They haven’t taken the time to think how best to use these tools or how they fit into their workflow. As a team, they then don’t have a shared perspective on what these tools are for and how they should be used. With each person then using these tools how they want, the results are frustration, distraction, becoming unproductive, and yes, even people blaming and quitting these tools.
Slack should NOT be considered the sole communication method for you or your organization. Built to be real-time, it is beneficial to discuss issues that are relevant now. The biggest mistake made is to use it to discuss anything and everything under the sun.
When Slack is used to discuss future tasks, topics that require extensive thought, sensitive items, or to get feedback from people that may not even be available for conversation it creates chaos not clarity. The opposite of the intended effect.
Slack should not become replacements for documents, files, task & ticket systems, and even email. It should not replace other methods of communicating in real-time.
So don't forget to use this tool in conjunction with:
The general rule is that you want to sign up with your work email and create an organization.
At some point you'll want to upgrade your plan beyond free if you want to access your messages after you hit the 10,000 free limit.
Or add more than 10 app integrations ...
Slack for desktop is available in Mac, Windows and Linux computers. Follow the instructions below on how to setup Slack on your desktop computer
Sign in to multiple workspaces
You can use the app to sign in to multiple Slack workspaces. Click your workspace name in the top left to open the menu, then click Sign in to another workspace… to get started.
Switch workspaces easily
If you’re signed into multiple workspaces, it’s easy to navigate between them by clicking the workspace's icon in the sidebar on the left. You can even use keyboard shortcuts ⌘ 1, ⌘ 2, and so on to quickly switch between workspaces you’re signed in to. Just drag and drop the workspace icons to reorder them.
Add Slack to your dock
Once Slack’s running, you can choose to keep it in your dock. Just right-click the Slack icon, click Options and then click Keep in Dock.
Get dock icon notifications
Connect to Slack from the web on your desktop anytime at slack.com/signin — just make sure you're using one of these supported browsers:
Slack is available in iOS, Android and Windows devices.
Slack for iOS lets you collaborate with the people you work with even when you’re on the move. Download the app for access to your channels and DMs, and get mobile notifications for must-see messages on your iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Read on to learn how to get started.
Download the Slack app
Sign in to a Slack workspace
Sign out of a Slack workspace
Note: Signing out of a workspace removes it from the Slack app. Once you have signed out of all your workspaces, you will be signed out of Slack on your iOS device.
On the move? Use the Slack app for Android to communicate with your team from your mobile device. You can access all your channels and direct messages, and receive push notifications for essential messages.
Steps to download:
Sign in to a Slack workspace
Tip: To sign in to another workspace, swipe right to open the channel list, tap the Workspace Menu, then tap the Add workspace icon. To switch workspaces, just tap the Workspace Menu again!
Sign out of a Slack workspace
Note: Signing out of a workspace removes it from the Slack app. Once you have signed out of all your workspaces, you will be signed out of Slack on your Android device.
1. First, visit slack.com/create to create a new Slack workspace. All you need is an email address that you can access.
2. Enter your email address. Make sure it's an inbox you can access for the next step!
3. Slack will send a confirmation code to the email address you entered. Keep an eye on your inbox for the email.
4. When the email arrives, enter your confirmation code to continue.
5. Follow the directions on each page. You’ll have a chance to select a display name, password, and workspace name.
Before you invite members to join on Slack, we recommend you review your workspace settings. Click your workspace name in the top left to open the menu, then choose Workspace settings. Or, go to my.slack.com/admin/settings.
Note: The default settings and permissions are Slack’s recommended preferences. While they may work for many teams, we understand some may need to adjust to meet their company's needs and policies.
There are a few ways to give new people access to join your workspace:
By default, only Workspace Owners and Admins can send invitations to new members. But, they can allow all members (except for guests) to send invitations. If you're an Owner or Admin, learn more about changing invitation permissions.
Note: Even if members are allowed to send invitations, only Owners and Admins can set default channels.
On the Standard plan and above, only Workspace Owners and Admins can invite Multi-Channel or Single-Channel Guests:
Share an invite link
You can also create a unique link to share that anyone can use to join your workspace. You can decide whether you want the link to expire after a day, week, month, or never.
Creating guidelines for naming channels is one of the best ways to keep your workspace organized. By using clear, predictable guidelines, members are more likely to ask questions in the right places, connect with the right people, and feel empowered to work efficiently in Slack.
