I have been obsessed with reducing the amount of noise I’m presented with on a daily basis. This includes:

  • Not getting an Apple Watch… no matter how much I want one! All I see are people reacting to notifications. No thank you!
  • Speaking of notifications, disabling as many alerts and notifications possible — on my phone, on my computer — where-ever!
  •  I’ve even written a few other blogs on the topic, some relevant and some as relevant as a repair manual for a Betamax.

All of this noise takes me out of the moment of what I’m currently focused on, whether it be working on projects or spending time with the kids. So when Isos adopted Slack, literally days after Atlassian announced the sunsetting of HipChat, I had another highly needy, alert generating machine. This will be a three part blog series, starting with:

Step 1 – Identify Goals

I can easily get lost in features, buttons and settings. So before I jumped down that rabbit hole with Slack, I came up with my guiding principles for chat communication. Here’s what I came up with:

  1. I want to be able to react to important messages quickly. Here’s what’s important to me:
    1. Any emergency situation (think danger) with any person that can contact me via Slack
    2. Burning customer issues that require immediate action
    3. Burning internal issues that require immediate action
  2. My time and how I spend it is dictated by my calendar not by random messages popping up in Slack. This keeps me focused and lets me tune out distractions.
  3. Participating in some, not all, of the fun that happens in Slack. As a distributed company, much of our culture shines in various Slack channels. I want to participate in that culture, but not let it become too distracting.

You might have different goals, but I suggest you spend a little time thinking about what you are trying to achieve.

Stay tuned for:

  • Part 2 – I jump into configuring Slack to meet these goals.
  • Part 3 – I finish the series with the process I use to manage Slack to meet my goals outlined here.