Set up a workflow in Slack

Who can use this feature?

Workflows are automated multi-step tasks or processes – no coding required! – that start in your Slack workspace. They can run directly in Slack or connect with other tools and services.

By default, any member of a Slack workspace on a paid subscription can use Workflow Builder to create custom workflows. However, owners and admins can choose to restrict access to Workflow Builder. If you don’t see this option, ask an owner or admin for more information.

Tip: Make sure you look at our Guide to Workflow Builder before diving into the tutorials.

What you’ll learn

Set up your workflow

While you’ll first be presented with picking a name for your workflow, the more important decision you’ll need to make is how your workflow will start.

Choose a trigger

The trigger that you pick for your workflow determines how it will start. Workflows are channel-specific and can only be used in the channel that you choose.

Trigger How it works
 Shortcuts menu Your workflow starts when someone selects it from the shortcuts menu. 
 New channel member Your workflow starts automatically when someone joins the channel.
 Emoji reaction Your workflow starts automatically when someone in the channel adds a certain emoji reaction to a message.
 Scheduled date and time Your workflow starts automatically at a set date and time.
 Webhook* Your workflow starts automatically when a custom webhook sends a web request to Slack from another app or service. 

*Creating workflows with webhooks requires some technical expertise.

Workflows in the shortcuts menu are easily accessible by members of a channel and can be used at any time. Workflows with other triggers that launch automatically are more contextual; you may want to consider the context of the action that launched them, and keep in mind that people may not be expecting them.

Customise your workflow

Once you’ve chosen a trigger, you’ll pick the channel where the workflow will be available and be prompted to further customise your workflow. What you need to do will depend on the trigger that you chose. 

Put what you’ve learned into practice

Follow the steps below to open Workflow Builder and set up your workflow.

Step 1: Open Workflow Builder

  1. From your desktop, click on your workspace name in the top left.
  2. Select Tools from the menu.
  3. Select Workflow Builder, which will open in a new window.

Step 2: Choose your workflow name and trigger

  1. From Workflow Builder, click Create in the top right. 
  2. Enter a name for your workflow, then click Next
  3. Click Select next to the trigger that you'd like to use. 

Step 3: Finish workflow setup

Follow the steps for the trigger you selected to choose a channel for your workflow and finish setup.


New channel member


Date & time

  1. Select a channel from the drop-down menu. 
  2. Add a short name for your workflow that will be visible in the shortcuts menu. 
  3. Click Next.
  1. Select a channel for your workflow from the drop-down menu.
  2. Click Next
  1. Select a channel for your workflow from the drop-down menu.
  2. Click Add reaction.
  3. Search for and select any emojis that you’d like to trigger your workflow.
  4. Click Next.
  1. Select a date from the drop-down menu, then pick the time that you’d like your workflow to start.
  2. Open the Frequency drop-down menu to choose how often your workflow will run.
  3. Click Next

Add a custom workflow icon

  1. Open your workflow in Workflow Builder.
  2. Click the Settings tab at the top of the screen.
  3. Click Edit next to your workflow’s icon.
  4. Select Choose file to upload a file.
  5. Crop your icon if you like.
  6. Click on Save

What's next:

📍 Set up a workflow in Slack

🔗 Add steps to a workflow

🔗 Manage workflow collaborators

🔗 Publish a workflow

🔗 Manage a workflow