Slack for Collaboration
In Slack, conversations happen in channels and direct messages (DMs).
Channels are spaces where you can work with your co-workers on specific topics. DMs work well for one-off conversations that don't require an entire channel to weigh in.
Is there more to this Salesforce owned collaboration tool than that?
Slack has become a channel-centric tool that many companies use to replace email. Slack organizes conversations, files, meeting notes, and much more. With everything joined in a single place everyone saves time because they aren’t scrolling through their inbox looking for all the notes and conversations associated with a particular project.
One great collaboration feature in Slack is file sharing - you can attach files from your computer or from Dropbox, Google Drive, and a variety of other file hosting services. Whether creating a direct message to an individual or posting in a channel you only need to click the plus sign and select the source and the attachment to share it. If you have another outside source you want to share from, click the Add apps button in the sidebar panel to see all the available resources from Salesforce to Google to Wrike and beyond.
If you need to locate a file or message shared in Slack searching is easy. Type anything in the search bar to locate what you are looking for by name, content, author, channel, etc.
Slack has plenty of tools and applications to make it even more useful. One favorite is Slackbot. Slackbot will send you nudges and reminders if there are channels you are missing or ignoring altogether. Slackbot also lets you set reminders for yourself like your mother’s birthday, to submit your weekly timesheet, or to pick up a bag of kitty litter on the way home. You get the idea.
When you need to set up a channel for your teammates it is easy to create a channel giving it a purposeful name and description and inviting the relevant members to your Slack channel. If there is information everyone on the channel needs to see whether invited at its inception or joining later you can pin the message to the top of the channel so anyone who joins can easily reference it. Use the channel topic to share with teammates the project status or upcoming deadline.
When you post in a channel you can do a simple post or use the @ sign to directly ping a team member or use @channel to notify everyone.
Slack allows you to go way beyond just organizing your channels. You can star channels or direct messages that you want to locate easily and they will be listed under Starred in your sidebar panel. You can also star individual members of the channel and starring is a great method for keeping track of important, collaborative threads.
What can you do if a team member sends you something you need to do but you can’t focus on it right away? Set a reminder for yourself in Slack so you will be notified or reminded about the message later. Click the three dots next to the message and select to remind me about this.
If your company is using a paid plan for Slack you can also customize your sidebar so that your conversations and channels are arranged in the most useful order for you. YOu can even tell Slack which conversations are worthy of notifications. From your desktop, click your profile picture. Select preferences from the menu to open your notification preferences. Adjust any notification settings that you would like.
While you are there you can also set your time zone, your work hours, and your status so all team members know whether you are available or not and when you will get notified of their messages.
Another way to make your availability and status known to your teammates is to integrate your Google calendar. This makes your status based on your calendar available to other members of your Slack group as well as allowing you to accept meeting requests, get reminders of upcoming events, message attendees of meetings and even create Google events without ever leaving Slack.
With just a few minutes of effort you can customize your Slack experience and turn Slack into the perfect collaboration tool for your team and your organization. Be sure to inquire with Summit Technologies if Slack is a useful addition to any Salesforce implementation.
Summit Technologies is a Columbus, Ohio based Salesforce Consulting Partner consisting of a talented and creative team of Salesforce certified Consultants, Developers, Analysts and Project Managers. We specialize in building innovative solutions for our clients within the Salesforce family of products including Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud, CPQ, Experience Cloud, Nonprofit Cloud, Education Cloud, Pardot, Field Services and Salesforce Communities. Summit Technologies strategic services solutions bring custom Salesforce technology to work for your business.