Slack For Dummies

Slack For Dummies

by Phil Simon
Slack For Dummies

Slack For Dummies

by Phil Simon


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You get so much more done when you Slack!

Ever wondered what it would be like to be less overwhelmed, more efficient, and much more engaged at work? A way you can make all that happen is, of course, to Slack. Actually, it's to use Slack, the business communications platform that's revolutionized how groups work together. This comprehensive guide shows how—as well as why—there are now millions of users of this flexible, fun, and intuitive workspace tool.

Presented in a clear, easy-to-follow style, Slack For Dummies takes you from the basics of getting started with the service all the way through how to get your teams Slacking together for all they're worth. You'll also find case studies showing how Slack increases productivity and how to replicate that in your organization, as well as tips on getting buy-in from the boss.

  • Introduce Slack to your workflo
  • wUnderstand roles and feature
  • sAnalyze user dat
  • aKeep your Slacking secure

So, take a peek inside and discover how you can cut the slack using Slack—and clue your teams in on how there is actually a way to Slack off for improved results!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781119669500
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 06/10/2020
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 1,080,657
Product dimensions: 7.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Phil Simon is the award-winning author of nine books, including Message Not Received: Why Business Communication is Broken and How to Fix It. He is a recognized technology authority, Slack trainer, dynamic public speaker, college professor, and longtime Slack power user.

