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Find out more about the tools we use to collaborate and stay connected.


Community Platform

Getting Started

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Slack is a collaboration hub that connects your organization — all the pieces and the people — so you can get things done.

Why use Slack?

  • Collaborate online just like you would in person.
  • Bring the right people and information together in one place.

  • Communicate efficiently, stay connected, and get things done faster.

The basics

To understand how Slack really works, it helps to know how all the pieces fit together. We'll cover channels, messages, search, and notifications.

Below is a snapshot of what a typical Slack workspace looks like:

WHAT IS SLACK Slack overview.png

Slack is comprised of channels: a single place for messaging, tools, and files. Most of our communication with other members will happen in channels.

Ours are organized around focus groups and subject areas — we can create as many channels as we need.

Channel types

👀Public Channels

  • Public channels are open to everyone in our slack workspace.
  • Messages are archived in Slack and searchable by all members, except guests.
  • We currently have 2 public channels #update_news and #innovative_finance. A public channel has a # hashtag icon in its name.

🙈Private Channels

  • Private channels are not open to everyone in our workspace.
  • You have to be invited to view and participate in the channel's discussion.
  • A private channel has a  lock icon in its name - and is only displayed in the sidebar of people with access to it.


To communicate in Slack, share a message in a channel, or send someone a direct message (DM).  To send a message to one or more people directly, add them via the + icon next to direct messages in the sidebar.

Channels vs. DMs

Generally, Slack works best when the majority of communication happens in channels. Direct messages are best for ad-hoc conversations that don't require an entire channel to weigh in.  

Message formatting

You can format your messages to help present your ideas. Don't forget emoji! Use them to enhance your own messages, or to add a reaction to someone else's.

If you need to call the attention of someone specific, type @ followed by their display name to send them a notification. We call this an @-mention.

Direct messages 

When you need to quickly chat or check in with teammates, you can send them a direct message (DM). Direct messages are best for ad-hoc, quick discussions. 


With the transparent flow of information in Slack, Search is your way to narrow down and find what you need.

You’ll find a search field in the upper-right corner of Slack — it’s there any time you need it. Simply type a word or phrase in the search box to start looking. You can even use a number of modifiers to help you narrow your results.

💡 Learn how to search for messages and files and check out our advanced tips.



Notifications are Slack’s way of telling you about items that need your attention. You can choose to receive notifications on your desktop, your mobile device, or by email. Notifications can even be customized by channel, so you can prioritize where your attention goes.

💡 Learn more about setting up Slack notifications.


View/add people to your channel

To see who is in the channel - access the channel and select the person icon directly beneath the channel heading. 


Phone Calls

You can make phone calls directly from within Slack - just click on the icon of the person you want to call and select 'call'


Download the App

You can download Slack to your mobile device and/or desktop computer here:


What's next?

Please log in and look around. If you would like to learn more - view the Getting Started guide on the Slack website. 


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