Skip To Content

    21 Productivity Hacks Every Slack User Should Know

    Didja know there's a /shrug shortcut?

    Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

    What's Slack?

    It's a real-time messaging platform that goes beyond chat. Integrations with apps like Dropbox and Twitter make Slack an ideal email replacement for teams (we use it here at BuzzFeed). The company's recent $2.8 billion valuation and rapidly growing user base also means that, soon, "slacking" may be just as ubiquitous as googling for the working world.

    1. Keep an eye on the competition by auto-posting their tweets to a Slack channel.

    Go to and add Twitter from the list of integrations. Create a new channel dedicated to tweets from your competitors.

    You could also create a new channel for all of your (or your company's) Twitter mentions.

    2. Type the "/shrug" command to produce: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    3. The Quick Switcher is glorious.

    On Mac, it's Command + K or Command + T. On Windows, it's Ctrl + T or Ctrl + K. Quickly jump to go to any channel, group, or direct message! Type or use the arrow keys to navigate, then press return to select.

    4. Try the Quick Switcher for the iOS app, too.

    When the channel list is open, swipe right to open the Quick Switcher and swipe left to close it.

    Swipe with three fingers to switch between teams. Swipe with two fingers to go back and forth in your channel/direct message history.

    5. Use this IFTTT recipe to post recurring reminders (like lunch orders or daily meetings).

    Head to your IFTTT account and activate the Slack channel, then set the message to appear in your reminder.

    This feature is different from the /remind command, because it's blasted out to an entire channel, rather than just to you, privately.

    This is what your reminder will look like!

    6. Easily share articles you like with this IFTTT recipe. Just Pocket an article and tag it "#slack" to post the article to a Slack channel.

    7. Remind your team when you're on vacation with this IFTTT recipe. Add "OOO" to any Google Calendar event and it'll ping your Slack channel.

    8. Set up Slackbot to respond to frequently asked questions like, "What's the WiFi password?"

    Go to to set this up.

    You can even have Slackbot respond with a random choice. For example, whenever someone asks, "What should I eat today?" the bot can choose from your favorite lunch spots!

    9. Embarrassing typo? You can edit your messages.

    Hover over the message, click the gear icon, and select "Edit." You can also press the up arrow to edit your last message.

    10. Know these essential keyboard shortcuts.

    - Command + , to open preferences

    - Command + . to expand/collapse the "Flexpane" (right sidebar)

    - Command + f to search

    - @ + tab to autocomplete a name

    - Command + u to upload a file

    - Shift + Enter to type on a new line

    - Shift + Command + M to view all of your mentions

    - Shift + Command + S to view all starred messages

    - Command + / for all of the keyboard shortcuts!

    11. Star messages to remember them.

    Access all starred messages by clicking the star icon in the top right.


    12. Use Slack as your to-do list. Type "/remind me to do [a thing] at [a certain time or date]" in Slackbot.

    13. GIF overload? Type "/collapse" to close all GIFs and images.

    Conversely, "/expand" will make the images reappear.

    14. Bring your most important channels, groups, and private chats up to the top of the sidebar by starring them.

    These starred chats will appear at the very top.

    15. Find *exactly* what you need, by adding these terms to your searches:

    - "in:channel OR group OR name" to limit keyword look-up within certain conversations

    - "has:link" yields all results that contain a URL.

    - "before/after/on/during: yesterday/today/week/month/year OR specific days (Monday) and months (May) and years (2015)"

    So you could search like, "during:yesterday burrito baby"

    16. You can also combine modifiers in a search (eg. from:nicole in:san-francisco).

    17. If your sidebar feels too cluttered, condense it!

    Click on your profile picture (at the bottom) and go to Preferences > Advanced > Channel List. Select "Hide any channels, DMs or groups which have no unread activity." This will remove all conversations, except for those with unread messages.

    18. If you type a hex color code (like #e1d0e9), a color swatch will appear next to it.

    19. Unleash even MORE Giphy GIFs by changing settings to include unrated GIFs.

    Go to > Giphy > select "All - Full library, including unrated GIFs." Most GIFs aren't rated, so this setting will open up the GIF floodgates.

    FYI: the command /giphy [text] will produce a random gift related to [text].

    20. Create bulleted lists by typing option + 8 on Mac or alt + 0149 on Windows.

    21. If you're colorblind, use this custom theme.

    Open Preferences (click on your profile picture) > Sidebar themes > Customize Sidebar colors.

    Then paste these values:

    "Solanum: A sidebar theme for Protanopia and Deuteranopia (Green & Red deficiency)

    #4F2F4C, #452842, #8C5888, #FFFFFF, #3E313C, #FFFFFF, #D0FF00, #889100"

    "Brinjal: A sidebar theme for Tritanopia (Blue deficiency)

    #4F2F4C, #452842, #8C5888, #FFFFFF, #3E313C, #FFFFFF, #00FFB7, #DE4C0D"

    What Slack hacks do you and your team use to be more productive?

    Leave your tips in the comments.