How to automate repetitive tasks in Slack

A step-by-step look at how to automate common tasks and processes using Slack’s Workflow Builder.

Slack logo/wordmark [2019]

Workplace collaboration tools are increasingly adding automation to their list of productivity features. Case in point: Slack last fall introduced the capability to easily automate repetitive tasks through a feature called Workflow Builder. Workflows act like macros to automate multiple steps — in most cases, collecting information and distributing it — using pre-built templates, after you import them into your team’s workspace.

Note: You’ll need a Slack paid plan — Standard, Plus or Enterprise Grid — to take advantage of Workflow Builder. If your organization has a paid account, any member of the team can create new workflows. And any other member can use the workflow once it’s completed, including members of other teams — and other organizations using a shared channel. One more caveat: The admin for your workspace needs to allow workflows, so check first to see if they’re allowed under your security settings. The feature is on by default, but admins can restrict access completely or by team member.

So, let’s take a look at how to automate common tasks and processes in Slack. We’ll focus on using pre-built templates provided by Slack, and then also quickly look at creating a new workflow from scratch. Even the template workflows can be customized, so it’s likely they’ll do what you need. 

Status updates

Why not take a fresh look at the morning meeting? Whether it’s a standup or video call, it can take time away from actually getting work done. What if you could, instead, simply create a batch process in Slack, and have a list of what everyone’s working on pulled together automatically and distributed? That’s exactly what the “Progress updates” Slack workflow template delivers. Here’s how to install and customize it.

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