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 right in 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 custom workflow

To create a workflow, 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 such as a member or channel name – to customise them.  

Start a workflow
  • Actions menu
    Someone selects a workflow from the channel header
  • New channel member
    Someone joins a channel
  • Emoji reaction
    Someone uses a certain emoji reaction
Workflow steps
  • Send a message
    Send a message to a person or channel
  • Send a form
    Send a custom form to a person or channel

Step 1: Set up your workflow

Members can launch a workflow from a channel’s  actions menu or they can launch automatically based on an action members take, such as joining a channel or reacting to a message with an emoji.

  1. From your desktop, click your workspace name in the top left.
  2. Select Workflow Builder from the menu.
  3. Click Create in the top right to create a new workflow.
  4. Enter a title for your workflow, then click Next. Make sure you pick something that makes it easy for someone to understand what your workflow does.
  5. Decide how you want your workflow to start, then click Select
  6. Choose a channel for your workflow, follow the prompts, then select Save.

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 you want to use.
  3. From the drop-down menu, choose whether to send a message or form to a specific person or channel.
  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 Save

Continue adding steps until your workflow is complete.

Note: When you add a form to a step, you can choose where completed form responses will be sent. If a workflow has multiple forms, responses to each one can be sent to different people or channels.

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 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 want 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. Once you’ve finished, click 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 from a channel.

  1. Review your workflow to make sure all the steps are correct.
  2. Click Publish.
  3. To see your workflow in Slack, click 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 your workspace name in the top left.
  2. Select Workflow Builder from the menu.
  3. Click Import in the top right.
  4. Select and upload the workflow file from your computer.
  5. Change the title if you want, then click Next.
  6. Review the steps and make any modifications you need.
  7. Click 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, unpublish 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.