Introducing a simpler, more organised Slack

We’re releasing a series of improvements that make working in Slack easier for everyone

By the team at Slack18th March 2020

For millions of people across companies large and small, Slack is where work happens every day.

That’s a fundamental shift away from the silos of email and towards channel-based messaging. The average paid user spends more than nine hours each working day connected to Slack, including around 90 minutes of active use. That adds up to more than 5 billion actions taken each week in Slack, from solving customer support tickets to keeping tabs on the latest sales deal.

Every person on every team – centrally located or remote, technical or not – should be able to take advantage of the platform and collaborate together. That’s why we’re releasing a simpler, more organised experience for our users. The roll-out starts today and will continue over the next few weeks (with a complementary mobile version to follow). When it arrives, you’ll be able to:

  • Navigate channels and search across your organisation with a new navigation bar
  • Discover key conversations, files, apps and more – all at the top of your sidebar
  • Start a message from anywhere with a handy new compose button
  • Organise channels, messages and apps into custom, collapsible sections (you know, like folders)
  • Take swift action with your apps through shortcuts. Say goodbye to context switching

The new Slack experience

Altogether, these improvements make it easier for anyone to use Slack, adapt it to how they work and access essential tools. Read on for the finer details, then take a look at our Help Centre for more information on what’s new.

‘We choose Slack because it offers the enterprise-grade scale and administration we need, while consistently delivering a world-class user experience that our employees love.’

Sean BuglerCloud Architect, Metropolitan Transportation Commission


Easier to use

Let’s start from the top. The first thing you’ll notice is the new navigation bar, which makes it much quicker to search Slack and toggle between your recent conversations. No fancy keystrokes required.

You’ll also notice key information now stored neatly on top of your sidebar. Mentions, reactions to your messages, files, people and apps are all right there for the easiest of referencing.

The new Slack compose button

When you’re ready to start a new conversation, you can now do so using an all-new compose button. It’s a convenient way to begin drafting a message, before deciding the person or channel you’ll send it to. If your attention is needed elsewhere, your draft will be saved for you to come back to whenever you’re ready.

‘We found the new update a great way to help people find their way around Slack. It has also been particularly useful for those in non-technical roles, and is easier than ever to collaborate effectively and use Slack to its full potential.’

Grant FosterInternal Applications Specialist, Xero


Adaptable to how you work

As your team moves more work into Slack, you’ll likely find yourself in more channels – some of which you practically live in, others that you simply check in passing. With this new experience, users on paid subscriptions will be able to organise their channels, direct messages and apps into customisable sections within their sidebar. It’s that easy. Now you can prioritise what deserves your attention.

Channels being organized into a collection in the Slack sidebar

Name your sections as you see fit (emoji included), drag and drop any channel and conversation inside and order those sections according to how you work best. For example, a few high-priority conversations could fit under an “☎️Urgent” section that sits at the top of your list.

Essential tools, at your fingertips

Slack integrates with all the essential work tools that organisations rely on. And we’re making it far easier to discover and use those tools, without the need to switch between multiple windows and tabs. Instead, you’ll just click shortcuts – a new lightning bolt icon next to the message input field – and kick off work with an app. Pretty nifty, right?

Starting a Simple Poll through the actions menu in Slack

In the coming weeks, you’ll see more of your favourite apps for Slack become accessible through shortcuts. These make it easy to:

And many more app shortcuts are still to come. The shortcuts menu is also a home for built-in Slack features such as reminders, calls and beginning customised workflows with Workflow Builder, a visual tool that allows any Slack user to automate routine processes.

And one more thing…🙏

Thank you. We partnered closely with our customers to co-develop all of these improvements – creating shared channels so that our pilot customers could share their thoughts directly with our product team in real time. Each of you, along with anyone who’s ever written to us with feedback and suggestions, has helped to shape this new Slack experience.

Learn more about how this undertaking came together in our design blog.

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