Tech & Work

Top 5: Things to know about Slack

If you work in tech, there's a good chance your company uses Slack. But if you haven't gotten on board yet, here are five things to know about this collaboration tool.

Collaboration tools for your teams are the new hot thing, and Slack is the one that led the way. So what do you make of this overpowered chat room? A lot.

Here are five tips for getting the most out of Slack:

1. Add integrations

Don't be afraid to say yes when the friendly slackbot asks if you want to integrate Dropbox, Google Drive, Giphy and more. Integrations make it easy to share and do all kinds of things. Experiment and find out which ones work for you.

2. Send links

This seems simple but sending links in Slack is much easier than email. You usually already have the context and Slack automatically pulls out a headline, description and nice picture so you don't have to do any of the work but ctrl-V that stuff.

SEE: Electronic communication policy (Tech Pro Research)

3. Use it for free

You'll want to pay for certain features if it becomes essential to your team but until you need to search more than the past 10,000 messages or add more integrations the free tier will do just fine. Higher paid tiers can do fancy things like SAML-based single sign-on and compliance reports and such.

4. Make friends with the bot

As mentioned before Slack has a friendly chatbot that helps you get onboard. But if you dig into its settings this bot can do all kinds of cool things well beyond just putting a scary GIF of Bob from Twin peaks in a channel anytime someone uses the word Bob. Which it can also do.

SEE: 10 signs that you aren't cut out to be a telecommuter (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

5. Learn the shortcuts

Slack features a whole host of keyboard shortcuts and slash commands that make life easier. Control or Command will actually open up the list of keyboard shortcuts as a matter of fact!

Soon, "I'll put it in Slack" will become a regular thing right up there with "I'll email you" or "I'll post it to the newsgroup."

Also see:

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Image: TechRepublic

About Tom Merritt

Tom is an award-winning independent tech podcaster and host of regular tech news and information shows. Tom hosts Sword and Laser, a science fiction and fantasy podcast, and book club with Veronica Belmont. He also hosts Daily Tech News Show, coverin...

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