In Slack, the sidebar on the left can be used to switch between the different channels that you are part of. The sidebar also allows you to easily access your direct messages with people and includes a number of channel groups.
These channel groups appear at the top of the sidebar but are generally hidden in a dropdown list that can be accessed by clicking “More”.
Tip: The exception to this style is the channel group “Threads” which appears at the top of the list, above the “More” link, and displays all of the message threads you are following.
The first channel group is “All unreads”, which shows a list of all of your unread messages across all channels. “All DMs” shows all of your direct message conversations with other users. “Mentions & reactions” pulls together all of your messages that someone has reacted to, as well as any message in which you are mentioned or includes one or more of your notification keywords.
“Saved items” is a collection of files and messages that you’ve bookmarked to come back to. “Channel browser” shows you a list of channels in the workspace, including ones that you can join, it also includes a button to create a new channel.
“File browser” allows you to browse through all of the files that have been shared to the Slack workspace. “People & user groups” lists all members of the workspace, allows you to search through them by name, role, or team, and provides a way to invite new users. “Apps” shows a list of applications that offer Slack integration and tools to add extra functionality.
You can configure any combination of these channel groups to appear in the sidebar by configuring your preferences. To do so, click on your profile picture in the top-right corner, then click on “Preferences”.
Once in your preferences, switch to the “Sidebar” tab. To have a channel group always be visible in the sidebar, tick the relevant checkbox in the “Always show in the sidebar” section. You can choose to display any combination of the categories based on what would actually be useful for you. Once you’ve ticked the checkboxes for the channel groups you want to be visible at all times, you can close the preferences popup as it automatically applies and saves your changes.