We’ve already discussed why it’s important to not waste people’s time over in our article about writing and structuring messages. But those are not the only ways that you can use Slack more effectively to save time. From emojis to convey how you’re feeling to using polls to get a good sense of peoples’ opinions on a project.
Below, we walk you through some of our favourite Slack time savers. Read on to get the inside scoop on:
Join’s emoji library
Who doesn’t enjoy the satisfying moment of watching the reactions (emojis) come in after working hard on a project and releasing the update on a Slack channel? Reactions are a really nice way to show your support for other team members, or acknowledge that it’s ‘message received’ without always having to write a reply.
As well as reacting to messages, Slack also allows us to set a status using them. These show up next to your name everywhere across the app, so if anyone wants to get hold of you, but you’re not at your desk, they can get an idea of when you’ll be back from your status.
You can set your status to automatically disappear after a certain period of time, so you’re not accidentally set to ‘walking the dog’ for 5 hours.
Below is a snippet of our emoji library here at JOIN that we use to react to messages and set statuses along with their meanings:
👋 – hi!
❤️ – love this! / Great work!
👍 – message received
👎 – bad news
🙌 – yay! / Great news!
🙏 – thank you
👀 – looking into it
🔴 – urgent problem
🥪 – at lunch (or any food emoji)
☕ – coffee/tea break
🚶- taking a walk
📅 – in a meeting
🌊 – in flow
💡 – focus time
🚀 – on track/on the way up
🕑 – be right back
🎉 – celebration
🌴 – on vacation
🏠 – working from home/working remotely
🤒 – off sick
🚫 – do not disturb
📞 – in a call
🎯 – great work/bullseye
✅ – done/in agreement
Syncing your calendar
You can also sync your Google calendar to Slack, so it automatically updates your status when you’re in a meeting. You can then check all your upcoming meetings in Slack and receive notifications when they’re about to start, message the attendees, and respond with your attendance.
To do this, scroll down to apps and make sure Google Calendar is enabled. You can click the ‘+’ to set it up if you haven’t already. Then you’ll be able to check on easily with your schedule each morning without using several apps.
In poll-position – Polly polls
Polls are a great way to get people’s opinions, either anonymously or not. This reduces the amount of notification distractions as it allows teams to give their thoughts on a certain subject without discussing it.
Slack allows integration to enable polls called ‘polly polls’ which allows you to easily get feedback or updates from your team and organisation.
You’ll also find that the confidential option in Polly will give you the most honest answers, which is much better than asking an open question in a channel or chat.
If your team participates in daily or weekly stand-ups, you can schedule Polly to send a survey to everyone daily so everything is written down and can be tracked. One thing we love about this feature is that you can let your line manager know if you’re blocked on a project or need help with something.
To send a stand-up or a poll, scroll down to Apps and press the ‘+’ if Polly isn’t already enabled. Once you’re set up, you can create a poll, see all the data related to each one, and manage your polls.
Polls can be sent in either private chats or in channels and they are a great way to get your team’s opinions on a lot of different things. Here at JOIN, we like to keep track of how our team feels about our culture on a regular basis.
Tip: If you’re looking for opinions instead of a yes/no answer, then be sure to include an open ended question, or a field to allow responders space to give a more in-depth answer.
Using polls, emoji reactions, and statuses gives you an in-real-time picture of how your team feels about everything. It’s almost like a live stream of feedback that you get daily.
We speak about feedback a lot in other articles of our Knowledge Hub because we truly believe that feedback is one of the key ingredients of any successful business. Knowing how everyone feels on subjects from culture and team events, to strategies and data is a great way to plan how you’ll move forward.
Do you want to learn more about how Slack can save you time? Move on to our next article about our favourite keyboard shortcuts.