Hackernoon logo7 Slack Hacks You Need to Know for Better Work by@brennammiles

7 Slack Hacks You Need to Know for Better Work

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Brenna Miles Hacker Noon profile picture

@brennammilesBrenna Miles

Writes words about tech & other things. Also loves cacti & coffee.

The first time I made a custom Slack emoji, I thought I hit the pinnacle of Slack use. I was the Slack champion. The Super Slacker (this one doesn't hit as hard for some reason).

It wasn't until I realized I had been slackin' on my Slack skills that I decided to dig a little deeper. And what I found was a treasure trove of Slack hacks that can improve the way you work, talk and send inside jokes as GIFs.

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1. Create Hashtags for Important Topics & Content

I use Slack on the daily. This hack has truly changed the way I organize and find information. Using hashtags, Slack becomes the Twitter of communication tools. Simply place a hashtag in front of words or phrases inside messages to create topics on the fly.

For example, want to remember all the funny things said during Slack chats? Start using #funny or something similar. Need to keep projects streamlined while using Slack? Use hashtags to organize all chat messages that involve your individual projects (i.e. #2021blogstrategy).

When you want to find a certain topic, type the hashtag into the happy Slack search bar. You'll find every message including that hashtag instantly. #lifesaver

2. Use Your Personal Direct Message Channel for Brainstorming & Notetaking

If you're anything like me, you need a place to jot down all of your thoughts and ideas or else you'll forget them. We've all had an epiphany in the shower, only to lose it as soon as we step out onto the bath mat.

I like to use my personal direct message channel as a quick notetaking tool. I'll type out my ideas, thoughts and even reminders for later in the channel. Then, I check it weekly and move any tasks to my project management tool or calendar.

Between you and me, I've even used my personal channel to type out responses to messages before I send them into the real world. 😊

3. Add the Zoom App to Quickly Join Zoom Meetings & More

Okay, I'm almost certain you've probably used Zoom or something like it in the past year and a half at least once. By adding the Zoom app to your Slack, you can quickly start and join meetings with a simple command.

For example, by typing /zoom join [meeting ID], you can join a meeting using an ID you've been given. Or, by typing /zoom meeting [topic], you can start a meeting about any topic you'd like. Pretty sweet, huh?

4. Create Your Own Status Updates for Easy Access

I'll be honest, this one is more fun than anything. But, it's also a great way to inform your team that you're M.I.A. In the top right corner of your Slack app (or browser), you can change your status AND include an emoji.

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You can see that my "out to lunch" status features a gooey slice of pizza, which tells the team everything they need to know. Oh, and that little guy with the cowboy hat was my "out of office" status during a recent trip to Texas.

The best part is these statuses will stay in the pop-up window under "Recent" so you can use them over and over again.

5. Make Slack Easier On the Eyes With Themes

I spend 8+ hours a day staring at my computer screen. And listen, there's only so much those blue light blocking glasses can do. I recently switched my Slack theme to Dark on a particularly dreary day and it changed the game for me.

There's no scientific evidence that Dark mode of any kind will, without a doubt, reduce eye strain. But, it seemed to be helpful for me. I often suffer from migraines and realized Dark mode was great for the days after an episode.

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You'll find Themes inside your Preferences in Slack. Not a fan of Dark mode? There are many more themes to choose from and the option to create your own.

6. Take Advantage of Your Offline Time By Setting a Notification Schedule

I'm a firm believer in being out of the office until you're back in the office (even when working remotely). You have to take time for yourself, ya know? Unfortunately, I'm the one who checks her Slack when she receives a notification, no matter the time.

To help with that, I've now set my Slack to only notify me of notifications during my office hours. So when I leave, my phone isn't buzzing with business banter.

To set a notification schedule, visit your Preferences inside Slack. It's super simple to do and will truly make a difference in your downtime.

7. Set Reminders to Review a Slack Message Later

As part of a remote team, Slack is the way I communicate throughout the day. Whether we're chatting about the new book we're reading or important tasks due for the next day, everything goes down in Slack.

While this is a great way to stay connected, it's easy to lose critical messages that need my attention. So, I use reminders to mark which messages I want to review later.

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By clicking the three dots next to a message, you can ask Slack to remind you of a message in 20 minutes, one hour, three hours, tomorrow, next week or you can pick a custom time. If I'm being honest, this feature has saved my butt many times before.

Slack is truly clutch when it comes to checking things off my to-do list. What hacks did I miss?

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