How to get the most out of Slack (and avoid distractions)
Tips and tricks to configure Slack for your Team.
We’ve been using Slack at Yoyo for about a month now. Slack brings all your team communication together in one place. Slack is a tool, like any other, and we’ve picked up some tips to make it really shine.
Set your highlight words
Highlight words are awesome. In addition to your @handle, you can set a bunch of words that will trigger a notification, so you don’t miss anything important (and avoid jibber-jabber).
Get notified only if someone wants your attention
We use Slack to talk about everything, which means you can get a lot of notifications out of the box. Switch notifications to “only for Highlight Words and direct messages” to avoid distractions to your work flow.
Disable badges for jibber-jabber
By default, Slack shows a (•) badge if there’s new messages in any room, which is super distracting as you switch through apps on your machine. If a message doesn’t mention your highlight words, you shouldn’t be notified.
Switch to the compact theme
By default, you get the clean theme that includes lots of whitespace and user avatars. By switching to the compact theme, a lot of the noise is removed and you don’t need to scroll as much to catch-up on conversations.
Setup lots of channels (aka rooms)
By setting up a bunch of channels, you create a home for each type of conversation. By default, you get #general and #random, but don’t stop there. Add rooms for different teams, departments and offices.
Add third party integrations
To make Slack the centre of your team communications, you should add in third-party services that you use. We’ve added Github (for each commit) and PivotalTracker (for each story). We’re looking to add Trello and TravisCI soon as well. Slack is adding lots of integrations each month.
Download the mobile apps
For Slack to be really effective, it should be the first place your team goes to communicate. If team members don’t have mobile apps installed, you’ll find yourself going back to email (which nobody wants).
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