Journal


Laura Gallacher
  • 2017/02/16
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Slackbot: the only bot you’ll ever need

Remembering to do things is hard.  For some reason, I find that it’s getting harder and harder to remember certain tasks.  Perhaps it’s because of all the different things I need to balance: work, school, family, social life etc.  Maybe it’s a product of the times I live in.  My brain is constantly exposed to content, I suspect its having a hard time keeping up.  In any case I have found a solution that has worked wonder and has literally changed my life: slackbot

We use Slack at ConsultR to communicate with members of our team.  Each project we take on will have its own specialized channel for communications.  We’ve only been using it for about 8 months but so far it has been fantastic.  Particularly the bot feature integrated into their main platform.

A lot has been written and said about bots this past year.  I’m finally realizing what all the fuzz is about.  Bots can simplify our lives in ways I never thought possible.

To illustrate how much Bot has helped me I have prepared a list of the 5 features I find most useful in everyday life.

Simplicity

Setting a reminder in Slack is as simple as it gets!  All you need to do is type in [/remind + what the reminder is +the date+ the time].

For example: /remind me to prepare the spreadsheet for X on Monday February 14th at 3pm.

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Another great feature is that you can schedule recurring reminders for tasks you need to accomplish daily, weekly or monthly.   For recurring reminders, all you need to do is add the word “every” and presto you are all set!

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Slackbot will then confirm your reminder.

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You can cancel de remnder at any time, and you can also view your entire list of reminder by entering [/remind list]

Finally, when you are “reminded” you can choose to Mark as compete or snooze the reminder just like and alarm clock!

 

Work/Life (A specialized channel)

Even though I use Slack primarily at work slackbot is completely private so I can schedule reminders for mundane tasks that I always forget.  Who hasn’t forgotten to pay a bill or pick up the dry-cleaning?  With slackbot, I have my own personal assistant right on my phone!

 

Reminding other team members

slack teamWhat about other team members?  With Slack, I can set up reminders for them as well.   This works for any type of colleagues (even your boss!).  The reminders are not intrusive and you can choose the wording that best fits the situation.  If it is indeed your boss, you may want to try a softer worded reminder so that he or she doesn’t misinterpret the reminder.

 

Vacation Planning

I recently went on vacation and because of slackbot I was able relax and enjoy myself because I knew that little robot had my back.  I set up reminders for co-workers assigned to take over my daily tasks.  Taking over for someone on vacation can be a real challenge especially if there are a lot of new tasks involved.  Slackbot can help with the transition and give your coworkers peace of mind.  I scheduled different types of reminders for 4 different co-workers assigned to help while I was on vacation.

Midway through my two weeks off I checked in to see how everything was going and got a really nice compliment from my boss. He said I had created the standard for what an employee should do before going on vacation!

 

Other reminders just don’t cut it

icalI have tried using reminders in other platforms and nothing has come close to slackbot in terms of simplicity or efficiency.  Slack reminders can be as detailed as you want them to be, a feature I haven’t been able to find anywhere else.

Calendars have reminders and so do project management/productivity platforms but they are specific to the tasks performed on that specific platform.   Slackbot is so versatile I can remind myself about events, tasks, birthdays, outings and anything else I can think off.

Slack is a free platform that has both a desktop ad mobile version. I encourage everyone to try slackbot.  You can set up Slack for business purposes or for personal use.  In any case I guarantee you will find slackbot as fantastic as I have!