8 Ways to Improve Your Workflow Using Slack
11th January 2016
‘Be less busy’ is Slack’s mantra, and at Cronofy we rely on it every day to make everything more efficient – from sales information to the latest gifs. Here are our top tips for getting more out of Slack for productivity (don’t worry – we’ll cover how to create epic Slack distractions in a later post!).
Create good habits
A good, consistent routine for Slack will boost your productivity and make sure you don’t forget anything important. To create your own good habits for Slack, write a list of ways you use it (for example to do lists, communicating with colleagues, gathering feedback), and look at when and how you can change the way you do these things to maximise efficiency.
For example, creating a team to do list first thing on a Monday or scheduling reports on the first day of the month. Think about the negatives too – are there any areas your use of Slack is counterproductive? For example, where and why do conversations get off track or unproductive and how can you fix that?
In this post we’ll cover several different tools you can use to make it easy to develop good habits and improve your everyday workflow within Slack.
Eliminate the distractions
Slack is really versatile and has a ton of features and third-party integrations to make your life easier. However, if you’re not careful, these can get overwhelming or distracting. To solve this, take advantage of Slack’s built-in features such as channel muting and mention notifications.
Set aside some time every month to review your Slack apps and add-ons. Does anyone actually use that particular custom emoji? Does X app create too many automated channel comments? Do you have Y integration but still check it elsewhere on the web anyway? Keeping Slack clean will help you improve your workflow, avoid doubling up notifications, and ensure your attention is focused on the things that matter.
Make the most of efficient search
Slack’s built-in search functionality is extremely powerful. There’s a wide range of modifiers so, unlike web search engines, you don’t have to spend ages sifting through results to find what you’re after.
Set private reminders
/remind in Slack lets you set a private reminder for yourself. Include [who] [what] [when] for specifics, for example, that you have a meeting with a particular user at a certain time. Slack has a great article on Setting reminders if you want to see it in action and get a real idea of what you can do.
Change the loading messages
Instead of using customized loading messages to troll other users, use it to motivate them (and yourself) by focusing on positivity, quotes from leaders in your industry, team or company goals. You could also get your team members involved by asking them to share their own tip or hack. Over time, you can ditch the less useful/stale messages and build a collection of statements that will cheer everyone up on Monday mornings.
Submit, track and vote on ideas
Cut down on the amount of meetings you have with Ideabot, an integration which lets you submit, track and vote for ideas within Slack. It’s simple to use and has great searchability.
Get the latest team updates
StatusHero is a great integration that prompts team members to provide updates on what they’ve done and what they’re working on next. It’s an easy way to ensure everyone stays on the same page and highlights any problems with tasks before they become a real issue.
Integrate your calendars
We couldn’t end this post without a shameless plug for our very own Slack Calendar Connector. In just a couple of clicks, you can integrate your choice of calendars with your relevant Slack channels, ensuring you have full control over what’s shared.
It’s great for reminders, team meetings, client appointments and much more, and compatible with Google Calendar, Outlook.com, Exchange, Office 365 and Apple iCloud calendars.
What’s your favorite Slack workflow hack? Let us know on Twitter!