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Ask DN: (how) do you use Slack?

7 years ago from , digital dingus at Bakken & Bæck

Hey,

At the company I work for we're trying out Slack. The transition from e-mail to Slack is kind of awkward, at the moment, and I was wondering how other people use it or have transitioned to using it.

So, does your company use Slack? I'd love to know how you use it.

27 comments

  • Joel CalifaJoel Califa, 7 years ago

    DigitalOcean <3 Slack

    Channels

    We have #announcements to let everyone (>120 people now) know something and #offtopic for company wide discussion about anything. We also have channels for each team + overly specific fun channels + a bunch of fun private groups. Examples:

    • We have a #web channel for our web team and a stream of what's happening on some of our repos.

    • We have a #seamless channel for finding people to order with.

    • We have an #illustration channel for our illustrators and critiques.

    • We have a #creative channel (where the creative team works) with a dribbble search engine.

    • We have a #pingpong channel where we discuss our ping pong power rankings algorithm.

    • We have a #catpix channel.

    Communication

    Basically all of our communication happens through Slack. I rarely get an email (barring meeting invitations) from people at work.

    Instead of starting group email chains, we often create ad-hoc groups for projects and everything goes in there, which is awesome because it then becomes searchable.

    Integrations

    Integrations are gold. Some stuff we can do:

    • We are able to start Google Hangouts directly in a channel.
    • We can see mentions of @digitalocean on Twitter the moment they happen.
    • We have a channel streaming all of our employees' tweets in one place.
    • We have a Dribbble search engine
    • We have GitHub streaming commits and merges
    • Slack Bot returns my high fives.
    • We have a bot that posts random images of squirrels. Because that's important.

    Web Hooks

    People have built tons of helpful bots that do all sorts of things. They're pretty whimsical and fun, fitting pretty well with Slack.

    You can build almost anything with this.

    Always Online

    This is personal preference, but Slack works perfectly on mobile, so I'm always on it and always available. This is generally less about working all night and more about being tapped in to your company culture. It's a good feeling.

    16 points
  • Jon GoldJon Gold, 7 years ago

    top tip: if you're doing per-project channels with Git/Trello/whatever integration, try putting those notifications in a separate channel. e.g. project + project-notifications. Gets hella noisy if you're being any sort of productive and have more than like 2 people working on something; sucks when you can't chat to people cos others are too busy being badasses & closing loads of issues etc.

    5 points
  • Ian MacIan Mac, 7 years ago

    We have channels based on project/team and some general purpose ones. We aren't limited to "strictly business" communication as we have fun channels like #random, #gifs, and #inspiration. We share articles, resources, and of course cute animal pics. We really love Slack.

    4 points
  • Didier ForestDidier Forest, 7 years ago (edited 7 years ago )

    Here is how it works at eFounders. We’re a startup studio, which means we have one team, working with the teams of each startup we build. All together, we form “The Network”.

    Each startup has 3 rooms:

    • a room for them to discuss their daily-job;

    • a public room so that anyone within The Network can talk to the company directly (to report bugs, to send them a cool article or to ask a question);

    • a tech room (with Github integration mainly).

    For the eFounders’ team, we create temporary rooms for each internal projects, and permanent rooms for each department (design, operations, marketing…)

    We’ve opened channels for #announcement, #general, #good-music, #random (I think their names speak for themselves), that are open only to members of the Network, and one channel that we’ve opened to some outsiders to share knowledge and news: #the-network.

    We've worked a lot on integrating our daily tools to make it even more easy to use them: Trello, Hangouts, Intercom, Github. It makes it a lot easier to gather everything in one place: your communication system.

    We haven’t stopped at the basic integration, and developed a pretty cool add-on. Since most our Network is spread out throughout the world, we’ve built a virtual currency to replace “thankyous” with our own money: the Briqs. We created the Slack command “/give” that enables to give and receive briqs, that we can use on our own shops where we can get cool goodies. We published a detailed post on our blog that explains how it works.

    2 points
  • Dan SherrattDan Sherratt, 7 years ago

    We have a room for each project we're on, and a room for each team to sit in.

