Getting Started with Slack

Slack is a platform that allows you to more easily and quickly communicate and work together with your team and others in CalArts. Slack has several features such as:

  • Channels - Stay organized and focused with central spaces for conversations, files, tools, and people. Post your message or file and have everyone invited to the channel able to see and access the information.
  • Direct messages - You can message one person or a group of people as the need arises to share new information, files, or tackle an issue together. 
  • Status - Slack can automatically update your availability based on your calendar to show others that you may not be able to respond. Alternatively, you can manually update your status. 
  • App integration - Slack can integrate with a myriad of applications to offer extended functionality. CalArts Slack currently offers integrations like Google to update status based on calendar or share Google Drive files and Zoom to start a quick Zoom call with anyone you are currently messaging.
  • File preview - When someone shares a file with you such as PDF or Excel, Slack allows you to quickly preview the file without having to download it onto your computer and then open it in the appropriate application.

Download Slack

If you are managing your own computer, you can download Slack for Windows or Mac from the Slack website. Slack is also available on iOS and Android OS so you can use it on your mobile, tablet or iPad.

If you are using a CAIT managed computer and you don't see Slack already available, please contact CAIT at to request that Slack be installed on your computer.

Sign in to Slack

1. Open the Slack application and click Sign In to Slack. Your web browser will open a new window.

2. Click Sign In with Google. Enter your CalArts credentials at the SSO screen and click Sign in.

Screenshot of Slack Sign in page

3. Click on your CalArts account when prompted to choose your Google account.

4. Click the checkbox next to CalArts and then click the Open button to open the CalArts workspace in the Slack application.

List of Slack workspaces available to join

5. You can join more than one Slack workspace. On the Sign In page, you can scroll down below CalArts and click the Join button next to any workspace you wish to join.

The Slack application will remember your login information and you will not have to repeat the login process each time you want to use Slack.

Fill out your profile

1. From your Slack application, click the default profile picture in the top right corner.

2. Click Profile from the menu..

Screenshot of Slack menu pointing to the Profile menu item

4. From the profile preview, click Edit to the right of your name and then add in your information and a profile photo.

The Edit your profile screen

4. Click Save Changes when you have finished entering your information.

Configure notifications

1. From your Slack application, click on your profile picture in the top right and click Preferences in the menu that appears.

Screenshot of the profile menu pointing to the Preferences menu item

2. In the Notifications tab, choose what you'd like to be notified for (all messages, direct messages or no notifications).

Slack Preferences screen

3. If you are also using Slack on your mobile device, you can choose to have different notification settings on your computer from your mobile by choosing the option "Use different settings for my mobile devices".

4. If you would like to mute or prioritize a certain channel, open the channel and click the channel name in the top corner.

5. Below the channel name, you will see a summary of your current channel notification settings. Click the summary for a drop-down menu showing various notification settings.

Notification options for #general channel

6. Choose your notification options or mute the channel by clicking the option in the menu that corresponds to your choice.

Join channels

1. From your Slack app, go to the Channels section in the left panel, hover over the word Channels and click the (plus sign) that appears.

Slack menu highlighting the plus sign button next to Channels

2. From the menu that appears, click Browse channels to see a list of channels you have been invited to as well as public channels. Consider adding the following two channels:

  • #cait-public - A channel to ask CAIT quick questions.
  • #general - A channel for everyone on the CalArts Slack app
The Slack App highlighting the + menu highlighting Browse channels menu item

3. From the list of channels, scroll to the channel you'd like to join or use the search box. Once you have found a channel you'd like to join, hover over the channel name and click the Join button. 

List of channels highlighting the Join button

4. The channel will now appear in your list of channels. Find out more about using Slack channels:

The Slack App side menu showing a list of channels

Send direct messages

In Slack, you can send direct messages to one person or several people just like you would when texting. All your recent direct messages are displayed in the left side menu of the Slack app under Direct Messages

1. To start a new conversation, hover over Direct messages in the Slack menu and click the (plus sign) that appears. 

Slack menu highlighting the plus sign next to Direct messages

2. In the Direct messages interface you can type the name of the person you wish to direct message or click on their name from the list of recent direct messages.

Slack app showing the Direct messages interface

3. You can keep adding message recipients if you wish to start a conversation with multiple people. 

Slack new message interface with two recipients

4. Once you have selected all the recipients, type your message in the message box below and click the arrow symbol in the bottom right corner to send the message.

Slack direct message conversation with 3 people
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