Target with an arrow piercing its centre

Focus on what matters to you

Lesson overview

Sarah recently joined A1 Marketing, a company that uses Slack. In this lesson, you’ll learn how Sarah focuses on the work that she cares about the most by prioritising and organising conversations and setting her notification preferences.

Sarah’s experience before Slack

At her previous company, Sarah 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 that mattered the most. The lack of organisation made it difficult to stay focused on the key areas that would help move work along.

How A1 use Slack

  • Work at A1 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 that they are only alerted about things that they need to be aware of.
  • People star and group conversations in the sidebar to visually separate and prioritise the work that matters most to them.

Starring channels and direct messages

Star channel

Sarah has learnt 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 A1 because she likes to stay on top of what other teams are working on. Starring channels and direct messages lets her visually separate the conversations that she cares about most.

Sidebar organisation

Create custom section

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

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

Leaving channels

Leave a channel

Sarah previously joined the #help-it channel to ask a question about how to connect to A1’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, Sarah decides to leave the channel. She can always rejoin the channel later as this is a public channel. If it were a private channel, she’d need to be re-invited.

Notifications in Slack


Slack helps keep Sarah informed about conversations by showing her badges and bolding channel names. Sarah 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

Notification preferences

Sarah 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.

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

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