Organize and name channels

Creating guidelines for naming and organizing channels helps point people to the right places, like where they can ask questions, troubleshoot issues, or work with the right team members on any given project.

Start with broad channels

Slack starts you off with two channels: #general and #random, which you can rename to your liking. #general is the only channel all team members are required to be in, so be sure to keep conversations relevant to the whole company.

As you get started, add new channels around major topics like:

  • departments (ex: #design, #marketing, #sales)
  • office locations (ex: #chi, #ny, #sf)

It’s also a good idea to have a channel for important company-wide announcements. If you don’t want to create a separate #announcements channel, we recommend renaming and using your #general channel for this.

Create channel naming guidelines

As you create new channels, name them in a consistent and predictable way. This makes it clear what the contents of the channel will be, making it easier for team members to browse channels and quickly identify which ones they need to join.

We recommend using a standard set of prefixes to keep channels names organized and descriptive. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • help- is for channels where we need to ask questions about a topic. (ex: #help-benefits, #help-finance, #help-it)
  • team- is for a specific group of people that can coordinate team-related topics and activities. (ex: #team-design, #team-eng, #team-marketing, #team-sales)
  • feat- or project- is for new features or projects, create a channel so the cross-functional team has a place to work together. This way, team members can get feedback and quickly make decisions to keep your project moving forward. (ex: project-homepage, feat-newlogo, feat-newapp etc)
  • [your department]- is for large teams or team functions. Consider creating more specific channels that start with your department name as you grow and prioritize work. (ex: #sales, #sales-smb, #sales-leads, #sales-ops)

It’s also helpful to fill out the Channel Purpose field so team members can quickly figure out what information they can expect to find in a channel.

Put it in writing

Once you’ve developed a consistent channel-naming strategy that works, document it in a post and pin it to your company-wide channel. This will serve as a handy guide for new and existing team members and will ensure consistency in channel naming across your organization.

Keep channel conversations relevant

Not all your channels may be work-related, and that’s OK. To maintain focus and keep channel conversations relevant, encourage team members to move unrelated discussions to the appropriate channel.

We suggest choosing an emoji to flag off-topic conversations — if someone reacts to a message with this emoji, it can politely signal that the conversation belongs in a different channel without offending or discouraging anyone.

Bonus Tip: Use the Quick Switcher (⌘+K) to quickly browse and find existing channels.


To sum things up

Channels are where the magic happens in Slack. These tips will go a long way in making sure you and your team get off to a great start.

Additional resources: