Research Outline

Better Slack Notification Management


To determine if there any specific plugins or addons to Slack which can better manage the barrage of notifications in multiple channels.

Early Findings

Time Saving or Productivity Increasing Addons and PlugIns

  • RescueTime for Slack automatically updates your status based on what you’re currently working on so your teammates can be more conscious of your focus. RescueTime for Slack requires a premium subscription with RescueTime. RescueTime helps you focus by keeping track of your time working on your digital devices. You choose which activity categories you’d like to broadcast, and RescueTime will update your status when it detects that you are focused on those activities. You control the activities you’d like your teammates on Slack to see (for example, writing, email, designing…). Only categories that you specify will be used to set your status. RescueTime only updates your status during your work hours, so you don't have to worry about over-sharing. For each activity, you can set a custom status message and emoji to personalize how you feel about it. Select whether or not you want RescueTime to enable Do-Not-Disturb in Slack when you’re focused on those activities. This mutes incoming notifications until you are ready for them.
  • @must-read helps to control all significant information no matter how many channels you have and how big is your team. Easily check who has read the message and who has not. No more “Did you read it guys?” questions needed.
  • Use of Neko to make employee feedback fast and frictionless and reduce channel chatter. Across Engagement and Effectiveness surveys, as well as the Performance cycle process, expect Neko to pop up and deliver invitations, friendly reminders, and announcements.
  • Timy is the all in one solution to send scheduled messages in Slack.
  • Slido brings to Slack an easy way to capture and address your team’s most burning questions and ideas.
  • OneBar helps you build a full-fledged Knowledge Base out of you Slack conversations.
  • The PagerDuty platform for real-time operations revolutionizes businesses by harnessing data from a complex digital ecosystem. Over 12,000 enterprises and small to mid-size organizations globally trust PagerDuty to transform real-time signals into opportunities that empower teams to improve operations, deliver excellent customer experiences, and accelerate innovation. With the certified bi-directional Slack integration, users can collaborate with one another and trigger, view, acknowledge, and resolve PagerDuty incidents directly in Slack. Integration setup and authentication can be completed effortlessly, allowing users to quickly integrate PagerDuty and Slack in their incident resolution workflows.

Innovative Non-AddOn Ways to Control Communication

  • While Slack dependent offices thrive on the immediacy, sometimes side conversations can override the ultimate goal. Even the folks a Slack have implemented a way to control conversations. The 'polite raccoon' emoji was implemented by Slack co-founder Cal Henderson and acts as a direction to indicate that the conversation has veered off course and is best moved to another locale (on or offline). "At Slack, employees use the polite raccoon to signal a desire to discontinue conversations that are off-topic, irrelevant, or straight-up annoying."
  • A 2018 Business Insider article states that the three most logical ways to reduce Slack notifications are: speaking to the person directly either in person or on the telephone, institute strict guidelines on specific channel and community guidelines, and encourage users to take an hour or two every day to unplug.
  • Further, regarding guidelines for channels and communities, the Business Insider article provides the following suggestions: 1) set up specific channels with strict guidelines like 'except for crucial information, can only be used between 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time'; 2) direct non-work-related chatter, gifs, and jokes to a dedicated channel; 3) use @here, rather than @channel, which notifies everyone and using the @handle of the specific few people you want to notify is even better; 4) per company guidelines, any abusive, or hurtful language should be banned immediately; and 5) develop a specific handle for any questions, suggestions, or concerns.
  • Training users to implement smart uses of notifications is key as the 'true beauty of Slack badges is the granular control team members enjoy at the individual level.' By selecting 'specific keywords to receive notifications about by going to preferences for either the specific channel, or at a global preferences scale, and enter the keywords you’d like to receive a Slack notification (or badge) for' managing the chatter becomes easier.
  • Properly using mobile settings can ensure not receiving "the same alert on multiple devices. Mobile notifications only come through if the desktop app is closed — and vice versa.'
  • Use Slack Status updates as a sort of out-of-office email reply. Saying something like 'on vacation until a specific date and tell people whom they should contact instead' can help manage notification overload.
  • Additional Slack productivity tips are extensively discussed in an article from RescueTime.