A remedy for the most common Slack headache

Alex Godin
Jul 12, 2016 · 2 min read

When we look at a Slack installation, more often than not, we see a message that looks something like this:

“Please avoid posting in the #general channel unless it is incredibly important and relevant to the entire staff.”

This is one of the first problems that pops up in most Slack installs. Employees don’t understand the weight of their messages in the #general channel and accidentally flood their coworkers with notifications.

Slack’s #general channel doesn’t behave like most channels. It’s the only channel that employees can’t leave. This makes it a great way to share the types of messages that used to go into all hands emails.

A channel no-one can leave is a terrible place for less important conversations or wholly off-topic chatter. In fact, the cross-talk can make #general much less valuable for all-staff announcements. When a channel is noisy, people tend to mute it. If your team mutes the channel, suddenly, important messages get lost.

It turns out, Slack makes it easy to keep your #general channel clutter free with just a few clicks.

Here’s how to solve the problem in 2 easy steps:

Note: you need to be an admin or owner to do this.

1. Rename your #general channel to #announcements

Find this setting under “additional options” for a channel

2. Limit who can post in #general

Find this tab in your “Team Settings”

Advanced mode: create more all-hands channels

Now that you’ve created an announcements channel, you can make new default channels for other discussions everyone should be a part of:

  1. Make a new channel
To create a new channel, lick the plus sign next to the word Channels in your sidebar

2. Add your new channel to the default channel list

Find this in your “Team Settings”

Slash-hyphen is the world’s leading Slack consulting firm. Our team helps productive organizations maximize Slack through custom software, architecture consulting and training.

Interested in hearing more stories about the Slack powered workplace, subscribe to our fortnightly newsletter.

letters from slash-hyphen

Insights into how smart teams are deploying Slack from…

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store