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Starting Guide & User Tips

 

What is Slack? The Basics

It’s Purpose

Slack brings your communication together (rather than spread across different platforms). It organises conversations and teamwork — if we all use it effectively, it will help everyone save time, make decisions, and collaborate better.

Elements of Slack

WORK-SPACES:

Work-space’s separate different organisations or departments/groups within an organisation. 

For example, at Unite Church, we have these work-spaces (their url’s to access them are in bold):

1. Unite Church General (unite-church)

2. Unite Church Board (unitechurchboard)

3. Unite Church Executive Team (unitechurch-execteam)

4. Unite Church Administrative Oversight Tean (unitechurch-aot)

You will most likely be working out of the general one. You can can access it by typing unite-church.slack.com in your web-browser.

channels:

Channels organise conversation by having different channels (a single place) for different topics and/or people.

You can find your list of channels (the channels you are part of) displayed as #channel-name. Eg. #general, #events, #sundays 

Try to use the channel for it’s specific purpose. As a general rule of thumb, if you are unsure what channel to post your message in, then post it in #general so that it doesn’t convolute the other channels with specific purposes.

NOTE: Anyone in the workspace can join any channel unless it is set up as a “private channel.” Private channel’s have a padlock symbol beside it. 

direct messages:

You can direct message someone or a group of people. Only the person/people you are direct messaging can see your conversation (like a facebook message). 

You can start a new Direct Message by clicking on a name from the list, or if the name isn’t displayed, click the plus symbol and select a person or group of people to message.

NOTE: If there is a group of people you message often, but you don’t want everyone to have access to the conversation, you might find it easier to set up a private channel.

You can also Direct Message yourself - list your to-do’s, reminders, random thoughts.

Effective Communication

ACKNOWLEDGE THE MESSAGE:

Slack is ineffective if we don’t all use it actively. Don’t just read a message - acknowledge it. This allows us to actually act on the messages and ensure we’ve communicated well to one another.

You can do this quickly and simply by responding to the message with an emoji - a thumb up for example. This shows you’ve seen and read the message, and agree with it. 

If you want to comment on it, add a reply (see info on threads). 


MESSAGE REPLIES (THREADS):

When there is a message in Slack, try to reply to the message in a “thread.” This helps organise conversations even further.

For example, there might be a #meetings channel. Someone makes a post with a date for the next meeting - you can just reply to that message to let them know if the date suits or not. Then someone might make another separate message (but in the same channel) about the meeting agenda and you can discuss the agenda in a reply thread to that message

You can see if there are replies to a message just below it. Be sure to check them.

NOTIFICATION settings:

You’ll need to check your notification settings are good.

Do this by clicking on the workspace title on your desktop and clicking “preferences” or clicking the 3 vertical dots (right hand corner) and go to settings on your mobile app.

In your notification settings/preferences, check that:

1. “Notify me about all new messages” is ticked

2. “Notify me about replies to threads I’m following” is also ticked below that