Keep up with what's important

Trying to keep up with every message or channel can test your focus. A few tweaks here and there can bring order to your Slack universe, and help you get work done.


Tips for keeping up in Slack

  • Get organized: focus your Channel List and mark important items in Slack. You’ll eliminate distractions and never miss a beat.
  • Have a strategy: use Slack's built-in tools to keep up with the latest and most important conversations in Slack.
  • Get notified (or don't!): Customize your notifications and let them do some of the work for you.


Bring your noteworthy items to the forefront

Star channels, messages, and files to mark them as important. For channels you’ve joined and need to check frequently, starring them will move them to the top of your channel list. To make follow-up a breeze, star messages and files to list them neatly in one place — simply click the star icon in the top-right corner to view.


💡  Learn how to star items in Slack.


Customize and focus your Channel List

While Slack is all about transparency, you likely don’t need to see every channel in your sidebar to get your best work done. For busy workspaces, we recommend viewing only channels that you frequently visit or those that have regular activity.


Here’s how to tailor your sidebar to fit your needs:

  1. From your desktop, click your workspace name in the top left.
  2. Select Preferences.
  3. Choose Sidebar.
  4. Under Sidebar Settings, select your preferred option.


Use Slack's built-in tools

Working in Slack is exciting: so much to see and share! But reading everything your teammates' post in Slack can get overwhelming. Once your sidebar is ship-shape, you can use these tools to keep up with the latest conversations in Slack.


Check your activity to see if you need to follow up with someone. It’s easy to do: click the Activity icon to see any recent mentions and reactions added to your messages.


All Unreads 

There’s no need to scour every channel all day when you can view all your unread messages in one place. You can even prioritize your unread messages — either alphabetically, by newest or oldest activity, or by how you use Slack.


💡  Find out more about viewing all your unread messages.

All Threads

Catch up on the threads you follow, reply to conversations that need your input, or simply feel at ease knowing all your on-going conversations are organized.

💡  Learn how to use threads in Slack.


Put your notifications to work

Keeping up can feel like a challenge; let your notifications do some of the work for you. Not all activity in Slack needs your immediate attention — that’s why you get to decide if and when you get notified. Slack offers a few ways to help you focus and prioritize your attention.

Customize your desktop notifications

Decide if and when Slack should send you notifications, what they should sound like, and more. Our recommendation:

  • Choose only direct messages and keywords in your default notification settings.
  • Be notified of broader activity only in your most important channels.


💡  Learn more about customizing your desktop notifications.

Customize your notifications by channel

Keep tabs on the topics that are most important to you by choosing which channels will notify you of activity. You can mute channels that get too noisy or choose to get notified of every message in channels that need your attention.


💡  Dive deeper into customizing your notifications by channel.

Set up keywords

Get notified whenever someone mentions a word or phrase that matters to you, like your name, nickname, project, customer, area of interest, or any other conversation you want to stay plugged into. To set up your keywords, use these steps:

  1. From your desktop, click your workspace name in the top left.
  2. Select Preferences.
  3. Click Notifications.
  4. Click Notification Settings and choose your preferences.