from your personal computer or a cell phone. Slack is available in its desktop version, and you can also download the app on your iOS or Android device.
- Mobile phone: Having the Slack app on your mobile phone is very useful. No matter where you are, you will be able to receive notifications and keep up with Slack messages or updates from the channels you have joined. In addition, all Slack functions can be performed from the mobile version so you can participate.
- Microphone: You need a microphone if you are using Slack from your computer. With the microphone, you can record audio or talk on video calls. A camera may be required of you as well.
How to Set Up and Start Using Slack
Step 1: Download Slack
The first thing you must do to start using Slack is to download the application on the device or devices where you want to use it. You can download the desktop app or the app for your iOS or Android smartphone, and accept privacy policies to start creating a workspace. There are troubleshooting tips online if you have any issues, or you can contact Slack customer support teams.
Step 2: Create a Slack Workspace
Slack workspace creation requests require an email address. Here you must use the email address from your company’s domain. Once you create the workspace with this email address, you will receive an email with a confirmation code. Then, you only need to follow some simple steps provided by Slack to complete the workspace creation.
Step 3: Add Your Team Members
Once you have created the workspace, you can add team members in different ways. One way is to send an invitation link that is sent directly from Slack to their email. You can also create an invitation link that anyone can use to join, or allow email signup so that anyone with your company domain can join.
Step 4: Create Channels
Create dedicated channels for different topics, and add the desired members to each channel. You can create a channel for a key project that is being carried out with the team members working on that specific project. You can also add a single channel for each department or office location to keep everyone organized. You’ll include the name of the channel in the channel header.
Step 5: Integrations
You can add the tools you use frequently in Slack. This way you and your team members can use custom apps in the same workspace. You can find the workspace apps that are available in the Slack app directory. Among the most used are integrations for file storage, meetings, and calendars.
The Importance of Slack for Business
Slack allows a company’s work team to be in the same workspace and able to join the different default channels to integrate work. In addition, it is an easy to use app that offers keyboard shortcuts, Slack status, among other features that make it user-friendly. It is perfect for communicating to one single person or small group of people through direct messages, or an entire channel through Slack channels.
Many companies are adjusting to a more remote format. According to Statista, over 14 percent of workers work from home five days per week. Without the opportunity to interact face-to-face, many companies need software like Slack to stay productive and carry out their usual tasks and processes.
Top Slack Tips: Use Slack Like a Pro
- Set up your profile: Create a good profile so that your coworkers can easily find you. You should upload a clear profile picture, put your full name, and include some details such as what you do in the company. You can customize your screen by using dark mode, arranging your Slack keyboard layout, or using emojis.
- Mentions: @mentions help you notify a specific member about a topic. It’s especially useful when it’s something urgent or when you want to get someone’s attention to unread messages in a channel. You can also send a quick follow-up message if someone does not respond.
- Use emojis: Emojis in Slack have meaning beyond being funny. They are especially useful to react instead of sending text messages in channels. You can also add your own custom emoji to the menu.
- Customize notifications: You can configure the notifications you receive to help you prioritize your tasks. You can use the “do not disturb” mode to not receive notifications outside your working hours. You can also choose the conversations you want to receive notifications for, and those you don’t, using keywords. You can then pause notifications at will.
- Add tools: You can add tools in Slack so you can do everything from one place. For example, you can add the tools you use most for work, such as file storage services, email, and calendar.
Slack for Different Professions
|Software Developer||Share files or documents with team members|
|Software Engineer||Unify workflows|
|Administrative Assistant||Completing daily tasks fast and on the same day as requested|
|Business Administrator||Make strategic decisions quickly|
|Recruiter||Organize and schedule meetings with potential candidates|
|PR Manager||Answering and sending emails|
|Graphic Designer||Compile adequate information and share designs|
|Product Manager||Obtain answers and answer questions on assigned tasks|
|Project Manager||Knowing the progress of projects and assigning tasks|
|Digital Marketer||Collecting feedback and comments from the team|
Should You Use Slack?
Yes, you should use Slack. In addition to providing effective communication with workspace members, Slack offers a framework for apps so that daily users can take advantage of this platform and work with other tools from one place.
Slack is not only a messaging app, it also integrates other functions that facilitate quick access to other apps and improve internal communication with your work teams. If you are a remote worker, using Slack is a great way to communicate with your larger team.
How to Use Slack FAQ
Slack is an application that allows you to work and communicate with your colleagues in the same place and at all times. It helps in facilitating remote work, allowing you to share documents, video share files, among other things with your team. Within the app, you can find a list of channels you can join to start collaborating with individual teams.
The best way to use Slack is to enable slack notifications for the most important channels you have joined. You can prioritize your daily tasks and mute channels that are not so urgent to review, according to the channel topic. In addition, you can use the search bar to search messages to find answers to your questions, which helps you work faster.
Slack is a communication hub that has set itself the difficult task of solving the biggest challenge of remote work, which is communication. Without the need to have a communication overload, you can work on key projects and connect with your team members in the same place, which is why it has become a widely used app by big, remote companies in recent years.
Yes, Slack is better than email in a lot of ways. Slack makes the task of communicating in real-time easier than long email chains. In Slack, you have direct communication through channels, and you can easily see unread messages. If you insist on using email, you can integrate your email into the Slack platform to get a complete work experience.
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