Getting started with Slack

When you have a business or a startup with team members in 5 different countries and several time zones, you understand that a suitable communication is vital to ensure collaboration. To address this at Toky, we decided to use Slack, which in its free plan offers very good features for any team and it also has native apps on iOS and Android so we can be online when we need it.

Slack has over 3 million daily active users with more than 60,000 teams making use of this platform.

Slack has a fast amount of options for use, so we would like to share the basic applications which we hope will enable you to start using it today for your business.

Slack’s basic concepts

There are some key concepts that you must know before start using Slack.

  • Channels: They are open communication spaces where you can share what you want with those who registered for a channel. They are identified with the hashtag symbol () before the name.
  • Direct messages (DM): They are one to one conversations.
If you see a full circle next to the user name () it means that the user is online; if you see an empty circle () it means is offline.
  • Private channels: They are private spaces that any team member can create and invite to whom he wants. The private channels are visible in the sidebar just for those who belong to them. They have a lock symbol () before its name.

How to talk with your team members in Slack

These are some basic tips to talk with other users in Slack.

  • Free messages: In any channel or direct message, you can write whatever you want and the message can be read by anyone registered in the channel. When a channel has unread messages, you’ll see its name in bold in the sidebar.
  • User’s mentions: When you’re talking in public or private channels, you can mention a user by placing an “at” sign () before the username, for example @username.
When a user is mentioned in a message, Slack sends him a notification and he can see the number of mentions enclosed in a box next to the channel or direct message.
  • Announcements: These are some special mentions used to notify the users in a channel or even the whole team:
  • @channel Sends a notification to the users in a channel.
  • @everyone sends a notification to all the team members; generally it’s used in public channels such as #general.
  • @here Sends a notification to all the online users in the channel where is used.
If your team members start misusing announcements, you can restrict their use if you are a team administrator in Slack.
  • Direct Messages (DM): To speak with a single user you just have to look in the DIRECT MESSAGES section in the sidebar and make a click on his username or use the plus sign () to look for any user.
Now if besides chatting with your team, you also want to talk to them or to your customers, try Toky for Business free for 15 days. Visit www.toky.co

Basic actions to collaborate in Slack

Slack power goes beyond messages; the other features allow enhanced collaboration capabilities.

  • Sharing links: With just copying and pasting a link in Slack, you can see a snippet with an image and some extra details.
  • Sharing images and files: To share images or files you can just drag the files from your file system and drop them in the Slack window. You can also use the plus sign () next to the input message box.
If the file is an image you can see it in Slack, for images or files can make specific comments.
  • Pasting from clipboard: This is one of the best features of Slack; if you want to share a screenshot or any image found on the Internet you just have to copy and paste in the Slack conversation.
  • Integrations: Slack can be integrated with many other tools such as Google Drive, Dropbox, Trello, MailChimp and many others that can explore to see which serves your team best.

Toky’s Slack integration

Toky can be integrated to Slack so you can receive notifications of missed calls and voicemails published right on the Slack channel you choose. It is easy to set up and it will be very useful to use Slack while you are aware of the calls from your customers. If you want to know more, click here

Learn about some other useful tools we use at Toky in this post

Sources: 
 Screenshots and data from www.slack.com


Originally published at blog.toky.co on August 30, 2016.