    This way we can ask basic project questions in relevant rooms (such as - 'is there a new build today?' or 'do we have this asset at 3x?)

    Then more team-based questions we can ask in team rooms (such as 'is this possible in HTML5?' or 'can you change map colour in the Google Maps API?')

    We also have 'random' rooms for chat and link sharing.

    These are separate to things like Trello, more just an open conversation for quick fire questions rather than full updates.

    2 points
  • Tristam GochTristam Goch, 7 years ago (edited 7 years ago )

    My partner and I have just started using it, this is how it's working for us so far:

    • we have a general room for general stuff
    • we have a room for each project that we're working on, which is integrated with the appropriate Trello boards and GitHub repos

    aaaand, that's it for now. We're also looking for cool ways people use it.

    2 points
  • Dwayne CharringtonDwayne Charrington, 7 years ago

    The place I work at uses Slack exclusively. Email is sometimes used still, but only for extremely formal uses and when we need to notify third parties and CC people internally to keep them in the loop.

    We have a #general channel for general things relating to the company. Info about upcoming holidays and deliveries to the office. We have a #random channel which is for nonsensical chatter not relating to anything. We have a #music channel where people recommend music, also a #nowplaying channel where some people have automated scripts posting what they are listening to in Spotify automatically and some posting manually.

    We have public groups for different teams: #front-end, #back-end team, #product-team, #qa-team and then we have numerous private groups. I am on the front-end team, so in addition to our public group where people bug us, we have a private group where we can talk about things we don't want other teams to read, like our frustrations and stealth projects, etc.

    My favourite thing about Slackbot is the Slackbot auto responses. I added in an auto response to the sentence, "Slackbot tell me a joke" and it will pick from around 60 random jokes I added in and display it. Another aspect of Slack we use extensively is the custom emoticons. Every person in our team has their own emoticon which makes for fun times.

    1 point
  • Kelsey Trabue, 7 years ago

    We LOVE Slack. I just started working with the company I'm working for now and there hasn't been a time we haven't used Slack. It's great for remote purposes and we all work remotely currently. One cool thing is that you can start a google hangout (I know hangouts kinda suck) from Slack, just type in /hangouts in a channel. I can't wait until Slack builds their own video chatting into their product. We also split things up into channels, but not by project, more by product. We have a "tech" channel that's integrated with github, crashlytics and probably something else. Slack is great for sending and storing files as well. I used to just post everything to basecamp for our files, but now Slack can hold them for me.

    1 point
  • Account deleted 7 years ago

    A couple of useful extentions:

    https://github.com/Wikunia/brackets-slacksnippet - send code from Brackets to Slack

    https://github.com/shahruz/Send-to-Slack - send exports from Sketch to Slack

    1 point
  • Mackenzie DavidsonMackenzie Davidson, 7 years ago

    We never really used email - so Slack for us was to replace messaging using iMessage/Text and Facebook Chat. To be fair, Facebook Chat was actually very robust and suited our needs to a point, but since it's integrated with Facebook it was hard to not get distracted by other non-work-related messages.

    You can break up projects really easily in Slack, so your feeds don't get diluted with comments/messages about other projects.

    We connected our rooms to Trello to add tasks really easily. Set up a cute personal Slackbot that responds to certain words and phrases with Drake lyrics (design from the 6! aha). And it's very fast and quick to use, especially with attachments.

    1 point
  • Josué Gutiérrez Valenciano, 7 years ago

    Here at 77 Digital, we have several rooms, like General, Random (for funny stuff), Official Announcements, Rewards (we use Bonusly to thank each others work), and each department has it own room too, like Design, Development, Marketing etc. We let the emails just for the record of what we do on Jira or Basecamp, and to send links of files through WeTransfer or OneDrive. For meetings we alternate between Skype and Hangouts since we have Google Apps for Bussiness. Gonna try Evernote Chat for design feedback though.

    1 point
  • Eric PuigmartiEric Puigmarti, 7 years ago (edited 7 years ago )

    A co-worker of mine wrote up about how we use Slack at our company. After using Skype, Hangouts and countless email threads for team / client communication we tried Slack and haven't turned back since. In all honesty, like any other groups chat platform is can get quite noisy very fast; which is where channels come in very handy.

