Update 7: A guide to help teams work better in Slack

By Steven Hylands on March 23, 2020

Yikes! How the world has changed since my last update 2 weeks ago. The world has gone into lockdown as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, many businesses face huge strain and many will close. For us, it’s a bit different. We’re lucky to be working on an online business in the communication space.

Due to self-isolation, remote work is going through a bit of a boom period. More and more people are starting to use Slack which ultimately could benefit us. It’s hard to know how to feel about this as it’s come at such a cost to others. We’d like to help but as a startup with little revenue it’s hard.

We decided to try by making Lowdown available for free to any Slack community helping with the coronavirus. While it’s not much we hope that we can play a small part in helping people get the information they need.

Our guide to help Slack teams minimise distraction and increase productivity

As promised in my last update I’ve created a Slack guide for companies to help them minimise distraction and increase productivity. I hope it can be of use to companies around the world and help them to irradicate bad habits and set their team up to deliver their business goals without confusion or distraction.

Lowdown developments

We want Lowdown to create the best possible newsletter from your Slack content, but decerning the right information from real-time chat messages and presenting it in a nice way isn’t straight-forward. We’ve spent the last few weeks building tech that enables Lowdown users to better tell us what they want to appear in their emails. We also started to analyse content in the background to automatically improve formatting.

Content Tools

Until now Lowdown has been designed to surface popular content based on replies and emoji reactions. Now you can turn this off and instead choose to surface things that are important or things that are wins shared in Slack.

You can also give more priority to posts with links, images or keywords you define. Finally, you can set it that when specific emojis are used to react to a post, then that post will be auto-added to Lowdown.

Content tools

Content analysis

Lowdown will now strip out things that don’t make sense from your newsletter automatically. We now remove @everyone from posts, these don’t make sense in an email. We also strip out posts that are clearly replies and don’t make sense to be featured without context. We’re doing other things like always capitalising the first word in a post too. These are small tweaks but they make a big difference and we look forward to improving upon this more over time.

The next two weeks

We’re still focused on product development, rattling through features from our public roadmap. In particular, we hope to launch our new onboarding flow which we hope will do a much better job at educating our users about how to use Lowdown and in the process give them a tailored newsletter they’re happier with.

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Author

Steven Hylands

Steven is a co-founder and CEO here at Lowdown. He's focused on creating the easiest way to create a newsletter on the web.

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