How to use Slack: tips and useful settings

How to use Slack: tips and useful settings
How to use Slack: tips and useful settings

We show on the Netology example how to work in the Slack corporate messenger: set up notifications, beautifully format messages and effectively resolve issues.

The main advantage of Slack over other messengers is the structuring of information. This is not just a collection of chats and channels, it is a full-fledged workspace. Slack helps solve work issues, structure and store important information, and quickly adapt to new employees in large teams.

In Netology, we value transparency, openness and a quick exchange of ideas, and Slack helps us with this. If you are a new employee of Netology – read these tips to feel comfortable on the first day of work. And if you are not an employee of Netology, then these tips will help you understand how to work in Slack and organize work in it.

Join your company workspace

The first thing to do is join your team at Slack. There are two options: you will either receive a personal link to connect, or you will be connected and you just need to log in to your account with an approved email address.

You can also go to “Find your workspace”, enter the mail address and find out which teams you can join.

Netology employees work in a common space – Netology Group

Install the Slask app

Working in the Slack application is more convenient than through a browser. In addition, not all messenger functions are available in the browser. Therefore, install Slack on MacOS, Windows, Linux, and your smartphone – iOS or Android.

Fill out a profile

When you enter the workspace, first fill out your profile. So it will be easier for you to get comfortable, and colleagues will understand what issues to contact you about.

In the menu, click on the name of the workspace → Profile & account → Edit Profile.

Now fill in all the necessary fields: name, position, contact details, add a photo.

Colleagues will be able to find you in the search, they will know you in person and solving problems will become easier.

Channel Communication

There are two types of channels: Public Channels – open to all; and Private Channels are available by invitation only. Each channel has its own theme: in the channel # netology-feedback we see and respond to reviews about Netology, and in the channel # blog digests we discuss and prepare digests such as Data Science Digest No. 8: Main Articles of the Month.

And even for completely different questions, we have a special channel – #flame

To create a new channel or join an existing open channel, click the plus sign next to Channels – then select a channel from the list. In Netology, the manager will immediately add you to important channels so you can get comfortable.

Private messaging and group communication

Private Messages (Direct Messages) are needed to communicate with specific team members. To write a personal message to a colleague, click on his name in any correspondence or find a colleague in the search. In the pop-up card, click Direct Messages – the conversation will open.

When you need to discuss something important with a small group of people up to 9 people, use group messages. Each participant will receive a notification of a new message.

To create a group chat, click the plus sign next to the Direct Messages header, then select the people you want.

For group chat, click the plus sign and select the right people

Sending messages

In general, everything is simple: you can write text, add emojis, attach files. At the mention of the public channel – #random, participants will be able to go to it by clicking on the link. When a member of the @user team is mentioned, he is notified.

Replying to messages that require detailed discussion is worth using the Reply function. So Thread appears – a correspondence thread that discusses a specific issue. The correspondence branch will open in the right column of Slack.

We see that in the thread of this message there are three answers

And all your correspondence branches are displayed in the Threads section.

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All your chat threads are displayed here.

Text design: bold, italics and other styles
To format, use the following characters:

  • Text * on the mobile or Cmd / Ctrl + B on the desktop for bold
    Text on the mobile or Cmd / Ctrl + I on the desktop for italics
    ~ Text ~ on mobile or Cmd / Ctrl + Shift + X on the desktop for strikethrough text

Offer on mobile or Cmd / Ctrl + Shift +> on the desktop for citation
“Input (code)“ “on the mobile or Cmd / Ctrl + Shift + C on the desktop to insert the code

Audio and video calls

To chat with remote colleagues face to face – call. Up to 15 people can participate in a video conference. In the same way, you can communicate with customers and contractors.

On the phone, you can broadcast your own screen.

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Turn on notifications in important channels

By default, all notifications in private messages are included in Slack, but are disabled in groups. If the group is important, turn on notifications for all messages.

To do this, enter the desired group → click on the gear icon → select Notification preferences.

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Set up notifications in important chats

In the window that opens, select which notifications to receive.

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Repeated Alert

If you are afraid to miss an important message, you can set up a repeated notification on your smartphone. You can set such a notification in the profile settings, in the Notifications section.

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Personal list of important messages ⭐

If an important message appears in the chat that you need to return to later, add it to your favorites. Click the star next to the message. All tasks are collected in the Starred Items menu in the top Slack menu.

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To add a message to your favorites, click on the star

Pinned posts

In groups, important messages and files are conveniently fixed with a pin. You can pin channel rules or files to which quick access is important.

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This channel has one stolen message

Chatbot reminders

If you have regular meetings, ask the chatbot to remind you of the group meeting. So, the head of the marketing team can give a notification so that the team members share the success of the project for the week: / remind # marketing-team to share weekly project updates at 10AM every Monday.

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How the search in Slask works

Search through channels, chats, participants, messages, files works from one window:

from: @ [Member name] to search for member messages
from: me to search for your posts
in: [Channel name] to search for messages in a specific channel
in: @ [Name] to search for private messages from a specific person
to: me to search for all messages addressed to you
before / after: [Date] or on: [Date], [Month], or [Year] to search for messages by date

Exact keyword search: “word”

Search by word: layer *

Search with exceptions – key word

Highlighting keywords in correspondence

In the account settings, open the Notifications section, select My keywords and enter key phrases, at the mention of which you will receive notifications and which will be highlighted in the text.

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Do Not Disturb

If you are on a call or an important meeting, temporarily turn off notifications using the Do Not Disturb function. Another option is to turn off notifications in individual channels using the Mute button.

Start writing or type / to choose a block

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Work with applications

One of the advantages of Slack is the availability of integrations with popular services like Gmail, Jira, Dropbox. To synchronize the work, look in the application directory which applications Netology is already using and configure them for yourself.

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Good Manners at Slack
A few rules of good form in Slack:

write messages only on the topic of the channel;
if you are mentioned, respond to the message;
do not abuse the @here function – it allows you to notify everyone who is online;
Use message branches to simplify communication and not interfere with other chat participants;
follow the status, write that you are going on vacation so that they do not expect an instant reaction from you.
In Netology, we try to respond to the messages of colleagues within two hours. Even if you don’t know the answer to the asked question or you need to think about the task, write so. But do not ignore the interlocutor.

And yes, if you enter / shrug, it will display like this ↓Image

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