Slack has been a hit with tech start-ups since the day it launched.
But recently, it’s earned more widespread appeal. We’re all working more from home, and we’re relying on services like Slack to keep work-life similar to how it was in the office. But there’s a big difference between only using Slack to send a direct message and being the kind of super-user who leverages the tool to organize their working day.
Imagine how much more efficient you could be if you used Slack to:
- Import emails into channels
- Get colleagues’ opinions in seconds
- Translate any message into any language
If you can spare three minutes of your day, you’ll learn these three tricks and more to become a Slack super-user.
Ready to level-up?
1. Import Emails Into Slack
Slack was meant to be the ‘email killer.’
Unfortunately, that dream never came to pass. However, the chat app is making email easier to manage with features like this one: the ‘import’ function means no more screenshots, drags, and drops.
Instead, if you click ‘Preferences’ and select ‘Messages & Media,’ you can upload emails to Slack by forwarding messages to a Slack-generated address. Send on the mail, and Slack-bot will upload the content to the app — leaving you free to share the details with any person or channel you choose.
2. Collect Opinions Using Polls
One of the best things about working in an office was how easy it was to get teammates’ opinions.
A quick snap-poll was but-a-question away. Step into a virtual office, however, and that valuable insight suddenly disappears over the horizon — that is, until you discover Slack polls.
Slack has several poll functions that range from simple ‘Yes/No’ votes to more elaborate multiple-choice questions or scaled 1-10 answers: simply use the “/yesno” command for the former or “/polly” for the latter.
3. Access Timezones And Translations
When you work remotely, you realize how hard it is to track the time on the other side of the continent. You’d rather not Google ‘what’s the time in Austin’ whenever you want to know. But what else can you do?
Well, Slack has a “/tz” command that instantly returns the time in any city, putting you four keystrokes away from knowing if it’s noon or nighttime in Texas. Another helpful command for global workforces is translations. Type “/translate” into the chat bar, the appropriate language code (say, “fr” for French), and the message you want to translate… et voilà.
Slackbot will auto-translate your sentence into French.
4. Personalize The Interface
What better way to supersize your Slack presence than to tweak the interface to your working style? You can do things like:
- Sort conversations alphabetically or based on a set priority
- Put private channels side-by-side or show unread messages in one place
Just hit ‘Preferences’ in the desktop version, then choose ‘Sidebar’ to give anything a go. You can even change the signature Slack-purple background to a range of colors (including black, pink, yellow, white, and blue).
You’ll find all the color options under “Themes.”
5. Shortcut Your Way To Freedom
Shortcuts are every super-user’s dream.
And Slack has a near-endless selection of shortcuts and commands to save both clicks and time. “Command + K” on Mac (that’s “CTRL + K” on Windows) lets you skip between channels, files, and people, instead of scrolling through an endless list of direct messages and public channels.
If you’re overwhelmed by unread messages, “shift + escape” clears notifications from every channel, or to clear just one, hit “escape” — and don’t fret: if there’s one message that needs to remain unread, push the “Option” key while clicking.
Now, you’ll never forget to reply.
6. Use Reminders For One More Nudge
The iconic red dot may not be enough of a reminder on particularly busy days. But there’s always the “/remind” command to keep you honest.
It could be for an urgent appointment. Or a message you have to reply to at a specific time tomorrow. No matter what it is, you can always trust Slack-bot to nudge you into action with this one simple command. You can even set reminders for colleagues or create recurring events for daily prompts.
And if you ever forget what’s on your list, type “/remind list” to refresh your memory — or to delete actions once they become outdated.
7. Just For Fun: Create A Custom Emoji
Working from home can feel a little impersonal at times.
But there’s nothing like a custom emoji to inject life into a virtual workspace. Slack offers all sorts of options, including dancing parrots eating pizza, birds wearing top-hats, and cartoon foxes blowing kisses. You’ll be hard-pressed not to find one that matches your personality.
The choices really are outstanding. But if you want to get even more creative, why not upload your own custom creation by doing the following:
- Open the Slack desktop app
- Click the emoji menu icon in any message box
- Select “Add Emoji”
From here, you can upload an image, give it a name, and save it. Sure, custom emojis aren’t your typical super-user move, but they’re a great way to make messaging more fun when you can’t chat in person.
Slack’s a great tool for remote teams. It will be even more powerful now you know how to work like a super-user. If you need help getting set up, give the Mid-Coast Tech team a call on 207-223-7594.