How to set up keyword alerts in Slack so you don’t miss any important communication

I use Slack every day. It’s my preferred means of communication with some customers, and it makes the process significantly easier than waiting for an email response. But some of the Slack workspaces I’m on are quite large, with hundreds of users sending messages back and forth throughout the day.

The bigger the workspaces, the more likely I am missing something. That’s why I always set keyword alerts so that everything that matters to me doesn’t fly out of my field of view.

For example, suppose your job is to focus primarily on one area, and one of the keywords you’re always looking for is “fish.” Certain users in your Slack Workspace talk about fishing quite consistently and you missed some of those posts. How do you prevent this? You set a keyword warning. Whenever the word fish is mentioned, you get a warning.

I’m going to show you how to set up a keyword alert (you can create as many alerts as you want). All you need for this to work is a Slack client (I’ll demonstrate on the desktop client) and access to a workspace.

Finished? Let’s do this.

Set up keyword search

To do a keyword search, open Slack and click File > Preferences. In the resulting popup (Figure 1) select the Notifications tab.

Figure 1


You can configure quite a few options in the Slack Preferences window.

Under My Keywords, type a list of keywords separated by commas. So if you want to be notified of any mention of fish, just type:


To be warned on multiple keywords, type:

fish, cat, dog, cow, horse, hamster

You don’t need to save the keywords; Slack takes care of that for you.

Once you’ve created your keywords, you’ll see that Slack will automatically flag any instance it finds in channels, direct messages, or threads. You can then quickly scroll through everything and check for anything highlighted in yellow.

Figure 2


Add keyword alerts to the Android Slack app.

You can also set keyword alerts in the mobile app. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Slack app.
  2. Open the workspace you want to use.
  3. Tap the You icon at the bottom right of the window.
  4. Tap Notifications.
  5. Scroll down and tap My Keywords (Image 2, above
  6. Type the keywords you want to add (separated by a comma).
  7. Tap Save.

And that’s it. Once you’ve done this, you’ll miss less important communications. And if you’re in a very busy Slack workspace, keywords can save you a lot of time.


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