Automate everyday tasks with Workflow Builder

Who can use this feature?
  • All members (by default)
  • Standard, Plus and Enterprise Grid subscriptions

Workflow Builder makes it possible to automate routine processes and tasks within Slack – no coding required. Create a workflow and add it to a channel to collect information from other members, share it with the right people and move work along.

Tip: Read our Guide to Workflow Builder to learn more about workflows and how you can use them in Slack.


Create a workflow

To create a workflow, you’ll choose how your workflow starts, then add a series of steps. Steps can be taken in order once a workflow starts. When adding steps, you can include variables – placeholders for data like a member or channel name – to customise them.  

Start a workflow
  •   Shortcuts menu
    Someone selects a workflow from the shortcuts menu
  •   New channel member
    Someone joins a channel
  •   Emoji reaction
    Someone uses a certain emoji reaction
  •   Scheduled date and time
    Schedule a workflow to launch at a certain date and time
  •   Webhook
    Use a custom webhook to start a workflow with a web request from another app or service
Workflow steps
  • Send a message
    Send a message to a person or channel
  • Send a form
    Send a customised form to a person or channel

Step 1: Set up your workflow

How members of your workspace can interact with a workflow will depend on how it's set up. Members can launch workflows with a  shortcuts menu trigger from a channel at any time. Other workflows can launch automatically based on actions that members take (such as joining a channel) or other events (a certain date and time passing, or a webhook bringing information from another service into Slack). 

  1. From your desktop, click on your workspace name in the top left.
  2. Select Tools from the menu, then select Workflow Builder.
  3. Click on Create in the top right to create a new workflow.
  4. Enter a title for your workflow, then click Next. Make sure that you pick something that makes it easy for someone to understand what your workflow does.
  5. Decide how you’d like your workflow to start, then click Select. For scheduled workflows, you'll be prompted to choose a date, time and frequency. 
  6. Choose a channel for your workflow, follow the prompts, then select Save.

Tip: For more details on creating workflows using webhooks, visit Create a workflow using a webhook.

Step 2: Add steps

  1. Click Add step. For each step in a workflow, you can choose to send a message or show members a custom form.
  2. Select Add next to the type of step that you want to use.
  3. From the drop-down menu, choose whether to send a message or form to a specific person or channel. If you add a form, you can also choose where completed responses will be sent.
  4. Insert a variable to customise your step. You can also add instructions or a button to move to the next step of the workflow. 
  5. Click on Save

Continue adding steps until your workflow is complete.

Tip: Any collaborator on a workflow can download form data as a CSV file to view it outside Slack.

Step 3: Add collaborators

Add collaborators to give others access to manage your workflow. Any collaborator can edit, unpublish or remove a workflow from Slack, and add or remove other collaborators.

  1. From Workflow Builder, click on the Settings tab at the top of the screen.
  2. Next to Collaborators, select Manage.
  3. Open the drop-down menu and search for people you'd like to add, or select their names from the list. Slackbot will notify each person to let them know they’ve been added as a collaborator.
  4. When you’ve finished, click on Close.

Step 4: Publish your workflow

Until you publish your workflow, it will only be visible to collaborators in Workflow Builder, and members will not be able to launch it.

  1. Review your workflow to make sure that all the steps are correct.
  2. Click on Publish.
  3. To see your workflow in Slack, click on Open Slack.

Tip: To preview a workflow, add it to a test channel. Once you’re sure it’s working properly, you can edit your workflow to move it to the right channel. 

Create a workflow by importing a file

When you download a workflow, it will export as a file with a .slackworkflow file extension to preserve data in the correct form. To create a workflow automatically, you can import a .slackworkflow file to Workflow Builder.

  1. From your desktop, click on your workspace name in the top left.
  2. Select Tools from the menu, then select Workflow Builder.
  3. Click on Import in the top right.
  4. Select and upload the workflow file from your computer.
  5. Change the title if you like, then click on Next.
  6. Review the steps and make any modifications that you need.
  7. Click on Publish.

Tip: Take a look at our example workflows if you’re in need of some inspiration. You can download any of these workflows, then upload them to Workflow Builder to use with your team. 

Workflow visibility

Before you publish a workflow, it will only be visible to you and any collaborators you’ve added.

Once you publish a workflow, workspace owners and admins can view it and add themselves as collaborators. When an owner or admin becomes a collaborator on a workflow, they can edit it, unpublish it or remove it from Slack entirely. All other collaborators will be notified by Slackbot when a collaborator is added or removed.

Note: If your workflow is in a private channel an owner or Admin does not belong to, they will not be able to see the name of the private channel.