6 surprising uses of Slack

One of the great things about Slack is its ability to keep surprising you. It’s simple enough to make sense on the first use, easy to master after a few times, and it can even be enhanced with the addition of third-party apps. 

Even then, there are still other things you can do to get more out of it, some of which you might not have expected. Here’s a rundown of a few of them.

Color-coding your messages

The glory days of HTML coding may be long gone, but you can still use it to make your Slack messages stand out with different colors. If you don’t remember how to use it, or you never used it in the first place, a simple Google search will locate a bevy of online glossaries that show which six-character hex codes correspond to which colors. So type in #FF00FF and get your fuchsia on.

Enough with the GIFs already

Experienced Slack users may already know that by integrating the Giphy app, they can communicate with GIFs and send their co-workers messages containing animated cats. All fine and good, but you might want to get some work done too, and those GIFs can get pretty distracting. Luckily, getting rid of them is simply a matter of typing “/collapse” in the message field at the bottom of your Slack window and pressing “enter.” 

Kanye West will see you now

One of the more amusing apps that you can integrate with Slack is Slacker. The app provides an array of graphics featuring celebrities and fictional characters, which can be used to respond to your coworkers. Just one important tip – search for it in Google by typing “Slacker app for Slack,” otherwise the search engine will take you to information about Slacker Radio, which won’t help you here. 

Where was I?

One of the most aggravating workplace scenarios is losing your place in a long series of messages. Finding your way back is a real chore, but Slack has a way to eliminate it. Simply hold down the “alt” key on PCs or the “option” key on Macs and click on the timestamp of the most recent message. Then, when you come back to rejoin the thread, it will take you right back to where you left off.

Shrug it off

Sometimes, co-workers will ask work-related questions that you don’t know the answer to. Additionally, sometimes co-workers will ask you how the new episode of The Voice was, and you haven’t watched it. If you happen to be on Slack when either or both of these questions arise, there’s no need to respond thoughtfully, or even verbally. Just type “/shrug” in the message field, hit “enter” and watch Slack respond on your behalf with a “shrugging person” graphic.

This club needs a bouncer

While Slack is a great resource for streamlining communication between coworkers, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t people who can still abuse it. If you work with such a person, and you’ve already talked to them about their behavior to no avail, you can put your foot down once and for all by booting them from the channel. Just type “/kick @username” and watch the problem evaporate.

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