NOTE: This document is deprecated. As of September 1, 2021, Levels no longer uses Slack. All work-related communication happens in Threads, and all social communication happens in the unaffiliated Discord server.

Slack can be used in many ways, which is both a blessing and a curse. We'll define a few ways in which we use Slack at Levels so that everyone is on the same page regarding communication expectations. If you want to dig deeper into how some other all-remote companies use Slack successfully, check out the documentation written by GitLab on effective use of Slack and other communication tools.

Table of Contents

Why is Slack Good?

Why is Slack Bad?

Use Slack for Updates

One thing that Slack is great at for remote teams is giving a feeling of "buzz". When you can see lots of things happening and you give the team visibility into the various aspects of the business, you allow people to feel a sense of engagement and transparency that isn't possible with a tool like email.

Slack is great for firehose-type information that generally doesn't require an action to be taken. For example, here's our #social-firehose channel in which we post recent Twitter activity related to Levels.

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One thing to consider for large-scale FYSA emails is to use a Slack integration, in which you can forward an email to Slack by creating a forwarding address. An example this is the #sam-email channel in Slack, which is the Slack channel that Sam, the CEO, uses to forward interesting emails, like conversations with celebrities, generals in the US Military, investor interest, and customer excitement (many people say this is their favorite channel!). This is really helpful for founders and managers to give everyone on the team visibility into what's going on within the company. Directions here: https://slack.com/help/articles/206819278-Send-emails-to-Slack#connect-the-email-app

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Slack is the best way to asynchronously let others on the team be aware of a meeting or call that you had that you've documented in "Meeting Notes" in Notion. We are a remote company, so any conversation you've had with someone external to the company you should assume didn't happen unless it was documented. Without writing something down from the meeting, the productivity is much more likely to be lost and forgotten. At a minimum, jot down 1-2 lines from the meeting in a Notion meeting note. Ideally, the note will be more detailed so that people have a sense of what was discussed and what the action items are.

All meetings should have a note generated in ‣ section in Notion with the date specified, and with the title being the name of the person you met with. When the note is completed, go to top right of note page and press "Share" → "Copy Link", and then paste that link in the appropriate channel in Slack. If it is a podcast partner meeting, it goes in #podcast channel, if it is a research meeting, it goes in #clinical - use your judgement on the right channel. If you specifically want someone to see that Notion meeting, tag them (ie @Casey Means) in the slack channel.

Turn Off Push Notifications

We strongly encourage you to turn off push notifications for Slack. We're a deep work culture, and Slack notifications can be disruptive. We do encourage you to enable email notifications for direct messages, which will help you with triage in the event someone requires your response to something in Slack.

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Best practice is to check Slack a few times a day. If someone needs to get ahold of you urgently, they have your phone number and they'll text or call you. We think you'll find that very few things are actually urgent and a delay of a few hours does not cause problems.