My #1 Slack Emoji Hack

(And by #1, I mean “brand new”.)

Today I learned a thing, courtesy of Taylor Jadin.

One of my ongoing responsibilities at Reclaim is to curate and put together the Reclaim Roundup, our monthly newsletter that collects all of the announcements, blog posts, new support documentation, event resources, and staff picks, and sends them to people’s inboxes so they can see what we’ve been up to behind the scenes. This means that I periodically — about once a week — crawl our Slack looking for relevant links to collect in the Asana project we use for the newsletter.

One of my three default emoji reactions in Slack is the sparkle emoji, or ✨ (if you didn’t know that you can set your default emoji reacts, you can! You’re not just bound to the three suggested ones, or the three you end up using most frequently! It’s under “Messages & media” in your Preferences.)

Slack's section for emojis setting. "Show one-click reactions on messages" is checked; the available options are "My most frequently used emoji" and "Custom". "Custom" is selected, with the three chosen emoji as a thumbs-up, a sparkle, and a starry-eyed face.
Custom one-click reactions — I use thumbsup, sparkles, and starry_eyed.

But that’s not the hack.

Recently I noticed the “Add Emoji” option in the larger emoji-picker and got curious. It turned out to be super easy to add a custom emoji for our Reclaim Slack, and I’d been wanting a special one to indicate something along the lines of, “Wow, I’m definitely putting this in the newsletter!”

Did you know there’s no paper airplane emoji?

There is now.

But that’s still not the hack.

The hack, as taught to me by Taylor Jadin, is this: you can search by emoji. Even custom ones. Which means that if I react with a paper airplane to a message containing a link I want for the newsletter, I can always go back and crawl specifically messages with paper airplane reacts on them.

The Slack searchbar, filled with the text "has" and then an emoji of a paper airplane. Below it is the same text and emoji, with the option, "Press Return to search".
The way to get an emoji like that is to type :emojiname: — here, it’s :paperairplane:.

And once I do…

A blog post by Taylor Jadin titled "Installing Foundry on Reclaim Cloud", with a short preview of the text. Under the message are two emojis, a sparkle and a paper airplane. Text: "I’ve had this post sitting incomplete in my drafts for a long time! This won’t be a comprehensive tutorial on foundry itself after install, but I want to cover the basics and the Reclaim Cloud specific things that you will need if you don’t want to have to worry about manually starting the foundry application every time you restart a container (the foundry guide doesn’t cover this). You can also run foundry in Reclaim Cloud using docker containers, but there are no officially maintained..."
A link to one of Taylor’s blog posts, as searched up in Slack using my new paper airplane emoji.

Now granted, it’s not perfect — what if I forget to react on something? I’ll probably still do an end-of-month crawl through channels anyway just to be safe. But this trick is going to make my life way simpler — and all I really wanted was a special emoji.

Additionally, here’s the link to Taylor’s blog post in the image, which is about installing a custom application in Reclaim Cloud– in this case, the virtual tool for tabletop games, Foundry. Both the app and the post are pretty great, and I’m now definitely considering Foundry as a viable option for my own games. Check it out!

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