Back in the day, the word slacking had only one meaning - laziness. Now, ironically enough, it’s a popular tool to effectively communicate with your co-workers.
What Is Slack?
Slack is a communication platform used by businesses across the globe. The platform consists of various chat rooms organized by topic, private groups, and direct messaging. At Wheels Up Collective, our team communicates primarily through Slack.
Slack vs Email
You may be thinking, why would I use slack when I’m already in the habit of using email? Truth is, many people who have tried Slack say they wouldn’t go back to communicating via email alone. There are just too many perks to this accessible platform, with cross-device support and bite sized messages; it’s like text messaging, but with order and structure. Specifically when it comes to organization, Slack gives you the ability to create dedicated channels for each project, so you can ditch the email chain, a welcome relief for most overwhelmed inboxes.
Our account lead Brian Aylward states that “The best feeling is an empty inbox at the start and end of your day. But after everyone’s coffee has kicked in, it’s all too common for emails to pile up, requiring more time and energy than necessary. Slack offers our team a space to have quick conversations and share our thanks and kudos in one view vs. multiple 10+ emails on a chain with heavy ‘reply all’. We stay focused and diligent because of Slack and reserve email for client-facing and critical internal communications.”
In the past couple of months using Slack, I’ve learned some fun tricks that every marketer should know.
Here are five fun things you didn’t know you needed on Slack:
Access to Unlimited Number of GIFs
There is a GIF for everything!
To share a GIF:
When you're in a conversation, click the lightning bolt icon to open the shortcuts menu.
Search for Giphy.
Click Find and share a GIF.
Type a word or phrase in the text field, then click Search.
Click Shuffle to view more options, then select Share to post your GIF.
Make Your Own Emojis
This has become one of my favorite features on Slack. It’s important to note that you can only create a custom emoji from your desktop; mobile app creation is not yet supported.
To make your own emojis:
From your desktop, click the smiley face icon in the message field to open the emoji menu.
Click Add Emoji.
Click Upload Image and select a file.
Under Give it a name, enter a name for your emoji, then click Save.
Surprise Shortcuts for Quick Control
Slack offers quick shortcuts so you can work more efficiently.
To access the shortcuts, use slash commands:
Type a forward slash (/) in the message field or click the lightning bolt icon to the left of the message field to open the shortcuts menu.
Search for the slash command you’d like to use, then send the message.
Bonus Tip: Enter “/Shrug” for a surprise - you won’t be disappointed.
Make Themed Channels
Themed channels are perfect for non work-related spaces to chat. At Wheels Up, we have channels for our pets and to share our hobbies.
To create a channel:
From your desktop, click your workspace name in the top left.
Click Create a channel.
Enter a channel name. If you see the option to choose a channel prefix, you can select one from the drop-down menu. Channel names must be lowercase, without spaces or periods, and shorter than 80 characters.
Add a description to let others know what the channel is about.
If you'd like to make the channel private, click the toggle next to Make private.
Add people to the channel by typing names to select from the drop-down menu, or click Skip for now.
Change or Customize Your Slack Theme
If you’re not a fan of the purple and white theme, you can select another existing theme or even customize your own. Changing themes can be especially useful if you work on different teams; distinct themes for each make it simple to tell them apart.
To change your Slack theme:
Click your profile picture in the top right.
Below Colors, select a theme.
To customize your own Slack theme:
From your desktop, click your profile picture in the top right.
Below Colors, click Create a custom theme. Enter any six-digit HTML color value, or click a color swatch to choose from the color picker.
If you are looking for an online platform that’s easy to use, reliable, and has some fun tricks, I’d recommend Slack as your communication platform. You can also check out a related blog post, where we compare website builders such as Wix, Square, and Wordpress.
Let’s chat about how we can help you find the right software platforms for your business.
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