Lesson 3: Find and start conversations

Meet Sara.

  • Sara recently joined Acme Inc., a company just like yours.
  • Acme Inc. adopted Slack a while ago, and Sara is learning how it has changed the way the company works.
  • In this lesson, Sara wants to explore the different ways to communicate with her team in Slack.


Sara’s experience before Slack

At her previous company, Sara found it really hard to stay up to date on everything that affected her work. Her email inbox was a jumble of one-on-one conversations and giant reply-all threads, and sometimes she had no idea that key conversations were happening at all.

How Acme uses Slack

  • Work takes place in channels. Channels bring the right people and the right information together, so everyone can share ideas, make decisions and move work forward.
  • Anyone at Acme can join channels, so every person can keep tabs on the topics that they care most about.
  • For short one-on-one conversations, the team uses direct messages.

An example from Acme

What’s happening…

In the sidebar, Sara can see the two types of conversations in Slack:

  1. Channels (like #announcements). Most of the conversation at Acme takes place in channels. Channels are organized around departments, projects, office locations—any topic, really. She’s noticed that channels group conversations together, which brings order and clarity to work at Acme.
  2. Direct messages (like her conversation with Harry Boone). Sometimes direct messages are needed for conversations outside of channels. Direct messages are great for one-off conversations that don’t require an entire channel to weigh in.

Find and join channels

When Sara wants to join a channel, she navigates to the sidebar and clicks on the word Channels. This opens the channel list, where she can see all the channels at Acme that are available for her to join.

When Sara joins a channel, she can scroll up to see all of the context, conversations, ideas and decisions that have happened so far. As a new hire, finding and joining relevant channels has helped her get up to speed at Acme much faster.

When she has something to add to the conversation, Sara sends a message to the channel. As more people contribute, important information is captured over time in Slack.

Start a direct message conversation

While people at Acme generally use channels if other people on the team could learn from the information that gets shared, sometimes the conversation should only be between two people.

When Sara needs to have a one-on-one conversation with someone, she uses a direct message instead of a channel.

Your next steps

💡 Review the list of channels in your sidebar.

💡 Open the channel browser to join a new channel.

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