How to create a poll in Slack

Try using emoji reactions, Polly, or an external poll app

Justin Pot
Justin Pot / Published August 19, 2020

There's no built-in tool for making a Slack poll, but if you want to ask your team a question, there are options.

  1. You can use emoji reactions as a sort of improvised poll.
  2. You can use a third-party tool if you want something more precise.
  3. If you're going to run detailed surveys with multiple questions, it's probably best to use an app that runs outside Slack entirely.

Let's go over all three choices.

How to do a poll in Slack using emoji reactions

Slack's built-in reaction feature is perfect for quick polls. Just draft a normal Slack message, then list all of your options alongside emoji. Like this:

A Slack message asking people what time they want to meet. Then emoji with times on them, next to the times written out in words.

Team members can use Slack's Add reaction feature to vote, or just click on any reactions that are already there.

Click the Add reaction button if your choice isn't there yet

Everyone can vote quickly, plus the conversation can continue below the poll or in a thread.

Poll responses in context, with extra comments below the poll

Slack offers plenty of emoji that work for this out of the box, including the clock ones I used in the screenshots above. You can also create custom emoji in Slack if you want more options—it's a straightforward process.

How to create a poll in Slack using Polly

Emoji reactions are great for quick questions, but it's not perfect for all situations. There's no way to vote anonymously, for example, or to quickly see what percent of team members voted for what.

Happily, there are third-party tools for Slack that offer all of this and more. Here at Zapier, we use Polly, which is free to set up. With it installed, you can quickly make polls inside Slack by typing /polly, followed by your question, in any channel. Do that, and you'll see some more options:

Getting started with Polly in Slack. You'll have the option to change the question type, who will receive the poll, and more.

You can ask multiple choice questions, as with the emoji method, but you also have options like agree/disagree, numbered responses, and even open-ended responses.

The kinds of questions Polly supports: 1-5, 1-10, Agree/Disagree, Multiple Choice, NPS, Open Ended

You can also make the polls anonymous, if need be. And once you've selected your settings, the poll will show up right in your Slack channel.

A poll in Slack using Polly

Everyone can vote by clicking an option—it's that simple.

The free version of Polly is great for single questions, and there are paid plans if you need to ask more than one thing at a time.

For more depth, link to external polls

Emoji are quick, and Polly gives you a little more power, but ultimately any poll that lives inside Slack is going to be just a bit limited. If you really want to create highly customizable polls, you should probably look into something that runs outside of Slack entirely. Check out our list of the best poll apps to learn more about your options; or, if you want to ask multiple questions, try one of the best survey apps. You can always link to your external poll or survey in Slack.

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