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Focus on what matters to you

Lesson overview

Sara recently joined Acme, a company that uses Slack. In this lesson, you’ll learn how Sara focuses on the work she cares about most by prioritizing and organizing conversations, and setting her notification preferences.

Sara’s experience before Slack

At her previous company, Sara received a steady stream of emails every day. Some of these were important, some weren’t, and she needed to spend lots of time each day combing through communication to find the information she cared most about. The lack of organization made it difficult to stay focused on the key areas that would help move work along.

How Acme uses Slack

  • Work at Acme changes over time, but people have the flexibility to join and leave channels to stay focused on the most important information.
  • Everyone sets up notification preferences so they are only alerted about things they need to be aware of.
  • People star and group conversations in the sidebar to visually separate and prioritize the work that matters most to them.

Starring channels and direct messages

Star channel

Sara has learned that starring channels and direct messages is a great way to focus on conversations that are most important in her day-to-day work. She is in lots of conversations at Acme because she likes to stay on top of what other teams are working on. Starring channels and direct messages let her visually separate the conversations she cares about most.

Sidebar organization

Create custom section

Sara can also create custom sections in her sidebar to group conversations. This allows her to organize channels and direct messages in ways that are tailored to her — whether they’re sorted by projects, teams, or the type of work she’s doing.

Note: The option to create custom sections is available with paid plans.

Leaving channels

Leave a channel

Sara previously joined the #help-it channel to ask a question about how to connect to Acme’s printers. She received an answer from someone on the IT team, and she doesn’t need to follow along with the other channel conversations.

Because the discussion in #help-it isn’t important for her to follow, Sara decides to leave the channel. She can always rejoin the channel later since this is a public channel. If it were a private channel, she’d need to be re-invited.

Notifications in Slack


Slack helps keep Sara informed about conversations by showing her badges and bolding channel names. Sara can tell that someone is trying to get her specific attention when she sees a badge in the sidebar. She also knows when there’s unread activity in a channel when the channel name appears bold.

Notification preferences

Sara decides how and when to get notified in Slack. She uses the default preference so that she’ll receive a notification when people send her direct messages, mention her in channels, or use one of her keywords.

Your next steps

💡 Review your notification preferences.

💡 Organize channels and direct messages using stars and custom sections.

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