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Send Messages at the Perfect Time in Microsoft Teams and Slack

Schedule a post as a reminder to co-workers, convenience for you


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When you’re suddenly struck with a great idea on a project, you’re eager to share it — in part so you won’t forget.

But on a Saturday morning, at 11:30 p.m. Wednesday or during a long holiday weekend, the timing is awkward. Even if the time or the time zone isn’t right to share your epiphany with colleagues, you can schedule delivery of your message with collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams and Slack. Google Meet and Cisco’s Webex, two other popular collaboration platforms, don’t have this feature.

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Slack and Teams allow you to control the date, time and recipients. You can also schedule delivery of a private or direct message (DM), add a date and time delivery to an existing conversation and even attach a file to your message.

The steps to schedule messages are the same on a desktop or laptop computer, but they differ slightly on a mobile device. In both apps if you compose a message but quit the program without sending it, your draft will be waiting when you return.

Scheduling a message in Microsoft Teams

Desktop

1. After you’ve created your message, right-click your mouse on the Send icon, which looks like a paper airplane. Be careful not to left-click on Send. That will deliver your message immediately.

2. From the pop-up menu, choose the date and time to send the message. Review your choices to make sure the information is correct, including whether you want it sent in the morning or evening, the next day or the day after. The default may not be what you want.

3. Click Send at scheduled time | Send. This will automatically deliver your message when you want even if you’re not signed on. While you can see your scheduled chat, no one else can until it’s delivered.

  • To edit what you wrote, go to the message. As you hover over it, you’ll see three horizontal dots ⋯ and the words More options. Now you can Edit or Delete your message. Hit the Enter key or click on the checkmark ✔ to save the update. Choosing the  will give you a pop-up box asking if you want to discard your changes, but it won’t erase the original message. 
  • To delete what you wrote, click on the message and select  More options | Delete.   
  • To change the date or time of your scheduled message, go to the message and select More Options | Edit. Click the blue date and then choose a new date and time from the pop-up menu to send your message. Tap Send at scheduled time.

Mobile

1. Enter your message into the chat.

2. Press and hold, also called a long press, the Send button.

3. Pick a date and time from the pop-up schedule send box.

4. Tap Send at scheduled time.

  • To edit your scheduled message, long press on the content you want to change and tap Edit. Revise your message and tap Done.  
  • To delete your scheduled message, long press on the scheduled message and tap Delete.
  • To reschedule, long press on the scheduled message you’d like to reschedule, and tap Reschedule to pick a new date and time from the Schedule send box. Then tap Send at scheduled time.

Delaying a message in Slack

Desktop

1. Open the Mac, Microsoft Windows or Linux app, or use Slack from your browser at Slack.com. Choose your channel or search for a person to message directly in the search box at the top of your app or browser screen. Then type what you want to say in the blank conversation box. You won’t be able to schedule a reply to a message thread, what Slack calls a group of related messages.

2. Add any attachments, emojis, @ mentions and formatting that you desire.

3. Don’t click Enter. It will send your message immediately. Instead, click the down arrow icon v to the right of the paper airplane icon to schedule it for later. 

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4. Select the date and time to send the message. You can choose from a list or select Custom time to choose another time based on half-hour increments | Schedule Message.

To edit, delete or reschedule a message, you can view the unsent message in two ways:

  • Click Drafts & sent in the left rail and then choose Scheduled in the tabs on the new page.
  • Or go to the channel where you created a delayed message and click on the link to See all scheduled messages.
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Hover over the information that says when the message will be sent and choose whether to use the Edit pencil, Reschedule clock or Send now paper airplane. Click on the three vertical dots  to choose Cancel schedule and save to drafts or Delete message. If you choose Delete, Slack will give you one more chance to save your work.

Mobile

1. Open the Slack app for phones and tablets. Open the conversation or DM you’d like to schedule.

2. Click on the blank message field and type your message. Add any attachments, emojis, mentions or formatting. You can’t delay your response to a thread of messages here either.

3. Don’t tap the paper airplane icon, which will immediately send your message. Instead, tap and hold the paper airplane icon to schedule delivery later.

4. Choose from one of the dates and times on the list or click Custom time to specify your own timing and then tap Schedule Message. To edit, delete or reschedule a message, from the Home tab, tap Scheduled. Open the message you want to manage and long press somewhere in the text to bring up the options.   

You can always go old school and pick up a phone to share your idea, but scheduling a message to be delivered at the best time for your co-workers can be the best way to tell everyone simultaneously. You can get it done and check it off your to-do list even if your team won’t see it until hours later.

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