With 500,000 businesses on board and 8 million daily users, chances are you’re using Slack right now.

But, while Slack helps us connect, whether it’s across a room or across the planet, Slack can get a little distracting. Never fear, there are ways to master Slack with the best of them. Learning how to adjust your channel settings can help quiet some of the noise. We’ll show you how.

Channels with a Purpose

The channel feature in Slack helps organize conversations. Take a look at your channels. Do they have a clear purpose? A ‘purpose’ could be a lot of things:

  • Discussing and problem-solving a project
  • Planning trips or budgets
  • Lists for much-needed inventory

The channel’s purpose could even be a space for sharing cat gifs, but by having a clear purpose at the top of each of your Slack channels keeps information organized and searchable.

Notifications for Everything, Nothing, and Somewhere in Between

Once your team starts using Slack, it’s easy to end up subscribing (or being added) to upwards of 10 channels. And if you’re notified when someone posts to each of those channels, your phone or desktop app could go off the rails from all of those notifications. A simple fix for this is Slack’s notification settings.

Slack has three basic notification settings: (You can change between settings)

  • New messages
  • Direct messages, mentions, and keywords
  • Nothing

The notification setting you choose depends on how you work. If you’re highly collaborative, you may prefer the “Direct messages, mentions, and keywords” option. This way you’ll be notified of anything sent to you, whether it’s sent via direct message or a channel.

If you need to focus, shutting notifications off may be your best option. That way, you can check your Slack messages whenever, instead of being interrupted.

Two other basic notifications worth mentioning are:

  • Notify me about replies to threads I’m following
  • Use different settings for my mobile devices

If you’re discussing a project in a thread, you can set notifications when someone posts to that thread, especially if the post immediately impacts your work. You can set notification preferences for your web or computer app versus your phone or tablet – whatever works for your working style.


Say “sayonara” to unnecessary channels. Cut the channels that aren’t relevant to your projects. You can always re-join if they become relevant again.


Keep your important channels front and center by clicking on the star in the upper right corner. Starring a channel brings the channel to the top, allowing you to keep an eye on important conversations.

No matter the pro tips or ways to hack Slack, everything you set depends on how you accomplish your goals. Do more than ever, or one thing at a time, you’ll figure it out. We believe in you.

If you want to learn more about how to fine tune your Slack experience, check out the Umuse blog here.