Not all New Year’s resolutions have to be as hard to tackle as cutting out sugar or getting “swoll” at the gym. Some can simply be about forming new, smaller habits that make your day-to-day life easier—and let’s be honest, there are probably some habits in HipChat we all could stand to adopt (or kick).
Here are a few of our favorite habits to make and break that will make both your life and your teammates’ lives so much easier.
1. Yes, use emoticons
Emoticons are (awesome)—though they may just seem like fun and fluff, they have a seriously positive impact on how teams communicate.Tone can be hard to communicate through text alone, but just one emoticon can turn a message’s tone from neutral (or potentially even cold or sour) to warm and friendly. It also adds personality—especially when you throw custom emoticons into the mix—and when your coworkers get a glimpse of your personality, they feel closer to you (and vice versa).
It’s all about forging connections with each other. And who couldn’t use more of that? Check out our global emoticon list to start getting acquainted with them.
2. Know when to @mention and use Alias
There are a variety of ways you can use mentions to get someone’s attention. Knowing which type of mention is appropriate in various circumstances will help your teammates feel less bombarded with messages and notifications.
@all: This is the loudest bell, alerting every person who has been in that room. Be aware that this will alert even the folks who are not currently on HipChat (even if they’re sleeping or in a crowded movie theater, which will not be fun for them). We advise holding this mention for more urgent scenarios.@here: This alert will notify everyone who is currently in the room and signed into HipChat. When you work with people across time zones, this is the best way to reach your teammates who are currently working, while letting others get their beauty sleep.Alias: Using a group mention created with Alias Bot will alert only the people you’ve included in the group—and spare you from having to type out each user by name. This is great for larger rooms that may have lots of different teams within them.
3. Remember to archive rooms
Just because rooms are useful doesn’t mean there doesn’t come a point where some rooms outlast their usefulness. Then they just sit there, abandoned, forlorn… and cluttering up your space.
But wait! What if there’s still useful (or at least funny) stuff in there? You don’t have to say goodbye to it forever—just archive it instead. Click the hamburger icon in the top right corner of your app, then click Archive.
You can always access them again by logging into HipChat.com, going to Rooms, going to the Archived tab, clicking on the room you want, and clicking Unarchive in the left menu.
You may be noticing a theme between this and the last couple of points: limiting the number of messages that come in. Seems ironic, doesn’t it, since we’re talking about an app that’s designed to facilitate quick and easy communication?
But in fact, less is often more—meaning the less you have to sift through messages to figure out which ones are actually relevant, the more time you have to get $#!% done.
4. Always rename files when uploading
When you need to find a particular file that was previously shared in chat, you really don’t want to have to sift through a bunch of files named “upload” or “IMG_123456OMGWTF”. That takes forever. Nobody has time for that.
However, when you upload a file, you can change the file name to something more descriptive. For example, going from this……to this……makes it much easier to pick this file out from all the others in your Files tab, saving precious time.
5. Ask before adding someone to a room
Topic-specific rooms are endlessly useful, both for work and for play. Does your company have a number of passionate rock-climbers? Create a room! Want to get a monthly music jam going? Create a room for that, too!
Say you’ve got a teammate who you found out is a phenomenal bass player, and you think they might have a blast at your company’s next music jam. It might be tempting to @mention them in the room and get them involved ASAP—but if your teammate is already feeling somewhat overwhelmed, roping them in might end up having the opposite effect of what you intended.
To avoid all that awkwardness, ask your teammate beforehand whether they would like to be added to the group:Give them a say, and it’ll go a long way toward creating a better connection.
These habits may seem small by themselves—but like snowflakes, putting a bunch of them together creates an avalanche. Here’s to making this new year the most productive year yet!