How we use Slack at the PieSync office
Here at PieSync, we’re huge Slack fans. Once our team put Slack into action we pretty much eliminated all internal emails. We discovered it’s really easy to keep track of important conversations and make sure that everyone is on the same page. Not only that, Slack can be customized so you can actually embody your company culture within the chat program itself.
Slack hacks for the office
Slack has so many integrations and customizations, it’s impossible to cover them all in one blog post. So we’re going to show you how we use Slack here at PieSync. If you’re familiar with the program you might know some of these hints, but we sincerely hope you learn something new. Enjoy!
Become a Slash command master.
If you want to master Slack, you have to first master the slash command. Here’s the rundown of some of the more useful slash commands:
/dnd (length of time) Do Not Disturb for half an hour. For instance.
/feed for all your RSS subscription needs
/me your message – displays action text
/star create your own to-do list by starring messages, or conversations. You can then view your to-do list by clicking on the star on the top right-hand corner of the Slack window.
Still need to be reminded of time sensitive tasks? Just type /remind (someone or channel of what and when) and you will be sent a reminder.
/giphy post a random gif to the channel. For when words fail you.
Sick of those gifs? Type /collapse and they’ll be gone. Miss them? Type /expand and they’ll come back.
Slack becomes a venerable powerhouse with apps and integrations. If you’re looking for a particular app just type /apps (search term), and you will be taken to the Slack Apps in the App Directory.
Top Slack Integrations:
Google Drive lets you work on files from anywhere, store these files securely and work collaboratively. This integration allows you to share your Google Drive documents in Slack. Google Drive needs to be authorized for each individual user. Once you’ve authorized yourself you can then copy and paste the URL for the file you wish to share and Slack places the document into the chat window.
The permission you have set up in Google Drive are still valid in Slack, so if you wish to change them you have to do so in Google Drive.
Twitter: this integration automatically shows your Twitter feed in your chosen Slack channel.
Google+ Hangouts – you can start a Hangout within Slack, simply install this integration then type /hangout in the channel or chat where you want to start the Hangout. You will then be led to a Hangout window. Your colleagues just have to click the link to join. Super easy!
Blossom: For project management we like to use Blossom. You can also integrate blossom into Slack and it will post notifications in the channel when updates are made.
Trello this is our choice for content collaboration for the blog and guest blog posts, it uses lists and cards to organize our content projects. This integration sends updates to our marketing channel when activity occurs on Trello cards, lists and boards.
Hey Taco – add a taco emoji before or after someone’s Slack username to give them a taco for a job well done. But the fun doesn’t stop there! You can view who has the most tacos on a leaderboard, and redeem tacos for real tangible rewards that you decide on.
Don’t type “taco” like I did, that doesn’t work.
Groove: With this integration you can have all your Groove notifications sent directly to Slack. No more switching windows to see if a customer has answered you!
Unsplash for Slack – I’m always on the lookout for good photos for my blog posts. Unsplash has long been a favorite of mine, and this integration makes my job easier. Simple type /unsplash search (keyword) and you’ll get a bunch of results right in Slack to choose from.
Slack Keyboard Shortcuts
Ahh, where would we be without keyboard shortcuts? Slack has loads of them!
Do you need to quickly scroll through your channels or messages? Just hit Alt ↑ or ↓ to scroll.
Or you can quickly go to your unread messages by hitting Alt Shift ↑ or ↓.
Want to mark all your unread messages as read? Press esc.
Hit ⌘K to quickly jump to a channel or direct message with a particular person.
Do you want to see messages with your recent mentions? Hit ⌘Shift M or Ctrl Shift M.
For more slack keyboard shortcuts just type /shortcuts.
Format your text in chat
Use *asterix* to bold your text
> before a line to indent the line
>>> before a paragraph to indent the paragraph, preserving line breaks.
“`code block lines“`
Slack color swatch for designers – Are you throwing around six-digit HTML color swatch codes in Slack but wish you could show the color along with the code? Now you can! Just type #(the color code e.G 3393FF) and the color shows up!
Give someone the boot: If you’re an admin just type /@(username) and it not only kicks the user out, it makes it look like the user voluntarily left the channel!
Long-Form Posts – You can also choose to send a short chat message, or longer more detailed posts. Simply click the + next to the text box and select “Create a Post”. You will then go to a pop-up screen which looks like a blog composition platform. You can now type your post, format it, and insert hyperlinks.
While stars are great for highlighting your own personal important messages, sometimes there are group announcements you want everyone to see. You can do this by pinning messages in channels by simply clicking the three dots at the top of the message you want to ping, then selecting “Pin to @channelname”. If you want to view the pins go to “Show Channel Details” at the top of the screen.
If you need to search for a specific conversation you can do this using the following commands:
Just for fun go to your name on the top left > Preferences > Advanced Options > scroll to other options and check “Surprise me”
That’s all for now. If you have some Slack hacks you’d like to share, just let us know!
You might also like reading our blog post “6 fun Slack integrations you need to try.“