Get the Most Out of Slack

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If you’ve spent any time around the IT staff, you’ve probably heard the word Slack whispered a few times. It has been talked about at the staff forum, on the IT blog and website, and even in a past article here in people@Emerson!

Slack is a chat application that can make interoffice communication easier and more efficient. If you have a current @emerson.edu email address, you can join the Emerson College Slack team here!

There are lots of articles out there with tips and tricks for using Slack efficiently, and IT’s online guide can help get you started. Here are a few to keep in mind:

Using @ to Get Attention
If all looks quiet in the Slack channels and you would like the attention of a specific person (or a few specific people), it’s best to use the @ symbol before their name (e.g., @carlincorrigan). You can tag as many people as you’d like in one message (e.g., @carlincorrigan @nancyhowell).

Create Custom Channels
When you first join, you’ll automatically be added to the General channel, which includes everyone on the Emerson College team. However, you can create your own channels, set a purpose, and invite team members to join—perfect for when you’re starting a cross-departmental project or organizing a committee! Save time trying to find a meeting space and get everyone together virtually to ask questions, start discussions, or cast votes. Avoid long email chains and quickly share links and files.

Setting Your Notifications and Highlight Words
Slack lets you decide how much interruption you like. Set notifications for all activity only when you are directly mentioned, or create a set of highlight words. Here are some additional ways to make it fit your working style:

  • Customize your preferences based on device (desktop, mobile, or email notifications).
  • Customize the kinds of notifications you receive for each channel you join. Join as many channels as you like, read at your convenience, and avoid all the chatter when you need to focus on other work.
  • Rather than leave a channel, you can also Mute channels you have joined. They appear grayed out in your channels list. You won’t receive notifications for them, but if you are mentioned there, you can click over to interact quickly.
  • Set Do Not Disturb hours if you want to avoid notifications outside of work hours or when you are away.

Mentions & Reactions
Did someone tag you in a channel and you missed the notification? Click on the @ symbol in the top right corner to open “Mentions & Reactions.” It will give you a handy list of each mention of your name or one of your highlight words. Click “Jump” to go back to that point in the channel.

Set Reminders
Use Slackbot to remind you of things in the future! In the message box, type “/remind” and include the following: /remind [who] [what] [when]. Here are some examples:

/remind me to eat lunch at noon today

/remind @nancyhowell to assign me an article on the 4th of every month

/remind #crafttime to choose a meeting location at 11:00 am tomorrow

There are many other fantastic features within the app. Slack is very customizable, so dive in, go exploring, and find what’s best for you!

Carlin Corrigan (Media Services)

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