1Password for Slackers

As I sit here, I can see at a glance that a Pull Request was just merged to master, our unit tests ran successfully, Tim shut down the staging bastion, and Will’s daughter turned 2 today with a rather delicious looking cake.

What ties all these seemingly random topics together? Why Slack of course (you know, the company with the cool socks).

Channeling your inner Slack

At AgileBits we use Slack for almost all communication. We have dedicated channels for each team, company channels for announcements and even a water-cooler channel for the hot topic of the day.

In addition to team communication we also use Slack as an alert mechanism. We receive alerts when code is merged, builds are deployed, unit tests fail, thresholds are exceeded or errors occur. I find that having a single place to see or be notified by these alerts is indispensable. There is simply no way I’d survive having to switch to each and every tool to see what needs my attention.

There was, however one critical service that was obvious by its omission, and that was 1Password. Happily that is no longer the case :)

Introducing Slack for 1Password

When I set about adding Slack integration to 1Password (yep I still get to code) the challenge was deciding what to send to Slack. As always, our customers helped with great advice and I decided that there were two types of activities to send – alerts and notifications.

An alert is sent to Slack for an activity that requires your action. Confirming a new team member or account recovery are two examples. Simply click the link in the alert and you’ll be brought right to where you need to be to complete that activity.

A notification is an important 1Password event that you may want to review. For example a team member adding a new device to their account, enabling or disabling Travel Mode, or even signing in to their account. This allows you to review this activity and keep an eye out for unexpected behaviour.

You can choose which alerts or notifications to send to Slack and which channels those are sent to.

Keep on Slacking

Slack integrations are available for all Teams on the Pro plan. If you are not already on 1Password Teams there has never been a better time, so sign up today for a free trial :)

I am very excited by the new 1Password Slack integrations and hope you are too. I’d love to hear what other alerts or notifications you’d like to see sent to Slack. Let me know below in the comments!

10 replies
    • Shiner
      Shiner says:

      Yes, you are right, we did indeed leave for a short period of time, but were drawn back surprisingly quickly.

      Slack is a very effective communication tool, which became a bit too effective for us at the time :). One of the challenges that we faced (and continue to face), is that it becomes too easy to DM someone. As you might imagine, certain people are going to be pinged more often than others and for those folks, who are often among the most valuable in your team, these interrupts can quickly overwhelm them. It got to the point where they struggled to accomplish any of their own work. In addition we found that everyone on our team was trying to keep up with every conversation that occurred, which again meant that they got little of their own work done.

      We tried different tools where the communication is more structured and less immediate, but found that we missed the ability to have real-time conversations that didn’t need to be persisted. As a result we slowly started going back to Slack.

      When we decided to go back to Slack we were more particular about how we set up the channels and who we invited to each channel. We have fewer channels now and many of those are private, limited to the relevant group. For example we have private channels for our Android, Mac/iOS, Windows development teams, allowing them to discuss the topic of the moment without distracting the rest of the team.

      In addition, some folks spend much (sometimes all) of the day with their status set to “away” as an indication that they are working and not to be distracted unless its an emergency.

      These steps have helped us take advantage of the benefits of Slack while being less distracted overall. I am not going to say that all the challenges have disappeared but it is much better.

      For myself personally, I love the interactive and immediate nature of Slack. I find that in my role, I need to constantly switch between topics and contexts. Slack gives me a central place where I can overview many different things all at once. I can reach out to those I need to, hop in and out of channels as necessary, and keep an eye on alerts and announcements. I find it frustrating if I need to hop into other tools just to determine if there is something there that needs my attention. That is a big reason why I added the Slack integration to 1Password.com. It allows me to look for alerts that need my attention and then quickly hop to the right tools for the job.

      Ultimately, I think how you use a tool is just as important as which tool you use.

  1. Liam
    Liam says:

    I thought you guys quit Slack for Basecamp? Would be good to hear about your experience with that, and why you ended up moving back to Slack. Cheers.

    • Kate Sebald
      Kate Sebald says:

      Hey, Liam! For the in-depth explanation, I’ll direct you to Jeff’s earlier comment. I missed out on the Basecamp experiment myself, so I’ve only seen how we use Slack. I, for one, can’t rightly imagine being able to do my job as effectively without the option to both get an instant answer to a question when folks are around and the ability to leave a message in the proper channel for later when I’m a bit lonelier on the weekends. Slack is a great tool for this as well as keeping up with the goings on around the virtual office even when I’m not actively working. Of course, Agile is part of our name, so experimenting with new things and changing how we use tools we’ve used in the past is just part of staying true to our moniker. ;)

    • Kate Sebald
      Kate Sebald says:

      Hey Ian! You’ll need to enable beta features to use the Slack integration as this is still in beta. Once beta featurs are enabled, you can find the Slack integration setup screen in Team Settings. If you have any questions about how to set up specific notifications or alerts, give us a shout. Our support team would be happy to lend a hand. 🙂

    • Kate Sebald
      Kate Sebald says:

      Glad to hear it Ian! Let us know if we can do anything else to help and be sure to share any feedback you have about the Slack integration. We always love to hear what you think of new features. 🙂

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