Slack, Slack Apps and other fun Slack stuff

Proposed By
Shannon Santanocito, Emma Pease
Let's chat about how we use slack, slack apps, automation and other fun stuff.

Hosts/Session Leads





See favorite integrations at


--Add to spreadsheet--


  • Send it Later
  • Block Kit builder
  • SimplePoll
  • Polly
  • Translate app
  • Birthday bot
  • Smartsheet app
  • Giphy


Other useful tools/features

  • /remind
  • Saved items
  • Sections
  • Keywords for notifications
  • Mentions and reactions
  • All Unreads
  • History (clock icon)



Emma works with folks who create their own Slack apps. Subscribes to RSS feed for encyclopedia


Shannon particularly likes Outlook integration 


Zoom - great if you need to have an actual conversation

Note from Brad: you need to request that this integration be added to your Workspace if it’s not already available.


Missions/Workflow builder - example use case (Shannon): every Monday morning send a weekly newsletter that everyone contributes to. People can put in their piece and click “Done”, and once everyone’s submitted it sends out an email.


JIRA - can query about a particular ticket, and add comments (channel must know about that specific project)


Zapier - highly recommended for connecting other tools to Slack


Google Drive - Tip: If you reply to a document’s comment thread, it will populate the document with your comment.


Donut - Shannon and Emma actually met through Donut. Effortless way to do networking.


Robin McLish: how do you integrate these apps into Slack?


Emma demonstrates:

  • Find the Workspace you’re in
  • Go to settings and administration
  • Manage apps
  • Shows Apps in directory that you’re managing
  • Go to browse
  • If it hasn’t been previously approved, the Workspace admin will have to approve it.


Robin McLish: question re: reacji channeler -> Could you put the command in any open field?


Shannon: Not sure. The command pushes the comment to the specific channel. Must be a public channel. OR maybe you have to do it in the reacji app (see bottom of list on LHS, under Apps)


Brad - good use case in SLAC - put into slac-til channel (SLAC “today I learned”)

New folks can go and review that channel.


Can also add apps by going to lower left screen clicking “+” under Apps


Emma: If you’re feeling very ambitious, you can build your own Slack apps. Zapier might be good for integrating them. 

In Emma’s group, some folks have built their own apps:

  • E.g. use software for teaching students, need to pull up info about instructors so can deal with problems they might be having -- enter instructor name in Slack app to find their details quickly

To build a custom app > go to manage apps but then click “Build”


What do you need to know to build a Slack app?

Emma: Depends what you’re interacting with. Most of the work is creating the tools on the non-Slack end. Slack is just sending a string of commands to the service. In Emma’s case, the person working on their app is a JAVA programmer.


Brad recommended in chat: Block kit builder - great tool that allows you to edit code and create nice looking messages. Including formatting, photos, and buttons.


Q: Do you wish Slack did anything else?


Ollie: would like to be able to more easily add folks from different Workspaces to a channel (without having to get a Slack admin to do it)


Pro tip: If you create a new Workspace, then you can add folks from any Workspace to a channel that you create in that Workspace


Other tools people like:

  • SimplePoll app or Polly app
  • /remind 


Don: click on the lightning bolt now, lots of shortcuts are available.

Also likes using:

  • Translate app
  • Birthday bot
  • Smartsheet app
  • Giphy


Emma: handy tip with GoogleDrive - pin a document to a channel


Don: Saved items are handy - not many people know about this


Shannon: really likes this for bookmarking, can create a to-do list


Don: Send it Later - send messages later app

Like the sections in the new version of Slack


Shannon: sections - great way to prioritize what you want to see first. E.g. section at top is most important


Robin: how do you manage and not miss incoming Slack messages?


Don: I’ve set up keywords in my notifications. You get a badge for every time someone mentions one of your keywords.


Shannon: good feature for catching up on things is All unreads


Emma: @ people to notify them that they should look at the message


Don: go to Mentions and reactions, and can find quickly where someone mentioned you in a message or added a reaction


Ollie: note that some options are under “More” in the menu


Brad: you can customize this list in your preferences

Consolidated list of messages from other workspaces requires some pruning to keep up


Don: statuses - people can create statuses to use within a workspace and make available to everybody.


Emma: I most commonly use the /remind command.


Don: I also use the clock icon a lot (left of search) for history