Slack: Best Practices and Tips


This document includes best practices to help you stay engaged, informed, and productive while using U-M Slack. Refer to the U-M Slack site for more information on how to Use Slack As a Member or Use Slack As an Admin/Owner.

General Best Practices and Tips

Use updates to let people know who you are and what your status is:

  • Update your profile: Add and update information on your profile, including your full name, role, and department. It's also recommended you upload an image or an avatar so that others can quickly identify your chats. 
  • Keep your status updated: Put information in your status to let others know when you're working, out sick, or off-line. Adding updates to your status instead of posting it in a channel also keeps channel noise down. 

Slack harmoniously with coworkers:

  • Join any public channel: You can join any public channel to listen to the conversation, ask questions, or engage with other coworkers. It's also nice to make an effort to welcome new members when you notice they've joined a channel.
  • Know the channel's purpose: Read the channel's topic or description in the channel header. If you find you cannot stay on the channel's topic, it may be time to create a new channel or private chat with others. It's also ok to ask! 
  • Be respectful with your words and timing: Though Slack is an informal chatroom, always keep your interactions professional. Also, remember that not everyone is online at the same time. You can create messages and schedule them to send later
  • Add files to Slack: Add files in channels to make it easier for coworkers to reference materials while in a discussion. 
  • Delete or archive what isn't needed: If you have channels for events, projects, or other needs that have a time frame, don't be afraid to archive or delete a channel when it is no longer needed. 

Use Slack features to assist with being a good Slack-er:

  • Set useful notification preferences: You can adjust the sound, timing, and appearance of your notifications for an entire Slack workspace, specific channels, or DMs, and have different notification settings for your desktop and mobile devices. For detailed ITS best practices, tips, and tricks, refer to U-M Slack: Best Practices for Slack Notification Settings.
  • Use threads: Threads should be your default when responding to messages in a channel. Threads make it easier for your coworkers to see your direct response and keep channel noise down. 
  • Keep track of action items: Use the option to star channels and direct messages for action items and important conversations. 
  • Set reminders: Ask Slack to set reminders to return to items you can't take care of immediately. 
  • Use @uniqname as needed: Type @uniqname to use mentions in Slack to get the attention of one or more people. Slack will send a notification to those individuals. Be aware that if you use @here or @channel, it will notify everyone and be disruptive. Only use when necessary. 
  • Format your messages: It can help add detail and clarity to format messages before you send them. 

Admin/Owner Best Practices and Tips

Understand the Owner role:

Last Updated: 
Tuesday, February 1, 2022