Cal Henderson, co-founder of messaging and collaboration app Slack, shared his top five productivity secrets with the Herald.

The company has just rebuilt its desktop app to be 33 per cent faster, and Henderson is pushing Slack as a one-stop-shop for all your internal communication - eased by its close integration with the likes of Outlook, Gmail, Zoom, social media, project management and expensing apps and cloud storage services like Dropbox, Drive and OneDrive.

Here are five of Henderson's tips to be a better Slacker beyond that:

Set up Slack for your workday
You can manage your settings to only receive notifications during working hours. This minimises disturbances when you've clocked-off. Also for those who travel (something which I do often) you can adjust your timezone so that your teammates around the globe know your local time. Set customised statuses to let your team know what you're up to – for example if you're working remotely, in a meeting or on holiday, so they easily see your availability.


Emojis aren't just for personal use, they have business benefits too. In Slack we use a lot of emojis, they add tone and sentiment to written communication, as well as allowing us to pass on feedback quicker. For example, reacting with a green tick is more efficient than typing out separate lines of approval.

Mute channels
For users that are in multiple channels, muting those that are either rarely used or perhaps that contain non-urgent information can be a great way to focus on the ones that are of the most importance.

Pin posts
Pinning posts is a great way to store important messages sent in the channel. Similarly, starring messages provides an additional way to highlight and keep track of useful information.

The quick switcher
Slack is full of keyboard shortcuts, but my favourite and most useful is the quick switcher. Use this to quickly toggle between different channels or conversations. On Mac hit CMD-K and on PC its Ctrl-K.

Read more on Slack's strategy, and its competitors, here.