Table of Contents

Foreword xiii

Introduction 1

About This Book 2

Foolish Assumptions 2

Icons Used in This Book 4

Beyond the Book 5

Where to Go from Here 5

Part 1 Working Smarter and Better with Slack 7

Chapter 1 Why Slack Exists 9

Introducing Slack 9

Meeting Slack's Users and Customers 13

Understanding Why Slack Exists 14

Email: The blessing and all-too-frequent curse 15

Trapped institutional knowledge 16

Employees often can't find what they want - quickly or even at all 17

What Slack Specifically Does 18

Employer benefits 18

Employee benefits 23

Chapter 2 Getting Started with Slack 29

Reviewing Slack's Different Versions 29

Free plan 30

Standard plan 30

Plus plan 31

Enterprise Grid 31

Changing your Slack plan 31

Describing Slack's cost structure 33

Beginning Your Slack Journey with the Workspace 35

Creating a new Slack workspace 36

Signing in to an existing Slack workspace 37

Accessing your new workspace 40

Using the Slack desktop app 40

Introducing the Slack user interface 42

Summarizing Slack's Different Roles and Permissions 44

Administrative roles 44

Non-administrative roles 46

Managing member roles 47

Enterprise Grid roles and permissions 51

Starting Your New Workspace Off on the Right Foot 52

Expanding your existing workspace 52

Configuring your member profile and key account settings 54

Part 2 Communicating without Chaos 57

Chapter 3 Targeting Your Communication with Slack Channels 59

Introducing Slack Channels 60

Exploring the Different Types of Slack Channels 61

Public channels 62

Private channels 63

Multi-workspace channels 65

Shared channels 67

Creating Public and Private Channels 69

Creating your first public channel 70

Building an intelligent channel structure 73

Viewing basic channel information 75

Performing Channel Actions 76

Group actions 77

Individual actions 81

Adding Members to Existing Channels 83

Manual additions 83

Default workplace channels 85

Exploring Existing Public Channels 85

Communicating via Slack Channels 87

Posting simple channel messages 88

Understanding channel etiquette 89

Chapter 4 The Wonderful World of Slack Messages 91

Understanding Slack Messages 92

Sending a Message 92

Performing basic message actions 94

Formatting your messages 96

Finding people in your workspace 98

Editing messages 100

Deleting messages 101

Muting conversations 101

Setting message-specific reminders 102

Saving DMs and channel messages 102

Pinning DMs to conversations 103

Creating special types of messages 104

Converting group DMs into private channels 108

Using threads to create topic-specific containers 109

Sharing in Slack 111

Sharing files 111

Sharing messages 114

Comparing Email and Slack 116

Forwarding Email to Slack 117

Communicating Outside of Slack 117

Chapter 5 Staying Informed with Notifications, Statuses, and Feeds 119

Getting Your Arms around Notifications 120

Managing Slack notifications 120

Reviewing the different types of Slack notifications 122

Letting Others Know Your Availability 130

Setting your status 131

Viewing your colleagues' statuses 132

Editing your status 133

Clearing your status 133

Setting yourself to away/active 133

Unplugging with Do Not Disturb mode 134

Configuring Device-Specific Notifications 137

Enabling notifications on mobile devices 137

Understanding when settings collide 137

Finding Other Ways to Stay Current 138

Receiving emails on recent activity 138

Viewing mentions and reactions 139

Part 3 Becoming a Slack Power User 141

Chapter 6 Going Deeper into Slack's Functionality 143

Making Calls in Slack 143

Types of calls 144

Calls and security 148

Sharing Your Screen in Slack 149

Presenting and viewing 149

Drawing 150

Saving Even More Time in Slack 150

Invoking keyboard shortcuts 151

Using commands 152

Managing Your Life with Reminders 153

Saving Items 155

Saving files 155

Saving messages 155

Quickly accessing your saved items 155

Creating User Groups 156

Chapter 7 Finding What You Need with Slack's Powerful Search Techniques 159

Searching for Better Search Methods 160

Performing Searches in Slack 161

Searching by workspace members 163

Restricting searches to specific date ranges 164

Using negative keywords 165

Referencing multiple keywords 166

Restricting search results even more 167

Searching by user reactions 167

Searching by wildcards 168

Searching by fuzziness 169

Searching by additional modifiers 170

Getting the Most Out of Search in Slack 170

Start small 170

Embrace modifiers 171

Remember that results change over time 172

Be patient 172

Chapter 8 Personalizing Slack 173

Getting to Know Your Slack Options 174

Configuring global workspace settings 175

Personalizing your Slack options 179

Customizing User Profiles 185

Creating custom fields 186

Populating custom fields 187

Organizing Your Sidebar 189

Using sections 189

Sorting channels 191

Chapter 9 Keeping It Safe: Reviewing Slack's Security and Privacy Settings 193

Getting Acquainted with Slack Security 194

Security and Slack's Evolution 194

Configuring Slack's Access and Security Settings 195

Confirming sign-ins via email 195

Resetting your password 195

Viewing access logs 197

Enabling two-factor authentication 198

Additional security features 200

Enhancing Security via Slack Enterprise Grid 201

Examining Privacy in Slack 202

Message encryption 202

What data Workspace Admins can Access 204

Workspace message-retention settings 204

File-retention settings 207

Understanding Slack's Tricky Regulatory Environment 208

Restrictions on data and file retention 208

Data residency 208

Part 4 Extending Slack's Native Functionality 211

Chapter 10 Making Slack Hum with Robust Third-Party Apps 213

Understanding How Slack Has Embraced Platform Thinking 214

Comparing Public and Private Apps 215

Public apps 215

Private apps and integrations 215

Enhancing Slack with Third-Party Apps 216

Looking at app costs 216

The Slack App Directory 217

Introducing Some Popular 5lack Apps 218

Polling apps 218

File- and content-sharing apps 220

Scheduling apps 221

Productivity and project-management apps 223

IFTTT Slack applets 224

Video-calling apps 225

Email apps and integrations 225

Miscellaneous apps 226

Finding and Installing Apps 227

Browsing the Slack App Directory 228

Installing a Slack app in your workspace 228

Searching for specific apps 230

Experimenting with new apps 230

Managing Apps and App Permissions 231

Approving specific apps 231

Regulating workspace apps 232

Viewing all your workspace apps 236

Enforcing your organization's app policy 236

Removing apps from your workspace 238

Disappearing apps 239

Disabling and re-enabling preserved apps 239

Viewing app activity logs 240

Using Workflow Builder 241

Creating workflows 241

Heeding workflow warnings 244

Chapter 11 Analyzing, Importing, Exporting, and Updating Slack User Data 245

Analyzing Workspace Data 246

Slack's analytics dashboard 246

Channel-specific analytics 250

Member analytics 252

Viewing Member Access Logs 253

Moving Data Around in Slack 254

Exporting data from Slack 254

Importing data into Slack 258

Consolidating Slack workspaces 259

Avoiding mistakes when migrating data 261

Performing Mass Updates to User Data 262

Chapter 12 Integrating Slack with Popular Enterprise Systems 263

A Brief Primer on Enterprise Systems 264

Back-office systems 264

Front-office systems 265

Slack and Current Enterprise Systems 265

Exploring current system integrations 268

Creating new system integrations 270

Looking forward 274

Part 5 Successfully Introducing Slack in the Workspace 275

Chapter 13 The Elements of Persuasion: Slack-Adoption Strategies 277

A Brief Primer on Network Effects 278

Reviewing the Different Slack-Adoption Approaches 279

The bottom-up method 279

The top-down method 280

The middle-out method 280

Making Slack Stick at Work 281

Organization-level strategies 281

Strategies for handling difficult employees 286

Chapter 14 The Inherent Risks of Deploying Slack 297

Identifying the Risks of Using Slack 298

Business risks 298

Technology and security risks 304

Listing Slack's Environmental Challenges 307

Slack's financial pressures 308

Stiff competition 310

Ongoing legal and privacy concerns 311

Chapter 15 The Future of Slack: We're Just Getting Started 315

Increased Use of Automation and Bots 316

AI and machine learning make Slack smarter - much, much smarter 317

Slack begins to monitor employee morale and diagnose cultural issues 318

Tighter Integration with Popular Enterprise Systems 319

Better Dashboards and Analytics 319

A More Powerful Slack Work Graph 320

Continued Borrowing of Popular Features from Other Apps 322

Key Acquisitions and Partnerships 326

Part 6 The Part of Tens 327

Chapter 16 Ten Great Slack Tips 329

Respond Promptly to New Users' Requests, Questions, and Feedback 329

Regularly View Slack Analytics 330

Tread Lightly with New Hires 330

Establish Slack as the Default Medium for Internal Communication 330

Emphasize Slack's Carrots More Than Its Sticks 331

Keep an Eye Out for New Slack Apps 331

Tell Overly Exuberant Slack Members to Tone It Down 331

Publicize Your Status and Availability 331

Try Before You Buy 332

Know When to Turn Slack Off 332

Chapter 17 Ten or So Common Slack Myths 333

Slack Is just Email 2.0 333

Slack Decimates the Need for Email 334

All Organizations Configure Slack in a Uniform Way 334

Slack Obviates the Need for In-Person Communication 335

Slack Solves Every Conceivable Business-Communication Problem 335

Slack Is Too Expensive for Our Company 335

Our Company Has Built a Tool That's Just as Good as Slack 336

Our Employees Don't Need Slack 336

Our Company Uses Slack and Nothing Else for Collaboration 337

You Can't Misuse Slack 338

Chapter 18 The Top Ten or So Slack Resources 339

Slack Online Support 340

Contacting Slack 340

Browsing the Slack support site 340

Opening cases or making suggestions within the Slack app 340

Finding Slack tips 340

Submitting Slack feature requests 341

Other Online Resources 341

Official resources 341

Unofficial resources 342

Developer resources 343

In-Person Resources 343

Conferences 343

Meetups 344

In-person training 345

Index 347

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