This week, we wrap up “Take Control of Slack Basics” with the final two chapters of the book. The first is just for TidBITS members, while the second is free for all.
Slack is sort of ironically misnamed, since it’s marketed as a powerful productivity tool, but for those who don’t take advantage of its features, it can be a massive time sink, causing you to “slack” more than ever! But Slack’s inherent noisiness can also be helpful, especially when you pair it with third-party integrations to create an online command center.
In Chapter 11, “Be Productive,” Glenn Fleishman offers practical advice on taming Slack to maximize productivity and work-life balance, suggesting techniques and tactics to block out distractions and focus on your work, without entirely blocking the outside world. He also offers advice on how you can avoid being a distraction to others in your Slack team. In essence, you’re turning down Slack’s volume.
Then Glenn flips things around, explaining how to increase your productivity by piping communications from all over — such as Pingdom, RSS, Trello, Twitter, and Zendesk — into a Slack-based central communication channel. One of Glenn’s network admin colleagues uses Slack to monitor systems at 50 different businesses! Here at TidBITS, we pipe Trello and Twitter into a single #ops channel that we use to track key activities.
Now that you have the basics of Slack down, it’s time to learn how to set up your own Slack team! Chapter 12, “Start a Slack Team,” is actually the first chapter of Glenn’s companion book, “Take Control of Slack Admin.” In this free chapter, you’ll learn what’s involved with establishing a Slack team, which you can do for free.
Everyone can read the first two chapters, and Chapter 12, of “Take Control of Slack Basics” in its current serialized form, but Chapters 3 through 11 are limited to TidBITS members. If you’re not currently a member, we hope that early access is an incentive to join! TidBITS members receive other benefits too (like a full-text version of our RSS feed), but what’s most important is that TidBITS members provide vital support for getting our work into your inbox every week. If you’re already a TidBITS member, to read these chapters, log in to the TidBITS site using the email address from which you joined.
Having wrapped up the serialized chapters of “Take Control of Slack Basics,” we’re turning our attention to finishing the writing and editing of “Take Control of Slack Admin” and polishing “Take Control of Slack Basics” for publication. We hope to have both books available for purchase by everyone in PDF, EPUB, and Mobipocket (Kindle) formats within a few weeks. “Take Control of Slack Basics” will also be available as a deeply discounted bulk buy for entire Slack teams, so if you’re interested in that, let us know.