A step-by-step look at how to automate routine tasks and processes with the Slack workflow generator.
Workplace collaboration tools are increasingly adding automation to their list of productivity features. Case in point: Last fall, Slack introduced the ability to easily automate repetitive tasks with a feature called Workflow Builder. Workflows act as macros to automate various steps (in most cases, collect information and distribute it) using pre-designed templates, after importing them into your computer’s workspace.
Note: You will need a paid Slack plan (Standard, Plus or Enterprise Grid) to take advantage of Workflow Builder. If your organization has a paid account, any team member can create new workflows. And any other member can use the workflow once it is complete, including members of other teams and other organizations that use a shared channel. Another caveat: Your workspace administrator must allow workflows, so first check if they’re allowed in your security settings. The feature is enabled by default, but administrators can restrict access entirely or by team members.
So let’s take a look at how to automate common tasks and processes in Slack. We will focus on using the pre-designed templates provided by Slack and then take a quick look at creating a new workflow from scratch. Even template workflows can be customized so they will probably do what you need.
Why not take a look at this morning’s meeting? Whether it’s a video call or a stand-up call, it may take some time to complete. What if you could, instead, create a batch process in Slack and have a list of what everyone works on, automatically assembled and distributed? This is exactly what the Slack «Progress Updates» workflow template offers. Here’s how to install and customize it.