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What is Slack & How to Use it to Improve Communication & Productivity

Last updated:
9th Feb, 2023
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What is Slack & How to Use it to Improve Communication & Productivity

You’ve probably heard a lot of people working in corporations using the word ‘Slack app’. So, what is Slack app

Slack is a messaging platform for teams that allows real-time communication and collaboration. It is a cloud-based platform you can access from any device with an internet connection, including computers, smartphones, and tablets. Slack is designed to streamline team communication and improve productivity by making it easier for team members to stay connected and share information. 

Let’s dive in to understand what is Slack in project management and how it can be utilised to maintain better communication channels. 

Key Features of Slack

One of the major features of Slack is the ability to create channels for different teams, projects, or topics. This allows team members to communicate easily with the right people and stay organised. Channels can be public or private, depending on the team’s needs.

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In addition to channels, Slack also offers several other features that can help teams stay organised and productive. 

  • Direct messages: Team members can send private messages to one another, just like in a chat app.
  • Integrations: Slack can be integrated with diverse other tools and services, such as Google Drive, Google Calendar, Trello, Asana, and many other corporate business applications. This allows team members to stay up-to-date with updates and changes in these tools without leaving Slack.
  • File sharing: Slack allows team members to easily share files and documents, making it easier to collaborate on projects.
  • Search: Slack has a robust search function that allows team members to quickly find the information they need.
  • Mobile app: Slack extends a mobile app that enables team members to stay connected and collaborate on the go.

How to get started with Slack?

Here’s how you can get started with Slack:

1. Create a Slack account:

To use Slack, you will need to create an account. You can sign up for a free account at https://slack.com/. You will be asked to provide your email address and create a password. You can also sign up using your Google or Microsoft account.

2. Invite team members:

Once you have created an account, you can invite team members to join your workspace. To do this, click on the “Add people” button in the top right corner of the screen. You can invite team members by entering their email addresses or sending them a link to join your workspace.

3. Set up channels:

Channels organise communication in Slack. They can be implemented for specific projects, teams, or topics. To create a channel, click on the “Channels” tab in the left sidebar and click on the “Create a channel” button. You can name your channel and invite team members to join it.

4. Send messages:

To send a message in Slack, click on the channel you want to send the message to and type your message in the text field at the bottom of the screen. You can also use emojis, attach files, and formatting options to make your messages more visual and interactive.

5. Use integrations:

Slack offers a variety of integrations with other tools and services. These integrations allow you to bring information and functionality from other apps into Slack. To set up an integration, click on the “Apps” tab in the left sidebar and browse the available integrations. You can also use the “Add an app or integration” search bar to find specific integrations.

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6. Use Slackbot:

Slackbot is a built-in bot that can help you with tasks and provide information. You can access Slackbot by clicking on the “Direct Messages” tab in the left sidebar and selecting “Slackbot.” You can ask Slackbot questions or give it commands to perform tasks such as setting reminders or looking up information.

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Some additional tips for getting started with Slack

Here are some additional tips for getting started with Slack:

  • Customise your notification settings: You can customise your notification settings to control how and when you receive notifications in Slack. To access your notification settings, click on your profile picture in the top left corner of the screen and select “Preferences.”
  • Use slash commands: Slash commands allow you to quickly perform tasks and access information in Slack. For example, you can use the “/remind” command to set reminders or the “/giphy” command to search for GIFs.
  • Use keyboard shortcuts: Keyboard shortcuts allow you to perform tasks faster in Slack. For example, you can use the “Shift + Enter” shortcut to create a new line in a message or the “Ctrl + K” shortcut to open the “Add a link” dialogue.
  • Use the Help Center: If you have questions or need help using Slack, you can access the Help Center by clicking on the “Help & Feedback” menu in the top right corner of the screen. 

Tips for using Slack to Increase Communication and Productivity

Here are some tips and tricks to enhance your communication experience with Slack. 

  • Use channels to organise communication by topic or team. This helps to keep discussions focused and reduces the amount of irrelevant information in the main chat or exchange of email-based conversations.
  • Utilise direct messages for one-on-one communication or smaller group conversations. DM helps to keep conversations private and avoids cluttering up the main chat.
  • Set up notifications to only receive notifications for important messages or channels. This reduces distractions and allows you to focus on your work.
  • Use the @ symbol to tag specific individuals or teams in a message. This helps to ensure that crucial information is not missed and helps to keep everyone on the same page.
  • Utilise integrations with other tools, such as Trello or Asana, to streamline communication and project management.
  • Use the search function to quickly find past conversations or information. This helps to save time and improve productivity.
  • Encourage the use of emojis and reactions to quickly convey emotions or agreement without the need for lengthy responses.
  • Encourage team members to use the “Do Not Disturb” function when they need to focus on a task without being interrupted.
  • Utilise the “Threads” feature to keep related discussions organised and easily accessible.

By using Slack effectively, teams can improve communication and productivity by reducing the time spent searching for information and keeping everyone on the same page.

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Best practices to keep in mind when using Slack 

There are a few best practices to keep in mind when using Slack to improve communication and productivity:

Use channels effectively

Ensure creating channels for different teams, projects, or topics, and encourage team members to use the appropriate channels for their conversations. This will help keep the main channels focused and organised.

Keep conversations organised

Use threads to keep discussions organised and on topic. This will make it easier for team members to find the information they need and stay up-to-date with what’s going on.

Use integrations wisely

While integrations can be helpful, it’s important not to get carried away. Only use the valuable integrations for your team, and make sure to set up notifications in a way that works best for your team.

Conclusion

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Overall, Slack is a powerful tool for improving team communication and productivity. By streamlining communication and making it easier for team members to stay connected and collaborate, Slack can help teams get more done in less time. From facilitating real-time communication to allowing team members to exchange feedback and updates quickly. This helps reduce the time spent in emails and meetings, freeing time for more pressing tasks and increasing overall productivity. 

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1What is Slack in project management?

Slack is a messaging platform project managers use to communicate with their teams. It’s a real-time messaging platform that allows team members to exchange messages, share files, and stay organised during any ongoing project. It can also transfer updates, assign tasks, and set reminders.

2What is Slack used for?

Slack is a communication platform that enables teams to stay connected and collaborate in real-time. It is used for messaging, file sharing, task management, video calls and more.

3What is Slack app?