Super Cool Slack Hacks!

If you’re someone who has left the office environment for the virtual work place, it’s likely you’ve come across the messaging app Slack. Slack is one of those apps that now has verb tenses associated with it, so you know it’s here for the long haul:

“Slack me when you’re available.”

“I was slacking with them yesterday.”

Oh, the miracle of re-branding! And it’s ironic, since slacking used to be a common term for goofing off. Now if  you’re slacking, you’re being super efficient and immediate with communication.

When slacking meant doing the above, whatever that is…

Slack is so easy to use that we all tend to jump in and start typing away. Since there’s a relatively non-existent learning curve, many of us never venture past the basics. But Slack has plenty of great features that are worth learning about.

If you’re just using Slack to send messages, you’re missing out on features like formatting and reminders. You don’t have to know or use any of these tips to be functional on Slack, but it’s always good with apps to get out of your comfort zone once in a while. The great thing is that you can try these tips, use the ones you like and forget about the rest.

1. Format Text

You can bold and italicize text in Slack. This is a good way to add emphasis or clarify a point in your message.

All you need to do is put formatting symbols around the text you want to format:

  • If you want to make content bold, place *asterisks around it.*
  • If you want to italicize content, place _underscores around it.


Let’s do it. The text below:

*Tory* is slayin with sales this month – like _totes_ ok?

Looks like this is Slack:

Wait – what if I don’t remember the symbols? No problem! Refer to the formatting prompts!

Any time you type something in Slack, you’ll see formatting options (with symbols to use) appear beneath the text box in the lower right hand corner. Blink and you’ll miss them.

free stock photos

2. Set Reminders

Don’t trip – but setting up reminders in Slack requires a bit of fiddle faddling that feels remotely like high school algebra.

To set up a reminder in Slack, follow this formula:

/remind [@person or @channel]to [do something] at [a specific day, time, etc]

Let’s try this!

/remind @cynda to give Rummy & Spriggan Party Mix at 9:07pm

This is how it looks in a Slack channel:

valentine's day gifts give back

Reminders are activated in Slackbot, so here’s the reminder in action!

Reminders are easy and quick to set up so it’s a good thing to try if you don’t feel like messing with a calendar and you know you’ll be active on Slack to see the reminder.

3. Star Channels

Not only can you star messages in Slack but also entire channels. This is a great feature if you have channels that you utilize on a regular basis. Starring channels is essentially the same idea as bookmarking with a web browser.

Here I star this app testing channel since I do testing quite frequently:

The best thing about starring channels and messages is the handy side panel which lists your starred items. It’s a sure fire way to keep track of important messages. Here are all my messages from the channels I have starred.

4. Surprise Me!

The developers at Slack deserve an award for creating an app that works hard to keep users perpetually cheerful. That said, we all have our days. Feeling a bit stressed, down or overworked?


Follow this path in Slack to instant happiness:

You Preferences Advanced Options Other Options Surprise me!

What happens when you do this?

I am so not telling.

Besides, if I tell you, then it’s no longer a surprise!


Team messaging apps have become a necessity for virtual workers at this point. Knowing some simple hacks will expand your knowledge of whatever app you use for team communication. Try these out and share them with others!

Like these Slack hacks? Check back on the blog as this will be a continuing series featuring more Slack goodies. I love Slack (like LUH-UV it), and I hope with these tips you will, too!

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