    We use Slack channels for team wide announcements, non-work topics, article sharing and stupid gifs, with group chats for projects and work related conversations. Having the right channels setup will help channel the noise, allowing each person to only subscribe to conversations that they might care about and not having thousands of notifications every day.

    The channels we typically use are: - unimportant-things

    • general

    • sports

    • sketch tips

    • music

    • prototyping-tools

    • podcasts

    • gaming

    More specifics on how our team uses slack can be found here: https://medium.com/by-heist/lets-chat-about-chat-b541a7c3ebc4

    0 points
  • , 7 years ago

    Thanks for all the replies, people! Much appreciated.

    0 points
  • Noe AraujoNoe Araujo, 7 years ago (edited 7 years ago )

    At Icalia Labs

    CHANNELS

    design-process

    design-front

    facilities

    general

    pkmbattles (here we play pokémon)

    random

    after-office

    development

    internships

    iOS-development

    rails-development

    • Also we use have a channel per project

    PRIVATE GROUPS

    anniversary

    design

    dogs (this place you can literally BARK http://cl.ly/YhK9 LOL)

    videogame

    0 points
  • Jason BeatonJason Beaton, 7 years ago

    Just started a two-man development team with a great developer, and email just wasn't cutting it. We started up a new slack with some basic channels:

    design

    functionality

    general

    new ideas

    (new project name)

    random

    Once we finish up our current project, we'll open up new channels for the next project. My thoughts behind creating a #design and #functionality channel was to keep it as an idea place, and if we like the idea, we'd add it into the project channel. That way we keep our project channel nice and clean.

    0 points
  • Nick RinconNick Rincon, 7 years ago

    http://www.theverge.com/2014/11/24/7255199/slack-alters-privacy-policy-to-let-bosses-read-your-messages

    0 points
    • Joel CalifaJoel Califa, 7 years ago

      It's pretty transparent, though. You'll be able to see your company's settings.

      I asked our HR guy about us turning it on when I read this earlier today. His response was "fuck no, that's so creepy."

      2 points
  • Nick RinconNick Rincon, 7 years ago

    80% of it is GIFs… but we do have team channels, a private dev channel… we share snippets, files… It's really useful but like i said when you get the ball rolling you could easily waste some time.

    We moved from hipchat which was pretty awesome too, the only complaint with slack is that we have the free account and with all the people we have sometimes the history of the conversation could be gone in 1 or 2 days.

    Thye do have some sick integrations, stay away from giphy tho.

    0 points
  • Ryan Hicks, 7 years ago

    Searchhhhhhh

    This has been asked a million times on here.

    0 points
  • eivind ingebrigtseneivind ingebrigtsen, 7 years ago

    We've been using Slack for almost a year now. 40 people on it and it's not taking over for email, but giving us an overview we haven't had before:

    • All JIRA tickets and source code commits are posted to a channel.
    • All servers from different environments (test, staging and live), post into a channel when they are updating (start and finish).
    • Critical errors has a separate channel, with links to uploads and stack traces for the error.
    • All customer tickets that come in are posted to a separate channel.
    • Triggers on our services (contact us, feature tests) are posted into a channel

    This means that all people have access to the latest information from most of our systems in a single app.

    Now anyone can check wether a server was updated, bug is closed, or how many errors we've had - wether they are developers, designers, testers or CMO.

    In addition, Slack beats all other IM's for a very important thing - file uploads/attachements - this is an utter dream when compared to Skype or sending files through other services.

    0 points
  • Jeff CrumpJeff Crump, 7 years ago

    We have about 30 people on Slack, and the DM functionality is probably the thing I use the most. It has replaced both IM and email for me. When you merge those two things, you get a one big thread that is easily searchable by keyword. Add in automatic rich media like link description, inline tweets and YouTube videos and you have something that neither IM or email has.

    0 points
  • , 7 years ago

    Thanks for the comments so far, folks!

    0 points