9 January 2024

15 Handy Slack Tips You Need to Know

By Ronald Smith

Slack is a powerful productivity tool that many teams rely on for their day-to-day communication. Despite its simple interface, there are some useful and quirky settings that we might overlook if we’re not looking in the right places.

That’s why I want to share with you 15 tips that will help you find these settings and improve your productivity while using Slack.

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1. Easily Find Messages by Date

Have you ever tried searching for a specific message in a lengthy conversation? It can be a challenge. But with Slack, you can easily browse messages by date, allowing you to find that important message from last week or even a month ago. Just click on the calendar icon in the search bar and select the date you’re interested in. It’s that simple!

Hey there! Did you know that with Slack, you can easily find messages from a specific date in any of your channels? It’s super helpful when you’re trying to locate an important conversation or reference a previous discussion.

Here’s how you do it:

  1. First, look for the “More” icon on the sidebar of the channel. You can find it as three dots stacked vertically.
  2. Click on the “More” icon, and a menu will appear.
  3. One of the options in the menu is “Jump to date.” Click on that.

That’s it! Now you can browse messages from any date you choose. Pretty cool, right? Happy searching!

15 Handy Slack Tips You Need to Know

When you need to revisit past conversations on Slack, you can easily do so by accessing the calendar feature. This allows you to browse through and jump to specific dates, months, or even years. However, please note that this functionality may be more effective if you’re on Slack’s paid plan. The free-tier plan restricts the number of previous conversations you can view.

15 Handy Slack Tips You Need to Know

Step 2: Sharing a file with the public

If you want to make a file that you’ve uploaded to Slack available to the public, here’s what you need to do. First, find the file you want to share and hover your mouse over it. Once you’ve done that, look for the three dots menu on the right and give it a click. A bunch of options will pop up, but what you’re looking for is the one that says “Create external link…” Go ahead and select that option.

15 Handy Slack Tips You Need to Know

3. Make your Slack experience more efficient

If you feel overwhelmed by the amount of messages you receive in Slack and want to make your viewing experience more manageable, you can switch to the compact view. By choosing this option, you will be able to see more messages without having to scroll as frequently, and you will also free up some space on your screen.

To switch to compact view, follow these simple steps:

  1. Click on your username in the top-left corner.
  2. In the dropdown menu, select “Preferences”.
  3. Click on “Messages & Media”.
  4. Under the “Message Display” section, choose “Compact” as your preferred message theme to activate the compact view.

Once you’ve made this change, you’ll notice that the user profile pictures are no longer displayed in the compact view, allowing you to maximize your workspace and focus on the messages that matter most.

15 Handy Slack Tips You Need to Know

Step 4: Give your message a shrug emoji!

Ever find yourself in a situation where you need to convey the classic shoulder shrug? Look no further because Slack has got you covered! You can easily add the shrugging ASCII emoji (it looks like this: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯) to your messages. Simply type in the /shrug slash command into the message input bar.

15 Handy Slack Tips You Need to Know

5. Stay organized with channel prefixes

When I’m using Slack, I communicate with my team through Channels. These Channels are like different rooms where we can talk about specific topics. But to make sure everything stays organized, we need to have a clear and predictable naming system for these Channels. This way, I can easily find the right place to ask my questions, access information quickly, and work efficiently.

Thankfully, Slack already provides us with three default prefixes that we can use:

  • help — This prefix is perfect for asking questions, seeking assistance, and finding resources related to a specific topic.
  • proj — If I want to collaborate on a project or have discussions about it, I can use this prefix. It keeps everything related to the project in one place.
  • team — This prefix is great for sharing updates and work from a specific department or team. It helps keep everyone in the loop.

Hey, did you know that you have the power to customize your Slack workspace to fit your organization’s needs? It’s true! You have the ability to create a unique channel prefix or even remove the default one.

Let me walk you through the steps. First, go to “Workspace settings” by visiting this URL: https://[name].slack.com/customize/channels. Just replace [name] with the name of your workspace. You can also find this URL in the Slack menu by going to “Settings & administration” and then selecting “Workspace settings”.

Once you’re on the settings page, scroll down to the “Channel Prefix” section. Here, you’ll see the option to add a new prefix. Simply click on the “Add Prefix” button, and voila! You’ve added a new prefix to your channels.

Now you can make your Slack workspace truly your own by customizing the channel prefixes. Enjoy!

