1.3 Slack

Our team uses Slack on a daily basis to keep communication channels open within teams and across our different offices. We have an emLab workspace that houses all of our channels. When you are first added to Slack, you will be added to the General, Random, Communications, Report and Publications, and Code channels. We also have a channel for every project, which you will be added to as needed. You can view Slack either through a broswer window or by downloading the desktop app.

1.3.1 Slack Basics

Slack is organized into channels and direct messages. Channels are a way to organize conversations and other than a couple general emLab channels, are often project specific. Whatever you share in a channel is viewable by all members of that channel. You can also send direct messages to an individual or a group of up to 9 people.

One great thing about Slack is that it’s searchable. You can search either by person or keywords to find old messages. Additionally, if someone sends you something you will need to reference multiple times, you can star messages and view them by clicking the star in the upper right-hand corner.

People have differing notification preferences, which you can set under Preferences → Notifications. If someone sends you a direct message or tags you, a number will show up on your slack app. If they add something to a channel you are on but don’t tag you, a red dot will show up. To ensure someone gets a numbered notification, either tag them (i.e. @Erin) or tag the channel (i.e. @channel). Tagging the channel will send a notification to every member of that channel.

1.3.2 Creating a Channel

When a new project starts, create a slack channel for it and add the relevant team members to it. To create a channel, simply click on the plus symbol next to channels and fill out the channel information (Name, Purpose, and Send invites to).