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Work Productively in Channels

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Use Slack features to speed up your collaboration and keep your project teams connected.
  • Integrate Slack with email to ensure conversations are all in one place.

Work Better Together

The beauty of Slack is that it's designed to support how people naturally work together—making your work a little simpler. Slack features aim to speed up your projects and keep your teams connected. They also let you get creative and have some fun along the way. 

Explore some of our favorite Slack features below to help boost your productivity with team members.

Use Reacji

Reacji, or emoji reactions, are a quick way to react to messages in Slack 💯.

Here are a few examples.

  • The eyes reacji, 👀 , lets a teammate know you saw their message.
  • Green check, ✅ , lets teammates know an issue is resolved or question was answered.
  • Plus, ➕, lets teammates know that you agree by reacting with the same reacji.
  • Tada or party popper, 🎉, celebrates achievements.
  • Alphabet reacji, 🅰️ , 🅱️ , and so on, prompt teammates to react with one of these reacji, instantly showing how many other people voted similarly.

For example, 

"Hi team, which design agency should we use? 🅰️  Modern Inc or 🅱️  Retro Co?"

Use whatever reacjis your team enjoys and understands. Every team is different and can play with their own reacji convention 🌈.

⚒️  Tip:

Use Reacji Channeler, a Slack app, that helps you instantaneously funnel a copy of a message from one channel to another. This is a great way to aggregate certain messages about a particular topic that might be sprawled across various channels into a single channel.

Thread Conversations

Threads help keep conversations going in one place. When people respond to an email that has multiple topics, the reply thread might read like one long list of disjointed responses. When you use threads in Slack, you can break up conversations for each individual topic in the same channel.

Encourage your team to respond to you in thread by using the thread icon 🧵 in your message.

For example, 

"Hi team, what do you think of this flyer? Let me know in 🧵 !"

Once you land on a consensus in thread, easily share it with the whole channel by checking the Also send to #channel checkbox. Let’s say you’re in a thread where you and other team members are messaging back and forth to make a decision. Once you reach a conclusion, you can share the message with the whole team.

Get the Latest Updates with Notifications

Instead of digging through each project channel for the latest information, get the latest updates pushed to you. By default, direct messages (DMs), mentions, and keywords trigger notifications in Slack. You can change your preference to be notified about all new messages sent in conversations you’re a part of, or nothing at all.

  1. Click your profile picture.
  2. Then, click Preferences.
  3. Ensure you’re in the Notifications section of the Preferences menu.
  4. Set your preferences as needed.

If you want to be informed about a specific topic at all times, you can enter specific keywords to get alerts whenever someone mentions them in channels. Under your notification preferences, you can enter keywords under the My keywords field.

Set Channel Notifications

Sometimes certain conversations take priority over others. You can customize notification preferences for specific project channels that you want to stay on top of.

  1. With a channel open, click the channel name at the top.
  2. Your current notification setting is shown at the top, such as Get Notifications for @ Mentions. Click it.
  3. From here, you can select to be notified for all messages or just @ Mentions. You can turn off notifications or mute the channel.

Set Reminders to Keep Projects Moving

Reminders help you or your teammates remember to prepare for important meetings, complete to-do items, or do anything you might need to come back to later. Set reminders for yourself to help you stay on top of specific or recurring project tasks. Slackbot will send you a DM with the reminder description at your preferred time. If you don’t include a time for your reminder, it will be delivered at 9 AM on the day or date you chose.

For example,

/remind me to update the presentation tomorrow.

Set reminders for your teammates to help them stay on top of specific or recurring project tasks. Slackbot will send the reminder in a DM to the person you chose or post a message to the channel you specified.

For example,

/remind @Janice to log a ticket in Salesforce for the next release at 1 PM today

/remind #proj-waterworks-marketing to update their status in the Quip sheet tomorrow 

Speak in Real Time Using Huddles

Huddles enable you make 1:1 and conference calls to connect with anyone in your team. If there's something you need to discuss outside of your project channel, you don't have to leave Slack to hop on a call.

