District 26 - Serving Colorado, Wyoming and Western Nebraska

What does that “room” look like in Slack? Slack has three kinds of “rooms,” each room for hosting a different kind of conversation. 

One kind of “room” is called a “channel.” Slack channels will be the focus today.


In my last blog post I mentioned Slack as a tool for having communication in a “quiet, organized room.”

A channel can be created for any purpose and archived whenever that purpose is fulfilled. It can be public (open to all in that workspace) or private, limited to the right people within the workspace.

Channels like “#general” or “funny-cat-gifs” or “random” are often permanent channels within a workspace. “#general” is often used for public communications to everyone in the workspace – “Free donuts downstairs!” is a great message to post in the general channel.

Having these places sorts messages into a location that lets you know that they are for everyone, meaning you may devote little time and energy to processing them.

Having a project channel, however, is a different story. A project channel is created for a specific project for a specific length of time.

If you are in this channel, the communications in that channel are relevant to you and you ought to be contributing to the project through this channel. Everything in that channel is relevant to the project and only the project. Irrelevant, energy wasting communications are kept other places, freeing you to focus on the project when you are working in that channel.

Once the project is completed, the channel can be archived, removing it from view and keeping the focus on active projects. Archived channels are still restorable if something is needed from them, but in the meantime they are out of the way.

For example, assume your Toastmasters club has an upcoming open house. A channel “#july-open-house” can quickly be created; relevant people invited into the channel; and all communications about that open house are kept in the channel. No chasing through email threads or other channels to find that one idea or next action step. It can be right in that channel! Once the open house is completed, that channel can be archived.

Click here for a 15 second video about slack channels.

Next time – Direct, 1-1 communications

Mike Moline


SLACK Representative For D26

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