TextExpander Crossover: Collaborate better in Slack with text snippets

[This post includes a free snippet group for Slack, which helps you Slack-format your messages. Get the group]

It’s amazing to think about how quickly and deeply Slack has permeated the tech industry, and many others. The feature-rich, productivity-focused chat service has become an integral part of many a workspace, allowing us to collaborate more efficiently both at our desks and away from them.

Slack is part of our tool belt here at Smile. We’ve discovered neat ways to use our app, TextExpander, to help us in our Slack usage. We’ve heard from our Slack-using TextExpander customers. We thought it was time to share our combined tips on how to supercharge your Slack workflow using TextExpander.

It’s worth noting that Slack has a basic snippet feature. While it works ok, building your snippet system in TextExpander offers a lot of flexibility and power. You can use your snippets in any other app on desktop and mobile.

That said, let’s get your Slack gears turning with some TextExpander snippet ideas.

Daily or Weekly Briefing Templates

Some TextExpander users are in organizations where members post regular project updates in one Slack channel or another. A TextExpander snippet of this briefing text could greatly simplify this process. You can save even more time with Fill-In Fields that make it easier to fill in the blanks of key sections of your outline.

We all share a lot of links throughout our work week. TextExpander will do wonders for cutting out a lot of the search, copy, and paste tedium. Here’s a whole post about turning your commonly used and shared links into link snippets.

The gist: Think about all the sites, GIFs, admin dashboards, and similar links you share on any regular basis. Turning them all into link snippets that you can share with a couple keystrokes or a quick search will give you much more time to focus on more important work.

Bonus Tip: All Slack posts, files, and notes have their own, shareable URLs. If your team keeps a lot of key resources in Slack, consider including some of these among your link snippets.

Common Code Snippets

For the developers in the audience, TextExpander is a great friend to code snippets from all languages. If you commonly share snippets with others in your Slack team, you can turn them into snippets, then share them with a quick search or couple of keystrokes.

Bonus points: This makes it easy for you and your team to paste them elsewhere, like blog posts and documentation.

Slack Bot Commands

Plugging in services with Slack bots is all the rage these days. You can even build your own. Naturally, these bots respond to all manner of commands. Turning them into TextExpander snippets is the perfect way to make them more accessible and memorable for your entire team.

@Username Replacements

Mentioning someone on Slack with their @username is a good way to get their attention. They probably have desktop and/or mobile notifications enabled for their name, and possibly some specific keywords. Slack also has a dedicated “Activity” section where it’s easy to catch up on need-to-know-basis things (check the top toolbar on the right for an @ icon, or the menu there).

If you have trouble remembering all those @usernames, creating a few snippets for them will help. Use snippet abbreviations based on, say, first and last name initials. You’ll get the right person every time.

Slack Formatting Snippets

Slack does support some text formatting for things like bolding text, italics, and even things like lists, strikethrough text, blockquotes, and more. Formatting Slack bot messages has its own set of rules.

Note: Some Slack message formatting is similar to Markdown, but the company decisively does not support Markdown.

TextExpander snippets can help a bit with Slack formatting, especially for things like creating lists, or inserting code and blockquotes from text on your clipboard.

We even made a snippet group which can help you with this formatting. Get the Slack Text Formatting group, and others, on our Public Groups page.

Sharing is Caring

Once you get some Slack-centric TextExpander snippets built, sharing them with others in your organization will exponentially increase their usefulness. You can share groups with specific individuals, grant admin rights so others can make changes and keep everyone up to date, and more. TextExpander for Teams brings rich sharing and management features to the table.

There’s plenty to say about the wonders of sharing text snippets, which is why we have a handy dandy blog post titled How to Get Started with TextExpander for Teams.

Go Forth and Slack

We hope this helps you and your team get Slacking faster with TextExpander. We’d also love to hear what you think, and you can reach us on our TextExpander support page, on Twitter @TextExpander, and LinkedIn.