Lesson 4: Working in channels

Meet Sarah.

  • Sarah recently joined A1 Marketing, a company just like yours.
  • A1 adopted Slack a while ago, and Sarah is learning how it has changed the way the company works.
  • In this lesson, Sarah wants to understand where work gets done in Slack and how to connect with the right people to move work forward.


Sarah’s experience before Slack

Before A1, Sarah was used to working in email. Conversations would often become fragmented threads and no one had the full picture of what was going on. Every conversation was private by default, because only the people who had been added to the email thread had access to the information. These communication silos made it difficult to stay aligned, track information and keep up to date.

How A1 use Slack

  • Anyone at A1 can join channels in A1’s workspace by default, which means everyone has the opportunity to get up to speed with the conversation so far.
  • Some conversations at A1 are confidential, so those channels are set to private.
  • People use mentions to get the attention of a specific person in a channel.

An example from A1

What’s happening…

  1. Sarah wants to get an update on hiring a new designer, so she jumps to the #hiring-designer channel.
  2. Sarah mentions Toby, the recruiter, to get an update on the offer the team sent out earlier in the week.

Working in channels

Channels are the primary place to work in Slack. #proj-website is a channel. Channels have a hash icon next to them. Sarah and anyone else at A1 can join channels in their workspace. This helps connect people who know about different topics. Sarah has found that channels help her find answers, get context and make decisions more quickly.

Channels can also be set to private. #hiring-designer is a channel that’s been set to private, which is why it has a lock icon. Channels that have been set to private can be joined only if someone in the channel invites you.

Mention colleagues to get their attention

Sarah needs to get the attention of Toby to request a hiring update. She mentions Toby directly in her message. Toby gets notified that someone needs his help and everyone in the hiring channel stays up to date on what’s happening in the conversation.

Your next steps

💡Look at Slack and see if you can spot channels, as well as channels that have been set to private.

💡 Mention colleagues in a channel to get their attention.

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