Slack Communication Tips
Slack is a communication app that allows you to form multiple workspaces, invite specific people to each of these workspaces, designate channels of discussion, and more. If you decide to use Slack, everyone involved in the workspace should download the Slack application and sign into the workspace on the devices they use most often. Members can additionally use app.slack.com to log into their respective workspaces in a browser-based application.
More tips to customize your Slack workspace can be found here.
Creating a Workspace
At slack.com/help, click on “Create a New Workspace” in the upper right hand corner of the screen, and click on “My team isn’t using Slack yet”. Enter your email and use the code to start your workspace by entering the name of your workspace/class and the name of your first channel (lesson, assignment, discussion topic, etc), and add the emails of people who should be included in this workspace.
Below is the menu from app.slack.com, with respective explanations of the functions. These menu options are in different locations on the mobile and desktop versions of the app.
1) The down arrow to the left of “1”brings up a menu of settings associated with your device and account. You can modify your profile settings from here. To sign into other workspaces that are not shown, select the arrow and press “Add Workspaces.” From here you can create new workspaces or find others that you’re a part of.
The message icon in this section allows you to write a message to any channel in the workspace, including the #general channel.
2) Mentions are a helpful place to keep track of any time another individual in a workspace mentions you specifically, which can be done by including @username in the message. This space also shows any reactions that other members have made to your posts.
On the desktop version of the app, select the “@” icon at the upper right hand corner of the screen to view your mentions.
3) In People, you can view the members of the workspace and invite more through email codes and direct invite links. On the desktop application, view the members of a channel by clicking the small person icon below the channel name.
In Apps you can connect applications like google calendar and google drive, to interact with other applications within Slack. You can schedule and join Zoom meetings directly from Slack as well.
4) Files includes any files that have been sent with messages in channels. On the desktop application, there is a menu with three dots at the upper right hand corner of the screen. The Files are accessible here.
5) Channels are discussion forums for specific topics. Channels can be public or private, allowing you to create channels that can only be contributed to and viewed by certain people, creating smaller discussion groups. Press the plus sign to create a new channel.
6) Direct messages on Slack can mimic one-on-one meetings or group discussions. Press the plus sign to message an individual to create a new group.
React to messages and threads by hovering over a message and selecting the first option, “add reaction,” as shown below. This allows for acknowledgement and engagement without response. Additionally, hover over messages to start new threads on that topic, keeping the conversation from dominating the channel as a whole.
Use your notifications wisely; in your Preferences, choose what channels and messages you get notifications for. Don’t drown yourself in notifications, use them as a tool to notify you when something needs your attention. You can customize notifications by channel, and set up keywords to receive notifications for in any channel.
Save messages, channels, and topics to keep them at the top of your Slack workspace. Then simply click the “saved” menu item. You can do this by clicking this button, as shown below. You can additionally pin important messages for all members of a channel to see by hovering over a message, selecting the three-dot menu option, and choosing the option that says “Pin to channel.”
Choose which channels are visible in your sidebar based on what you actually use. Navigate to your Preferences- select the down arrow by your workspace name, then click on preferences. Click Sidebar and customize from here.
Set your profile availability to Away through the drop down menu with the down arrow by your workspace name. Your availability will automatically be set to away if all of your applications are offline.
Select the three-dot-menu button at the upper righthand corner of the screen and select Keyboard Shortcuts to learn how to navigate Slack’s features more efficiently.