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How to Use Slack

Use this template to outline best practices for your team’s internal use of Slack. Learn more about this template.


How should we use Slack?

Slack can be used for real-time conversations and to connect with colleagues, but the expectation is that Slack should be considered an asynchronous communication tool. This means that you're not required to respond to a message immediately, as your focused attention might be elsewhere (in a meeting or on your deep thinking work).

Personalize your Slack experience

Your profile

  • Include a photo of you that shows your face (not Pizzapizza.png, sorry)

  • Include the Slack channels where your work can be found (i.e. internaI-comms)

  • Set your emoji skin tone

  • Add your gender pronouns

Notifications and channel Settings

Honor and Personalize your stATUS

  • Personalize your status

    • Connect Slack to Google Calendar to make the team aware you're in a meeting

    • Utilize preset Slack statuses and set your status to normalize sharing (e.g. heads down, with kids, on a walk)

    • Self-honor your status: If on vacation, be on vacation; after hours, respond in the morning

    • In turn, recognize that your colleague set a status to explicitly communicate something. It's certainly okay to send them a message, but remember that Slack is asynchronous


Posting guidelines and etiquette:

Pause before you post:

  • To allow us to better assume good intent, seek balance, and promote mindful action at work, consider pausing before you post. This encourages us to slow down in order to respond vs. react to a message

  • When an individual is @mentioned in a channel, consider waiting for that human to respond before joining the conversation

  • Post in public or shared channels vs. direct messages. This is why Slack exists and is the most impactful habit we can change to promote transparency!

@Mention guidelines:

  • @mention human beings in channels (it's okay we promise) if you require a direct response

  • Use @groups to communicate with a specific team. This will empower anyone on the team to respond.

  • Only use at @here for time-bound communication (i.e. here's the Zoom PW I forgot to include)

  • Do not use @channel

Use Message urgency indicators:


πŸ‘†:point_up: = Making You Aware. No action needed
🚩 :triangular_flag_on_post: = Need ASAP. Hoping for an immediate response
1️⃣ :one: = Response requested in 1 Day. 1 day grace period for a response
3️⃣ :three: = Response requested in 3 Days. 3 day grace period for a response
πŸš— :car: = Move This Party Elsewhere. A polite reminder a message should be in a different channel. Assuming good intent, this a polite suggestion that convo is better suited somewhere else (thread or a DM). It's important to understand this is an accepted suggestion and is not meant to feel rude or mean.

Use Message Reactions consistently

Use reaction emojis: Reacting to Slack messages to let people know if you've read it or completed the action item.
eyes emoji.png :eyes: = Taking a look/Will take a look
green check mark.png :white_check_mark: = action taken


Find custom Guru emojis for Slack here