If you’re at all familiar with the messaging service, Slack, then you already know how amazing it is for chatting with different members of your team.
But, have you ever taken notice of that one team member who’s always online, just hanging out at the top of the left column of your Slack window? The one named “Slackbot” with the adorable teal heart next to it?
If not, please allow me to introduce you to your new best friend.
Chances are, you’ve probably met Slackbot at least once before. When you first signed up for the platform, he (yes, somewhere along the way I decided that my friendly robot was a “he”) likely helped you set up your profile and get familiar with the different features. However, if you proceeded to immediately ignore him following that exchange (poor guy!), you’re definitely missing out.
There are many helpful, handy things that it can help you with—like reminding you of things that would otherwise completely fall out of your brain. In fact, I use the feature on a daily basis for all sorts of little things I need to remember.
How exactly does this work? Well, you simply click on the name, which will bring you to a window that looks like any other direct message. Then, you type a note telling him what he needs to remind you of and exactly when he should send you that reminder.
Now, keep in mind that Slackbot isn’t a real person, so you’re going to have to format things a special way so that he can understand what you’re saying. Any commands you give need to begin with a forward slash (/) and then a particular keyword command—which, as you would expect, is the word “remind” for reminders.
So, if you wanted to use the bot to set a reminder to start an article (or, if you’re not a writer like me, any other task or project) on a certain day and time, your message would look like this:
Press “send” and you’ll get a confirmation (with a friendly thumbs-up, no less). On that day and time, you’ll receive a message from Slackbot with the note you wrote to yourself. And, if you have your email preferences set this way, you’ll also receive notice of a direct message in your inbox.
I know that this language might seem a little strange at first. But, it’s easy to get used to, and I can almost guarantee you’ll be using it non-stop! I utilize this to keep track of everything from emails I need to follow up on to random tasks I need to complete—without my desk being covered in a constant blanket of Post-it notes.
What else can Slackbot help you with? Well, you can ask him any questions you have about how to use the platform, and he’ll get back to you right away with an answer. Speaking of answers, you can also program it to spit back an answer to a question your other team members are always asking—which is perfect if you spend half your day answering, “What’s the WiFi password, again?” (Slack has a helpful page you can reference to learn how to use these different Slackbot features.)
The fun doesn’t end there—there are numerous other commands you can use with this handy bot. Head to your direct messages with Slackbot, type the forward slash, and you’ll see an entire list pop up.
It’s a whole new world, right?
(Oh, and if you don’t have Slack, we’ve got you covered too! Here are 8 free apps that double as personal assistants.)
Photo of person on laptop courtesy of Thomas Barwick/Getty Images.