15 Handy Slack Tips You Need to Know 15 Handy Slack Tips You Need to Know

6. Add a reminder to a message

So, you’ve received a message, but you don’t want to reply right away. No problem! You can easily set a reminder for it. To do this, just hover your cursor over the message and click on the three dots menu to open the options. Then, simply hover over the “Remind me about this” option and choose a time delay that suits your needs.

15 Handy Slack Tips You Need to Know

When you pick a specific time, you’ll right away see a reminder confirmation in the messages window.

Now, let me tell you something cool about Slack. You can actually create your own emojis! Just click on the menu on the top-left of the screen, then select “Customize Slack.” This will take you to a page where you can customize your Slack experience. In the “Emoji” tab, you can create a name for your custom emoji and even upload and save the image for it. It’s a great way to add some fun and personalization to your chats.

If you prefer, you can also directly go to the website [myteam].slack.com/customize/emoji to create your custom emojis. Have fun exploring all the possibilities!

15 Handy Slack Tips You Need to Know

Did you know that Slack has its very own collection of special emojis? These unique emojis can’t be found on the customization page like the rest, but they can be accessed directly from the message bar inside the Slack app. To find them, just open up the emoji input box on the right side of the message bar, and then click on the Slack icon. Voila! You’ll be able to see and use all of the awesome custom emojis that Slack has to offer.

15 Handy Slack Tips You Need to Know

Step 8: Make Usernames Stand Out with Colors in Compact Mode

When using compact mode, you have the option to give a unique color to a user’s username. This way, you can easily spot them in the crowd. To make it happen, just type in the /color @username FFFFFF command in the message bar.

Let’s say you want to change the color of the username “johndoe” to red. Simply enter the /color @johndoe ff0000 command. Remember, the color value is represented using hex codes.

15 Handy Slack Tips You Need to Know

9. Pay close attention to important words

Sometimes, it’s crucial to be aware when certain phrases or words that are relevant to you are mentioned. For instance, you might want to be alerted anytime someone brings up your name, your top-secret project code, an area you’re interested in, or any other conversation you want to be in the know about.

To set up these critical keywords, just follow these simple steps: First, click on the “Preference” menu located in the upper-left corner of the Slack window. Next, navigate to the “Notifications” tab and enter the desired words or phrases in the “My Keywords” section. It’s as easy as that!

15 Handy Slack Tips You Need to Know

10. Syntax highlight code snippets

If you want to share a code block in Slack, simply enclose the code with triple backticks (`), but if it’s a large code block, I recommend using code snippets instead. Code snippets are blocks of code or text files that are highlighted with syntax and can be commented on and downloaded by the recipient.

To create a new code snippet, click on the plus sign on the left side of the message bar, choose “Code or text snippet,” and then create your snippet.

15 Handy Slack Tips You Need to Know 15 Handy Slack Tips You Need to Know 15 Handy Slack Tips You Need to Know

11. Say goodbye to text previews

When I’m using Slack, I notice that it automatically shows previews of the links shared in the Messages window. These previews can come in handy, but if you and your team share a lot of links, they can start to clutter things up a bit.

Luckily, you have the power to turn off this preview feature. Just head over to the Preferences > Messages & Media settings page. From there, uncheck the box that says “Show text previews of linked websites” in the Inline Media & Links section.

15 Handy Slack Tips You Need to Know

Step 12: Check out keyboard shortcuts

Hey there! Did you know that you can easily see a list of shortcuts available on Slack? Just press Ctrl + / on Windows or Cmd + / on Mac, and you’ll have all the key bindings at your fingertips in no time!

Step 13: Personalize your notification sound

By the way, did you know that you can customize the sound for your notifications? Slack gives you some options to choose from. Go to the Preferences menu and head over to the Notification Settings > Sounds section, and there you can configure them to suit your liking.

15 Handy Slack Tips You Need to Know

Step 14: Check out your team’s stats

Did you know you can easily check out how your team is doing? Just head over to [yourteam].slack.com/stats in your web browser. Or, if you prefer, you can access it right from the Slack app. Just click on the Statistics option in the top-left menu.

Once you’re on the stats page, you’ll find a bunch of cool info. It shows you things like how many messages have been sent by your team, how many people have read those messages, how many people have posted messages, and even how many files have been shared.

15 Handy Slack Tips You Need to Know

15. Pick a skin color for your emojis

If you want, you can choose a specific skin color for your emojis. To do this, simply click on the Emoji icon on the right side of the message bar to open the Emoji popup box.

Once the popup box is open, find the Skin Tone option located in the bottom-right corner. From there, you can select the skin tone that you prefer to be set as the default for all your emojis.