tl;dr Slack is the ultimate “stream tool”; but it’s not a great “garden” tool (streams versus gardens). But you need conventions and How Tos like Slack 101, 102, 103 and how to search Slack if you want to go beyond late 1980s chat. It’s not great for accumulating knowledge like a gardening tool e.g. a wiki.

Searching Notes

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  • “With search, you can tap into your collective base of knowledge whenever you need it. Search to get context on a past decision, find a previously approved project file, or to help new hires get up to speed. Unlike email, you don’t need to remember who sent what, when, or exactly what the thread was called. Use modifiers to pinpoint exactly what you’re looking for by whatever info you do have.”
  • “If what you’re looking for is in your current channel, hit command/control + F to pre-populate search to just that channel. Once you find a message, click “Jump” to go back in time and view it with full context.”
    • “Use stars to keep track of important messages or files you may want to look back on, and search has:star

Slack 101, 102, 103 Notes


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  • use channel naming conventions for: announcements regional and national, new GA features, new internal only features, teams, triages, feature launches, software launches and help
  • search! don’t forget to use has:star, has:(reaction emoji name)
  • mark important messages with a star
  • mark important people with a star
  • emoji are frosting not cake, i.e. sentences should be comprehensible if folks don’t understand the emoji


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  • customize highlight words for not so important channels
  • make sure your mobile notifications settings are correct
  • “For your most vital channels, you’ll want to set custom notification levels to the highest setting. For example, my fellow writers at Slack all sit in #team-editorial and I am notified on any activity because that’s where our most important discussions take place.”
  • mute random :-) “On the flip side, feel free to mute any channels you feel are important enough to periodically check, but not so important that you need them to pop up as unread in your sidebar. “
  • use the keyboard shortcuts: “The other combo worth knowing is ⌘-[ to go back in your channel history and ⌘-] to go forward (cntrl-[ and cntrl-] on Windows and Linux). They operate just like back/forward buttons in web browsers. “
  • Use reminders and other slash commands


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  • Default to communicate in public channels
  • Minimize @everyone, @channel, and @here
  • “in busy channels to search before you ask.
  • “Our rule of thumb is if you need to send a message outside of the recipient’s normal working hours, there is no expectation of an immediate reply.”
  • ” We use the term “raccoon” (and an associated custom emoji) to denote when a discussion should take place in another channel. “ I love the idea of a raccooning when you are on the wrong channel e.g. Let's raccoon to #triage-ops

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