SLACK : Chat like a pro!

Slack has become a key tool in business, and for good reason: well used it makes your life simpler. No more company emails piling up or business messages that mix with the technical fantasies of engineers and in between two gifs taken from 9gag… With Slack, you have intra-organization messaging, where the messages are sorted by theme. If you can’t find the info you need in this brief introduction, you know the motto: RTFM

🔥 Slack101, the basics of Slack in 5 key points

1. Workspaces 🙌🏽

Workspaces” are discussion groups where different members can communicate. For example, at O’Sol we have a dedicated workspace, internal to the team.
We also have a MonacoTech workspace that allows us to interact with all MonacoTech people and startups.
As we have offices in the CréACannes incubator, we also have a dedicated workspace where we are kept up to date on the incubator’s news

2. Channels 🎯

“Channels” are communication spaces within the workspace centered on a particular subject. For example, we will talk about business in the #business channel while we will talk about cocktails in #afterworks.

There are different types of channels, which have different properties:
👀 public channels which begin with a #
🔒 private channels which begin with a padlock and are only visible to members
🔗 shared channels which link across different workspaces

At O’Sol, when a new user joins our workspace she is directly added by default to some channels. These default channels can be set by the administrator by clicking on the name of the workspace on the top left then Administration> workspace settings> default channel.

3. Messages and calls ✍🏽

Messages are usually of two types: channel messages or private messages.

You can also notify people by sending messages, at different levels.
@everyone notifies all members in the workspace
@channel notifies everyone in the channel
@chucknorris notifies Chuck Norris of your message (yes, he works at O’Sol!!)
@technical notifies the technical group (assuming this group has been created in your workspace beforehand).

Finally, a very useful function is that of audio and video calls. In free version, only one-to-one calls are available, but with a paid subscription you can make calls with all members of a given channel. This is convenient to have a remote meeting without opening Skype or AppearIn.

4. Message functions: search, pin, share, favorite, thread… 🔎

Slack messages are organized in a channel, so far so good. But for greater organization, slack has been equipped with great features which apply to messages and files.

5. Integrations: Trello, Google Calendar, Twitter…

Integrations are a simple and effective way to bridge the gap between the various applications you use. For example, it is possible to interact with Trello, Slite, Google Calendar and many others from Slack!

Some integrations are very interesting. At O’Sol, we especially like these :

Twitter 🐦
Tracks tweets received or sent from a certain account. For example, at O’Sol it allows us to see the tweets received on our Twitter account. For example, the “sent by” function could also be used to track tweets posted by competitors to be aware of what is happening in their news.

Polly 📊
More complete than Simple Poll, polly allows you to output statistics and toggle options such as confidentiality. It also makes it possible to create mini-surveys . Example:
/poll “Which market should we pursue?” “NGOs” “Individuals” “Military”

Giphy 🎉
Because working is good, but working with humor is better 😝
Remember to click on “Full Library” and check the previews.
>To send a gif, type: /giphy lol to find the LOL gif and send it.

Zapier 🤖
Zapier is automation pushed to the limit. In summary, it makes the link between some applications you use daily and Slack. It is also sometimes more efficient than some Slack integrations. It supports more than 1000 apps (Gmail, Basecamp, Evernote, GoogleSheets, Twitter…) and creates zaps (automation) in Slack, which turns it into a hub where all the important information meets. The possibilities are nearly endless, and you will have to go to the web page to get an idea and understand how it can help you.
An example? For a 5-day show, we would like to know who will be on the team on what day. In one click Zapier can copy everyone’s posts, create a google sheet and add each person with the corresponding day and his email in one line.
In our case, it also helps us to know when someone is talking about us on Twitter 🐦

SnippetsBot 🏆
Inspired by the internal operating system used at Google, SnippetsBot helps you keep others updated on your accomplishments, goals and obstacles that are blocking you for accomplishing certain tasks. A few hours before the deadline, the robot will remind you to fill out the Snippet and will report every Monday!

