Slack tweaks for compulsive inbox-zero addicts

If you can’t get anything else done when there’s even a single unread message in Slack, this post is for you.

Step 1: Mute (almost) all of your channels. Two reasons:

  • New messages in those channels don’t make “All Unreads” light up
  • They don’t get BOLD in the sidebar so you aren’t tempted to click them

“But then I’ll miss stuff!” Oh no you won’t, because:

Step 2: Only show channels with unread stuff in the sidebar

This is a setting in the “Sidebar” tab of the Preferences:

That way, anything you see in the sidebar has new content so you don’t have to worry about missing anything. You can do a sweep once or twice a day. But since it’s all muted, none of it is bold and begging you to click it.

Step 3: Create a sections for channels you don’t care about, and collapse it

Everyone has some channels that they need to be in but don’t need to read. Stick those in a “Channels I don’t care about” or “Garbage” section and then keep it collapsed.

Since they’re all muted, the section title won’t get bold if there’s unread stuff in there, so you won’t notice it.

Step 4: Change the “Mention Badge” theme color to the same color as your background

Go into the theme settings and copy your theme’s background color, then paste that as the Mention Badge color.

That way, instead of mentions getting a big red dot with a number in it, they’ll just get the number. So instead of this:

You get this:

Much less “CLICK ME OMG” wouldn’t you say?

Those four steps have helped me with bento boxing my Slack time.

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