By AJ Mallory

As we gear up for another season of cruising I wanted to remind folks about the communication tool many of us have been using to communicate during cruises and events. It’s called Slack and I encourage you to give it a try if you haven’t done so. There are some links below to the Google Play Store and Apple Store where you can get additional details about installing the Slack App, it is free. Once you have it installed you will need to join the Shilshole Bay Yacht Club “organization” (also link below). Then you will have access to the different “channels” or “rooms” that we have setup for our cruises and our new event SBYC Sails (and Ales)!

We, as a club, first started using this tool because we found that trying to manage communications via text messages was cumbersome and limited when dealing with large groups. Imagine creating texting groups for each event and managing the members from event to event on everyone’s phone? Not possible! Want to know when dinner is happening or if people are going ashore? Did you know there is a limit to the number of people you can have in a text message? I didn’t either. But I guess I never tried to contact more than a handful of people at once. With Slack it’s easy to communicate what time dinner is happening and when and who is going to shore!

I think the folks who have been using the app really like it for keeping in touch. I really appreciated it during our summer cruise last year as I could post where we were and where we were headed while also keeping track of other members to see who else was in the area where we were. It was quick to read through the posts people made, see who was in the area and then coordinate a meeting point. Soon I was in a pub, beer in hand with some fellow SBYC members talking about where we had been and where we were planning to head off to next.

OK you’re in; you want to give it a try, here’s how:

  1. Let’s start by getting you set up on Slack. Use these links to install the Slack app from the appropriate app store: iOS or Android(it’s free). You can also install it on a desktop computer if you wish.
  2. Then add yourself to the SBYC Slack organization using this link: Join SBYC Slack

Now that you have the app installed and have joined the “SBYC Organization” let’s learn a couple of things that will be helpful (if you can, I’d pull this article up on your computer so you can follow along and run the Slack app on your phone at the same time):

  1. Learn about channels what is a channel
  2. Join an event area join a channel
  3. Finally modify your notification settings more specifically mobile notifications

For additional informationI recommend just browsing the slack help area, as almost anything you want to do is spelled out. In no time you’ll know more than I do!

Notification cheat sheet

I think one challenge for folks is the amount of notifications that are turned on by default in slack. To help address this I’ve gathered information from the Slack Mobile Notification help pages and presented it here.

On an iOS device from within the Slack App swipe left to open the right side bar, tap settings, tap notifications and make any changes necessary.

On Android with the Slack App open, tap the three dots (upper right of screen), tap Settings, tap Notifications and change as desired.