Best practices for naming channels
Start with broad channels
Organizing your workspace into basic categories your team already knows will help keep everyone on the same page. Add new channels named for major topics most members are familiar with:
We suggest renaming the #general channel to something like #announcements. Save this channel for workspace-wide messages and alerts.
The #random channel is just that — use it for anything you’d like!
Note: Visit Rename a channel to learn how to change a channel's name.
Create specific channels
Consider using a set of standard prefixes to keep channel names consistent and descriptive. Here are a few of our favorites:
help- To ask questions or find information.Example: #help-benefits, #help-finance, #help-it
team- For groups to coordinate team-related topics and activities.Example: #team-design, #team-support, #team-ops, #team-sales
feat- or proj- For cross-functional teams working together. Example: #feat-mobileapp, #proj-café-rebuild, #proj-logo-rebrand
Build and expand
As your workspace grows, it can get harder to keep channels focused and productive. Remember to keep channels broad, and only to add specific ones as needs arise.
For example, when your #sales channel gets too crowded with conversations, add new channels like #sales-training to plan for new hires, #sales-leads to track contacts, and so on!
The irony of setting up an instantaneous communication channel to coordinate your team is that you can quickly become overwhelmed by notifications.
So it's important to set up some basic filters and boundaries so that you can focus during the day, be responsive to direct inquiries and otherwise enjoy the silence.
It's easy in the digital age to be on call 24/7. But let's be honest, doing so will distract us from doing meaningful work and could lead to burnout.
So set your hours to a narrow productive window, say 9-5. But I would recommend making the window narrower say 2-5pm so that you can have long blocks of focused and uninterrupted time. If there's an emergency you can still be contacted.
Just make sure that you alert your team. Don't expect them to figure it out.
There are some channels (especially those listening in to other apps) that can produce an absurd amount of notifications. If they aren't relevant to your team it might be best to mute them.
You have a lot of control here.
You can mute channels entirely, or specifically on Desktop or Mobile.
In most cases it's wise to switch to "Just Mentions"
Even with these notification settings you might still want to Snooze notifications at unplanned moments.
COMMAND + K - switch between channels and DMs. This is MUCH FASTER than looking for a channel's or person's name in the sidebar. Just start typing and hit enter once the name is highlighted in blue.
ESCAPE - mark a single channel as read
SHIFT + ESCAPE - mark all channels and DMs as read (it's like inbox zero but faster)
COMMAND + SHIFT + M - see a list of all your recent mentions
Slack can create a casual feel and help remote teams connect. Sometimes though relationships can become strained.
It's likely at some point that your Slack communication will become cluttered.
It's important to occasionally remind the team that Slack is a business tool.
When future items are discussed in Slack, important context for that task gets lost in the channel instead of its permanent home (i.e., a card or ticket). By keeping all conversation in a single destination, when that work then comes into focus, everyone has the right context and no one has to go searching for previous conversations.
Almost all conversations should occur in a channel. Keeping conversations in channels ensures that all conversations are indexed and searchable. In other words, full context is available and not trapped between team members via direct messages (DMs). For example, a designer and developer, might talk about the nuances of an interaction. If that happens in DMs instead of a channel, a product manager would never know about it. Another developer who might step in to help would also lose that context.
An added benefit to this approach is that it greatly reduces the burden of direct messages. DMs can become overwhelming, especially because people feel they must be responded to, often immediately. By instead mentioning someone in a channel, they can get back to it when they have the opportunity to do so.
Our general guideline is that if a topic is taking more then ten minutes to discuss in Slack, pop into a Hangout or walk over to someone’s desk. It doesn’t make sense to spend all day pecking away at a keyboard, especially when others may be getting confused or frustrated.
There are also times where it’s just best to stop discussing a topic either in Slack or otherwise. Take a step back and write up a document to clarify your thoughts, how a feature is supposed to work, or the ultimate outcome you’re attempting to accomplish. Then let others digest what you written and schedule some time to talk through it with them. As noted above, remember that Slack should not be the final resting place for important takeaways, action items, or next steps.
Giphy, the app that lets you search animated GIFs from the web, is integrated into Slack by simply typing /giphy and a keyword like “birthday” or “good morning.” It generates a random result that is usually hilarious. “That’s generally a pretty good icebreaker and sets the tone for how we communicate,” he adds. Since Managed by Q installed the Giphy tool, they estimate the animations account for 20% of all messages. “It’s like people forgot how to communicate in complete sentences.”