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How to use Slack during meetings without anyone noticing (and other reasons to schedule messages)

You can now schedule Slack messages so they send at a later time

By Justin Pot · June 23, 2021
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I don't mind useless Zoom meetings—they're a great time to get some work done. The problem: you can't really respond to Slack messages during meetings without your coworkers noticing that you're working instead of paying attention to the meeting. 

Well, Slack just solved that problem. 

You can now schedule messages for later (at least, some users can—the feature is currently rolling out). This revolutionary change means no one will have any evidence that you weren't listening to that presentation about ideation optimization across key metrics. 

This is good news for anyone who consistently tunes out during meetings. But there are other reasons it's helpful. 

  • Responding during off-hours. Flexibility can make you more productive, by allowing you to split your workday into multiple shifts. Some parents here at Zapier, for example, split their working hours, so they can spend the middle of the day with kids. Scheduling Slack messages can help people with less standard hours message teammates without interrupting them.

  • Times zones. Modern teams are scattered all over the world. This means you might want to send a message to someone whose workday hasn't started, or is already over, without disturbing them during downtime. Scheduling a post for later is a great way to do that.

  • Saving face. You checked Slack late at night even though you know you shouldn't and saw something you wanted to respond to but you don't want anyone to know you were looking at Slack late at night because that's weird and probably unhealthy. It's ok—Slack has you covered now. 

How to schedule a Slack message for later

The button for scheduling a Slack message is a little hidden. You need to click the down arrow to the right of the send button. 

Screenshot showing the down arrow

You'll be offered a couple of standard times, which you can simply click to schedule the message at the start of the next workday. 

Screenshot of the standard times to schedule a message

Alternatively, you can click Custom time to...choose a custom time. Choose something sensible, like two minutes after the meeting you're currently in ends. 

Screenshot of picking a time

You can review scheduled posts in the new Scheduled section in the Slack sidebar. 

Screenshot of scheduled posts

What if you want to send the same message on Slack every day? Slack doesn't offer that feature, but you can set it up using Zapier's Slack integration. Here's a Zap template to get you started.

Zapier lets you automatically send information from one app to another, helping you reduce manual tasks. Learn more about how Zapier works.

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Justin Pot picture

Justin Pot

Justin Pot is a staff writer at Zapier based in Hillsboro, Oregon. He loves technology, people, and nature, not necessarily in that order. You can follow Justin on Twitter: @jhpot. You don't have to. But you can.

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