FridayX: 7 Slack tricks you should learn if you’re using the platform for the first time

Do you remember the first time you used Slack? It’s always a shock at first, especially if you’re new to a company where there’s a bunch of groups and conversations already created. It can be overwhelming at first but trust us — you’ll end up loving it. By the way, join us on our TravelgateX Slack if you want. We have one of the biggest developers and tech experts in our community.

However, if you haven’t even heard about Slack yet, don’t worry, you’re about to learn why the platform is such a fun yet productive tool for every member of your company. Let’s start!

What is Slack?

The word Slack, which usually stands for Searchable Log of All Conversation and Knowledge (wow! right?), is basically the act of using a cloud-based collaboration tool to manage projects or messages between teams. But Slack is much more than a simple messaging app; it’s sort of a hub for marketers, developers, communication teams which allows to install and use several apps to help you out with file management, productivity, and other tasks.

Now that you get the basics of it, let’s have a look at some of the coolest hacks, shortcuts, and tricks to navigate through Slack like a real hacker.

 1. Advanced searching

First things first. If you’re new to the platform, you’ll probably get overwhelmed by the magnitude of groups, sections, and tabs stuffed with conversations and files. Quite like joining a war for the first time.

That’s where the Advanced Searching comes in hand. The search bar at the top enables you to search almost anything within the platform. You have a couple of options for narrowing down your search, but here are a few short terms you can use to be more specific:

from:in:has:, after:before: and on:.
slack hacks 1

These shortcuts allow you to some filtering through your groups, without spending several minutes looking for something. You can also exclude channels from your search, look up for links, search by dar using the calendar, search for starred items and even specific emoji reactions. Here’s a quick example of how to use them.

 2. Set yourself or someone reminders

If you’re that person at work who’s still using the old-fashioned ”post-it” to remind yourself things — let us welcome you to 2019! Slack has a shortcut to schedule or set alarms for everything. How? Quite simple actually.

Slackbot or message yourself to set alarm or schedule reminders to anyone of your team. The format to set a reminder is as follows:

/remind [someone or #channel] [what] [when]

Simply fill in the section with someone’s user or channel using the ”#” in front, then enter the message or task and the time. You can even customize them with emojis if you’re feeling creative. You’ll end up with something like this:

Related image

 3. Collapse and expand conversations

Reading through some long discussions can be a bit too much sometimes, and it even gets hard to follow up. Instead of just looking at every message, you’re able to collapse all inline images and videos. To do that, simply type:

/collapse and hit enter.

Scrolling through it will much easier, especially if you’re looking for a specific message. When you’re done searching and reading type:

/expand and hit enter

It will make them reappear again.

 4. Visual formats for your text

Just like any of us, you certainly love to read or write in an organized way. By using text formatting, your message will stand out and will be easier to understand. To do that, use the commands down bellow to format your messages. You can use:

  • Bold Text
  • Italics
  • Strikethrough
  • ”Quotes”
  • Inline Code
  • Lists (just like this one)

Here’s how:

 5. Get notifications only on certain words or phrases

Of course, we know you’re busy and Slack is probably not the only tool you’ll be using daily and sometimes notification can distract you. That’s why Slack developers have integrated this amazing option where you can turn all notifications off but choose to be notified of particular keywords or phrases. Click on your name and then go to ”Preferences.” Open the notifications settings and look for the ”Highlight Words” section. Enter the words or phrases for which you’d like to be notified.

 6. Edit your last message quicker

Of course, we know that you can use the three dots next to the message to edit any of your messages, but what if you could just do it with one key? Whenever you want to edit your last message, simply click the ↑ arrow key, edit and hit enter. That’s it! Especially convenient when you want to fix that embarrassing message or typo before everyone at the office sees it.

 7. More than words

Sometimes you just can’t respond to certain problems or situations, or sometimes there are simply no words to describe your confusion. That’s when our little friend ”Shrug” comes in hand. Type /shrug to make it pop into your conversation and this will appear:

¯\_()_/¯

As you can see, there’s a lot you can do to inside Slack to make your work easier and to collab with your team, but there’s also a fun side to it. These are just a few of them; we’ll share some more in future posts, so make sure to subscribe to our FridayX posts. Have a nice weekend!

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