Automate Your Slack Status

Automating your Slack status. Why would you want to do that? Well for one thing it stops people asking what you’re up to. Actually that’s the only reason to do it.

I recently went remote, work from home, the whole shebang. Nice.

One of the first problems we discovered with this however was that it wasn’t really possible to see what I am working on. Not in the micro-manage screenshot every 5 minutes sense but a general gist. The way I worked around this was to tie in my Slack status to display what I was doing. Lets jump in!

You will need

  • Zapier
  • Everhour.. or Harvest, or Toggl, or some form of time tracking that integrates with;
  • Basecamp.. or Asana, or Jira, or something else that integrates with the time tracker you picked
  • Slack (Duh)

Set it up

Time tracker integration (Everhour and Basecamp in my case)

This one I’m not going to be so much help with. I personally use Everhour and Basecamp. You use whatever you’re using, the key point is that you need to be able to start and stop timers that includes the title of the task you’re working on.

Zapier setup

If you’re a smart cookie you’ll only need this screenshot to set it all up. So here it is. Get on it champ.

Yes. In this you’ll need a paid Zapier account. Get your employer to pay for it or something. No I’ve not figured out a decent way to make it work without the multi-step zaps.

If you do figure out a way to do this free, please do blog about it and send me the link - I’ll give you some shoutouts here!

Choose Everhour as the starting trigger, with a trigger event of a timer starting

Leave the project section blank if you want it to work for everything!

Next up we need to make sure we’re setting our own status, rather than claiming credit for someone else’s work

Now we do the bit where we update Slack

Test it out

Pop over to Basecamp (or whatever you use, etc, etc)

boop

Look over at the Slack, what’s this

Hover the computer icon

Bosh!

Unset it when you’re done

Same again really, set up all the same except trigger on the timer stopped event and leave the slack status empty, this unsets your status.

Keep the only continue if in place, otherwise you’ll stop working whenever someone else stops a timer.

No more “are you busy” messages on Slack, noice!

Heya! I’m Cohan and I make PHP-based websites. I also administer Linux servers and do other nerdy good stuff like that.
My real love is writing though, this here’s my outlet for that.
A picture of me.