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10 Slack Features that Will Help Your Corporate Communications Rock

It’s only a cliché because it’s true – but communication really is the key to all lasting and beautiful relationships. There are hundreds of communication tools available for teams out there – but, our number one favourite beyond all doubt is Slack. Take a look at these 10 Slack features that will help you skyrocket your corporate communications.We used to use HipChat – and, although we’re not knocking it, since our migration we’ve never looked back. Slack has it all, and it’s so much more than just chat. Here are our top 10 favourite Slack hacks and features that make your corporate communications a joy! 

Our 10 favourite Slack features

1. Keyboard Shortcuts

Slack’s strapline is “Be Less Busy” – and that’s because the tool is designed to take the pains and the clumsiness out of essential yet time-consuming communications. As such, Slack comes with a plethora of built-in keyboard shortcuts. The time it takes getting to know them is made up for in abundance in the time that they will save you in the long run. Here’s one that you can use right now – just press cmd + / (or Ctrl + /) and Slack throws up a quick list. For the full list of shortcuts, click here.

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2. Slackbot 

We’re geeky, codey, nerdy tech-heads at Netguru – and proud! But that’s just because we have to be to do what we do. Not all companies are as au fait with how to use apps and communication tools, however. Slack knows this, and @slackbot – the Siri for Slack – knows it, too. Got a question about how to use Slack? Just ask @slackbot, and he/she/it will sort you out in a jiffy.                        

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3. Integrations 

Wow – where to start with Slack integrations? We’ve got our top 12 favourites here at Netguru – from Google Docs to Trello to Jira to GitHub to Calamari, whatever you want to bring in to your Slack communications you can do so with ease.                                  

4. Highlight Words 

Slack sends a little sound notification every time someone submits your username. But, if you want to be notified when other team members are chatting about other topics, then you can use the Highlight Words function that sends an alert whenever certain words are mentioned. Just go to Team Menu > Preferences > Notifications > Notifications Settings. Scroll down to Highlight Words and add whichever ones you like – never miss an important discussion again!

5. DIY Slackbots   

As I say, we’re geeks. Check out what Jakub, our Senior ROR Developer, did when bored one weekend – created our own slackbot to play rock-paper-scissors on Slack. Gamification, of course, is not about goofing off – it’s about enjoying company culture, and a little light-hearted competitiveness amongst team members can actually improve productivity. Perhaps we could create a bespoke slackbot for your team…?                       

6. Text Formattin Shortcuts   

Format your messages with ease using these shortcuts:                                                                                                                                                                                       image3.jpg

In addition (and we of course find this especially useful) to format content as code, simply place `backticks` around it. Nice one.                                                                                    

7. Reminders                                                                                       

Slack’s reminder functions are second to none. Need to remember to dial into that   conference call next Wednesday? Just tell Slackbot to remind you (or remind someone else!):

    • /remind me to call Jakub about rock-paper-scissor rules on September 21st at 12pm.
    • /remind @martin to have a shower every day at 7:30 am.

You can cancel reminders, too, by typing “/remind cancel [reminder]”, and pull up a list of pending reminders by typing “/remind list”.  

8. Desktop Notifications   

The way to get the most out of Slack is to start using the desktop version (as opposed to the browser version). This is especially useful if you’re part of multiple Slack teams, as you can then switch between the chats with ease. Enable Desktop Notifications by navigating to [Your Username] > Preferences > Notifications > Desktop Notifications.                    

9. Slack Mobile Apps    

Slack also has the standard range of apps for mobile, which brings many advantages, not least in not having to be strapped to your desktop to stay in touch with your teammates. If anything, features on the mobile apps work better than they do on the browser version.

10. Advanced Search   

Despite our best efforts, we all forget to star those important messages from time to time – but all is not lost. Just use Slack’s assisted search modifiers to narrow the field:

      • from:[username]
      • to:[channel or username]
      • in:[channel or username]
      • after:[date]
      • before:[date]
      • on:[date]
      • during:[month/year]
      • has:[star]      

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Happy Slacking!!

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