The Frustrating User's Guide to Slack

UPDATED ON MAY 4, 2022 : 538 words, 3 minute read โ€” GUIDES

The following is a collection of tips I’ve curated working with a few different organizations using Slack that range in size from 3 people to thousands. If you follow these tips, I can guarantee you will be well known throughout your workspace. For those who are literal and think I’m serious, this is a tongue-in-cheek article. Please please PLEASE do the exact opposite.

  1. Never search for your question in a relevant channel, that wastes your own time. Quickly spit out a message (or four) that only gives part of the context needed to solve your issue.This forces a back-and-forth discussion to even figure out what is the problem. Bonus points if it’s a FAQ, people in the channel love to answer the same question over and over.

  2. Ignore threads, they cluster content together too well. Drag it out over as much of the conversation space as possible so it’s easier on the eyes. People often show appreciation for this with emojis like ๐Ÿ˜ .

  3. Never format your messages, it’s overrated. Reading plain text is a time honored tradition.

  4. Donโ€™t waste energy clustering multiple messages into a single coherent piece. You could be spending your time doing more valuable activities, like looking at Facebook. Plus people love to see multiple notifications blowing up their laptop, itโ€™s fun! Like ๐ŸŽ† fireworks ๐ŸŽ†!

  5. Ensure errors traces are as long as you can get to clog as much of the channel up as possible. This forces any relevant helpers to only focus on your problem; after all, itโ€™s the only one they can see.

  6. Your issue is more urgent than any other. Make liberal use of @here and @channel to get peopleโ€™s attention, they often show appreciation with emojis like ๐Ÿ‘Ž.

  7. When DMing someone, make sure to only say โ€œhiโ€ or similar, donโ€™t add any relevant context for why you are messaging. Force them to be engaged and have to start a discussion to pull the information from you, like a dentist doing a root canal. This article is obviously wrong


  8. If someone doesnโ€™t respond quickly, they are ignoring you. Send many more messages until they realize they are a bad person for not responding.

  9. Tag people a lot, especially if itโ€™s not urgent or only somewhat relevant to them. Everybody wants fun distractions during the day to break up getting actual work done.

  10. Never acknowledge messages, especially if they are directed at you. Using an emoji or commenting on it gives the requester too much information about your status. Youโ€™re like a spy, keep your cards close to your chest and leave everyone in the dark.

  11. Is your message only relevant to a small number of people? Toss it in a channel instead of group DM, having channels full of irrelevant noise is one of the best parts of Slack!

  12. Donโ€™t use emojis - ever. They are cruft the Slack team added because they were bored, just like when Google built Gmail. Definitely donโ€™t follow how the Slack team uses them .

Following these rules will make you the most celebrated Slack star in your workspace, go get em tiger ๐Ÿฏ! If you want to read a little more about etiquette from the Slack team, have at it

See Also