Slack Reminders - the underrated tool from Slackbot

Confluence with Slack

There is a handy and efficient tool you probably haven't noticed yet - Slack Reminders. Right within Slack, you can set a recurring or single reminder, without installing anything else or using more advanced (yet often excessive) external solutions.

Set a reminder

There are two different forms to add a reminder in Slack:

  • Using the reminder option on the context menu on an existing message in a channel:
    Slack reminders in the message context menu
  • Using a much more powerful Slack command:
    /remind [@someone or #channel or me] [what] [when]
    Slack /reminder example

Slackbot pings you with a direct message when any of your reminders are due.

Date and time format

Just use the natural format of the date and time. You don't have to remember some special date/time format, Slackbot is able to recognise the human natural date/time formats.

You can specify some point of time like:

/remind to answer John at 01:00 pm next Monday
/remind to answer John at 04:00 pm on 4th April

or use delayed durations like:

/remind to answer John in 3 hours / in 2 days

or use relative points of time like:

/remind to answer John this evening / next morning / next Friday / next month

Remind your teammate or channel

You can (politely) remind some other people instead of yourself. Just specify it in the command arguments:

/remind @John to buy some doughnuts at 11:30 am

or the whole Slack channel:

/remind #development to stop pushing all new changes to the production at 1:00pm on 25th December

Set a recurring reminder

You can specify the repeating period in the /remind command, like:

/remind me to clean mess on my table every Monday

A recurring event for some channel:

/remind #development to prepare to a sprint review at 1:00 pm every Friday

A daily reminder:

/remind #development to reluctantly get to the stand-up board at 11:00am every day

To remind every two weeks:

/remind #development let's pizza-party every two weeks

Remind annually:

/remind #development to stop pushing all new changes to the production every 25th December

Don't worry about the formats - Slackbot shows you the confirmation with all of the recognised details from your command arguments:

Slackbot reminder confirmation example

List reminders

Of course, you don't have to remember how many you've set reminders already. There is a very simple command for it:

/remind list
Slack reminder list example

You can view all of your reminders here, and can complete beforehand, cancel or delete them if you don't need some anymore.

Cancel channel reminders created other persons

You can use:

/remind list

in any Slack channel you would see a list of all active reminders for the channel, including those created by other members of your team. Then just use Delete on any recurring reminder in the list.

Limitations

Unfortunately, there are some limitations, as well:

  • Though it would be useful, you can't add a reminder for every working day or every last day of the month.
  • You won't be reminded when you are offline because the notifications are just messages from Slackbot.
  • You can't schedule noisy recurring events like every seconds/minutes/hours.