According to the website, here are some interesting uses of this feature:

In our case, we will use it to follow the evolution of what has been done at MonacoTech.

FlexBot 🤸🏽
It’s a combination of a super-mom and a well-being coach, always behind you.
Did you know that 40% of our daily activities are governed by habits? ☕️? Do you want to implement new positive habits?
It’s the role of FlexBot! It will help you sit upright, drink more water 🚰, meditate or do Yoga.
To get started, go to the FlexBot Chat, type help and it will tell you all the available commands.

Stop, Breathe and Think 🧘🏽
Staying within well-being, stop breathe & think is a meditation app on Slack. Go to the SB&T bot, and type in, the bot will ask you how you feel mentally, physically and emotionally today. Depending on your answers, you will be offered different meditation sessions of 5 to 10 minutes.

Some other great integrations which are not yet fully implemented:

 

LeeveBot 👋
This super-mega-powerful app for Slack can manage teammate leave and sick days very simply. Some members may be assigned for approval, and in a few commands you may have leave tracking, approve people’s leave requests and see past absences. No more messy spreadsheets!

Simple Poll 📊
The most simple of its kind, this integration makes it possible to launch polls in Slack’s feed. It is very useful to choose where are we going to eat, when the next meeting should be, or for a general opinion on a topic. To launch a poll, after installing the integration, type:
/poll “Which market to pursue?” “NGOs” “Individuals” “Military”

Arc 📈
Arc is a simple and synthetic way of periodically compiling the most important data regarding the performance of a website or page. Every day, week or month, Arc sends you a summary of the most important elements of google analytics. For example, the evolution of the number of visits on a given page… and much more.

💡 Why did we choose Slack

As it turns out, before moving to Slack we used WhatsApp.Being a small startup team, this seemed to be enough but we quickly faced its limitations:

To be entirely honest, we did not stick to slack on our first try. This was first and foremost because we had not defined precise rules, which led to chaos.Then a few months later, we decided to restructure all of our tools and we introduced the O’Tools 🛠. Today, with proper use and especially with the right integrations, Slack has become essential to us!

⚠️ The organization and rules of O’Slack

Here are the 10 commandments of O’Slack :

  1. Thou shalt post a photo of thymself (of you, not your palm tree or your kitten as cute as it might be)
  2. Thou shalt use a clear nickname (@firstname / @fistnamesurname) and complete your profile
  3. Thou shalt select the ours during which thou shalt not be disturbed
  4. Thou shalt download and use the mobile app
  5. Thou shalt respect the purpose of each channel
  6. Thou shalt not send files through Slack: thou shalt a Drive link instead
  7. Thou shalt share Slite notes using the Share To Slite function
  8. Thou shalt avoid repeated answers: thou shalt instead use threads
  9. Thou shalt send /remind to your colleagues only exceptionally
  10. Thou shalt send a single, long message instead of 10 separate messages (Shift+Enter is your friend!)

The organization of our O’Slack is relatively simple at the time of writing these lines. It will undoubtedly evolve over the months.

🎉 Bold, quotes and other happy options

Keyboard shortcuts and some other handy tricks allow you to format the text for more understanding and readability.

NB: the shortcuts are the same on Slite

🌟 Magic tricks

✔️ Create automatic reminders
/remind @asteroidriss “call CNES” on monday at 10am

✔️ Insert code (#n00b) with syntax highlighting
Press the + button or write the text and choose the language

✔️ See unread messages at a glance
On the top left, click on the name of the Workspace then Preferences> Sidebar and in Additional options activate the “show all unread tab”.

✔️ Invite external people on certain channels
The Workspace Owner can provide access to external people for specific projects.

✔️ Change the look of your Slack
Follow this link and choose a line of code. Type (gently) /pref + enter, go to sidebar and paste the line of code at the bottom.