Slack has become one of the ‘go-to’ communication platforms for businesses around the world. With chat rooms and instant messenger services that can be tailored by team and by project, Slack has helped revolutionize the way companies interact internally. But like any tool, it’s always worth considering if you are using Slack to its maximum effect. Here are some quick and easy tips to help ensure your business is getting the most from Slack:
To start, remember that Slack is a real-time messaging service
The purpose of Slack is a platform by which teams can collaborate effectively in real-time on different projects. That means it is not a place for sending out essential information that needs to be retained for later reference. For that reason you may want to have another channel where those types of communications are available for reference at any stage.
Appreciate the difference between what Slack labels ‘teams’ and ‘channels’
An important distinction to make when you are using Slack is that between what is termed ‘teams’ and that which is named ‘channels’. The difference is subtle but important.
To be ‘on Slack’ you need to be in a team: that is the fundamental difference between using Slack and being on WhatsApp, for example. And you can be in any number of teams at the same time of course, because you probably perform multiple functions in your company, or at the very least you will be a member of the organizational team, where you might receive company-wide insights, for example, and then your specific work team.
A channel, on the other hand, could be a sub-division of a team. So, for example, while there may be one organizational team, there may be multiple channels within that team, some which are relevant to you and some which are not. You can then organize your channels efficiently, such as switching off notifications, so as not to be bombarded with irrelevant communications.
Getting your teams and channels effectively organized is essential to efficient use of Slack.
Effectively use the ‘do not disturb’ feature
Due to the very nature of modern teams working across time zones and multiple locations, you cannot all be available at the same time. So, while Slack is brilliant for when you are all online, you also need to manage the ‘do not disturb’ feature so your colleagues are aware of when you are online and when you are not. As you will not be notified when that feature is set (and so will the sender), there can be a proper understanding of when a reply can be expected and when it cannot. This is an important aspect of working in any team, and as such becomes an important characteristic when using Slack.
Post your Slack messages globally rather than in private
There is tendency on Slack, like there is on WhatsApp, to begin posting one-to-one and entering into all manner of private chats. The problem now is that no one can truly understand what is going on from a wider perspective. So, keep things on the global channel as much as possible.
Use the Slack Web App in conjunction with Linguix
Did you know that if you use the web app version of Slack, then you can now type all of your normal communications but at the same time availing of an incredibly convenient writing tool such as Linguix.
Linguix is a writing assistant that has been developed by linguists and professional writers to ensure that your writing can become error-free. Available as a web extension, and therefore compatible with Slack (and not to mention a whole host of the most popular apps and tools across the web) Linguix will automatically check your writing as you input it into the Slack text field, offering up expert-stocked alternatives to any mistakes that may be highlighted.
And the variety of mistakes that Linguix can pick up upon is truly impressive. From typos and grammatical errors, it can also easily pick up on incorrect punctuation usage and even mistakes in tone and formality. By setting parameters for your writing in terms of the audience you are seeking to reach (friendly and informal, say) then the Linguix tool will also highlight language that is unacceptable for these pre-defined characteristics.
And what is more, the Linguix tool allows you to access word definitions and synonyms for any word you choose. So, as well as making sure you are free from mistakes in what you have actually written, Linguix can enable you to improve upon that content with additional insights. Plus, the Linguix snippets tool allows you to apply shortcodes to frequently used text which can then be entered with a simple click, vastly improving communication speeds.
But that’s not all either, because if you choose to invest in Linguix for Business then you now have further tools at your disposal to ensure that teams are writing to quality and to consistency across the business.
Use Linguix in conjunction with the Slack web app and take your writing to another level.
Turn off Slack when you need to focus
Because of the nature of Slack being a real-time communication tool, it can get a little distracting at times, so understand the right time to turn it off so you can focus. But if a colleague needs to get in touch, set it up accordingly.