Open a channel or DM.

  1. Click on the Huddle icon Huddle icon to start the Huddle.
    1. From there, you can choose to mute or unmute yourself, share your camera, or send an emoji reaction.
  1. When you're ready to conclude the Huddle, click on the Huddle icon again to leave.

Screenshare on Slack Huddles

In both paid and free Slack plans, you can share your screen during a Huddle to help show exactly what you’re talking about and get on the same page with your team quickly.

Send Emails to Slack

Sometimes you might be working on a project with stakeholders who still rely on emails. This doesn't stop you from keeping all your work in Slack. You can enable channels to automatically receive emails that are sent to a channel-designated email address. Send important messages or key decisions into the appropriate project channels in Slack for awareness or discussion with your team.

You can enable a channel-designated email address right from the channel itself.

  1. Click the channel name.
  2. Click the Integrations tab.
  3. Click Send emails to this channel.
  4. Then, click Get Email Address.

When you communicate with a stakeholder via email, carbon copy (cc) the channel to ensure relevant information from your conversation is available to the team.

Check In Using Slack Huddles

Re-create the quick, informal discussions you’d have in the office right in Slack. You can start a huddle in any channel or direct message (DM), invite specific people to join, and share your screen to work side-by-side with your team.

  1. To get started open a channel or DM.
  2. Then click the headphones toggle in the bottom left corner of your sidebar.#general channel open and red arrow pointing to headphones toggle in the bottom left corner with the composition field adjacent

🛠  Tip:

Once the huddle has started, you can click the microphone icon to mute your microphone, the screen icon to share your screen, or the add people icon to invite specific people to the huddle.

To turn on live captioning:

  1. Click the name of the person actively talking in the bottom left corner of your screen.
  2. Click the three dots icon.
  3. Then select Turn on captions.

Huddles is rolling out gradually to all customers on Slack’s paid plans. Hold tight! You may not have the feature across all of your workspaces just yet.

Create and Share Video Clips

Record and send videos right in Slack. Your teammates can watch and respond whenever they have a moment. You can use clips to show off your work, share updates, give kudos to your team, or convey whatever personalized message you’d like.

Message with video clip and the camera icon hovered over

  1. Click the camera button to start setting up your clip.
  2. Ensure your settings are the way you want them.
    1. Set your camera on or off using the camera button. If you choose to turn off your camera, you must record a screen or browser to create a video clip.
    2. Set your microphone on or off using the microphone button.
    3. Set your camera and microphone sources using the gear button.
    4. Set the screen or browser tab you want to record. This part is optional for recording a video clip unless you choose to turn off your camera.
  1. Click Record. Slack counts down from 3 seconds before recording.
  2. When you’re done recording your clip, click Stop. You can record up to 3 minutes per video clip.

After you’ve recorded your video clip, you have the ability to review it and start over if you need to.

🛠  Tip:

During the recording, you can also pause if you need to switch between screens or tabs.

Schedule Messages to Send Later

When you have an important message to share in Slack but it's not the best time to send it, schedule it. Select a date and time in the future and rest assured your message is sent whether you’re at your desk or on the go.

  1. Click the compose button or open the conversation where you'd like to send your message.
  2. Compose your message in the message field.
  3. Click the arrow icon to the right of the paper plane icon.
  4. Choose a date and time to send.

Communicate with Intention

Keep the above best practices in mind when you start communicating with your team. Sometimes, you’ll need to set the tone for a channel or conversation by being the first to ask a question requesting people to respond with 🅰️ , 🅱️ , and so forth. Or you may encourage someone to start a Slack Huddle. 

As you set the ground rules for your channel and follow the above tips, you’ll see your project move along at a greater pace. But it’s not just about conversations. In the next unit, you learn about integrating even deeper with your project work and how to best conclude a project when you achieve success! 


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