Top 5 Ways to Customize Slack

Increase productivity, and make Slack more fun and interactive.

Slack is quickly becoming the top communication tool for workplaces. With raving reviews, and a valuation of nearly $3 billion, it’s no secret we all love Slack. And, it’s pretty clear why! Slack is more than a simple, well-designed communication tool. It’s jam-packed with awesome features that improve productivity and add a little fun into our lives.

Create a personalized experience for yourself and your team by customizing Slack to fit your needs. Here are some great ways to create a unique Slack experience.

1. Customize Slack’s Personality: Bring Slackbot to Life

Slackbot is the fun, built-in personal assistant on Slack. Add some character to your conversations by producing custom responses for Slackbot. The responses can be fun, informative, witty, or motivating. Let your imagination run wild!

To configure Slackbot responses, go to

  1. Click on the + Add new response button
  2. In the text box under the column, When someone says, type an input
  3. In the text box under the column, Slackbot responds, type an output
  4. Hit Save response, and you’re done!

You can add as many input and output phrases as you’d like. Separate input phrases with commas. For example: Hey, Hi, Sup (see #2 below). Add multiple Slackbot responses by putting each one on a separate line.
For example:
Oh, hi!
Hey there!
Suppidy sup?
(see #3 below)
Slackbot will choose a random response whenever multiple responses are available.


Quick Tips:

  • Use Slackbot like a private, searchable, notebook! Any text or media you send to Slackcbot in a private conversation is searchable only by you.
  • Ask Slackbot for the WiFi password for your building.

To learn more about Slackbot, visit this help article.

2. Keep Your Team Engaged: Add Custom Welcome Messages

Have you noticed the random messages and tips that are displayed while Slack is loading? There’s a way to customize those too!

You can add custom messages to the list of built-in-messages that you and your team already see. Try including tips and updates for your product, an inside joke that’ll start your team’s day with a smile, or a motivational quote to get everyone going. Remember, custom messages are always attributed to the person that added them, and everyone on the team will see the message, so make sure it’s workplace appropriate.

To add custom messages, go to

  1. Type your message into the text box under the heading, Add a custom loading message
  2. Hit the Add Message button, and you’re done!

Quick Tips:

  • If you prefer to see custom messages only, you can disable the built-in-messages from the same page. Simply click the box next to, don’t show the built-in loading messages. Once the box is checked, click the Save Setting button (see image above).

3. Enhance Your Conversations: Create Custom Emoji

When words just aren’t enough, Emoji, and the Giphy integration, help teammates express themselves. With emoji, workplace conversations become more interesting, fun, colorful, and engaging. Slack includes an extensive collection of emoji, but you can create custom emoji for all your emoji needs.

To create custom emoji, go to

  1. Type a name for your emoji in the text box below Choose a name. This is what you’ll type in a conversation to display your custom emoji.
  2. To upload an image for your custom emoji, click the Choose File button under Choose an emoji. Then, select the image from the pop-up window.
  3. To use your custom name for an existing emoji, click set alias for an existing emoji and click the circle next to Set alias for an existing emoji. Then, select an emoji from the drop-down list.
  4. When you’re done, hit the Save New Emoji button. Your custom emoji is available to everyone on your team, and can be found in the custom tab of the emoji menu. Try using it now!

Quick Tips:

  • Small, square images work best for custom emoji. Slack will resize the image to fit neatly inside a row of text.
  • Images can be JPG, GIF, or PNG, up to 128px in width or height, and a maximum of 64K in file size.
  • Animated emoji are not yet supported on Android
  • In the emoji section of your preferences, you can select which emoji style you prefer (Apple/International style, Google Hangouts style, Twitter style, or Emoji One style)

Learn more about built-in-emoji and custom emoji.

4. Increase Productivity: Declutter and Customize Your Sidebar

Another awesome Slack feature is channels (similar to group chats), and most teams have a large number of them. With the addition of private groups and direct messages, you can end up with a cluttered sidebar. Not to worry! You can change your channel list settings to make your sidebar less overwhelming.

  1. In your Slack window, click on your team name to open the Team Menu
  2. Select Preferences > Advanced Options
  3. Change your Channel List settings by using the drop-down list. You may choose to “hide any channels, direct messages, and private groups, which have no unread activity,” or “hide any channels etc., which have no unread activity, unless they are starred.”
  4. Hit the Done button in the top, right corner to save your changes

In addition to decluttering your sidebar, you can personalize it by choosing a different sidebar theme. Slack has six built-in-themes. But wait, you can choose your own colors! To customize your sidebar, follow these steps:

  1. In your Slack window, click on your team name to open the Team Menu
  2. Select Preferences > Sidebar Theme
  3. Click on the built-in theme you prefer, or click customize your theme and select your custom colors from the color picker
  4. Hit the Done button in the top, right corner to save your changes
  5. Don’t forget to tweet your beautiful sidebar themes to @Slack. If you’re lucky, they might get shared!

Quick Tips:

  • When you copy and paste your custom theme into Slack, and share it with your team, Slack will display a small color swatch of each color
  • Custom sidebars can help with color-blindness
  • After you click customize your theme, you can activate the Solanum theme (green and red deficiency — see below) by copying and pasting the following values into the text box at the bottom of the page: #4F2F4C, #452842, #8C5888, #FFFFFF, #3E313C, #FFFFFF, #D0FF00, #889100
  • To activate the Brinjal theme (blue deficiency — see below), copy and paste the following values into the text box at the bottom of the page: #4F2F4C, #452842, #8C5888, #FFFFFF, #3E313C, #FFFFFF, #00FFB7, #DE4C0D
Original Source: Slack Blog

Learn more about Sidebar Themes, including the Color-Blindness Edition.

5. Stop Switching Between Apps: Integrate Apps and Services in Slack

Make your life easier by integrating the apps and services you, and your team, already use. Slack integrates with dozens of apps and services, and they’re continually adding to the list! With integrations, you can pull info from outside tools into Slack, and keep all your team’s info in one place. And, to top things off, it’s all searchable!

To configure integrations, follow the steps below:

  1. In your Slack window, click on your team name to open the Team Menu (or go to
  2. Select Configure Integrations
  3. Find the app or service you want to connect and hit the View button next to it
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions. Please note, different apps and services may have different instructions.

Quick Tips:

  • The Google Calendar integration helps you stay on top of your schedule, and you can set reminders too!
  • Keep up with a specific news source by integrating RSS feeds into groups or channels.
  • The Google Docs integration eliminates URLs. Google Doc links pasted into Slack are converted into proper files with useful titles, and the file contents become searchable within Slack.
Original Source: Slack Website

See the full list of Slack Integrations or view upcoming Slack Integrations.

Please share your favorite Slack tips in the comments, and don’t forget to click that heart to recommend this post!