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Asks

Asks lets everyone in your Slack workspace turn requests such as bug reports, questions, and IT needs into actionable issues in Linear.

Linear logo and Asks logo

Overview

Linear Asks gives organizations a powerful tool to manage common workplace requests. Once enabled, anyone in your Slack workspace can create an Ask to send their request to the relevant Linear team — even if they don’t have a Linear account.

Watch this video overview of how Asks works:

Here are some examples of how different teams can use Asks:

Build Asks templates for common requests such as bug reports and make them available to everyone in support-related channels. Set up a PagerDuty rotation in Triage to automatically notify and assign members of your team.

Setup guide

Before setting up Asks, consider how you want members of your Slack workspace to create Asks and which Linear teams will review and manage those Asks. You can make changes to the Asks configuration easily, but it will require customization to match your preferred workflows.

Asks by Plan

Asks features are available on Business and Enterprise Linear plans.

If your workspace is on Linear's Business plan, you can configure “Private Asks” and “All public channels” in Asks settings. On Enterprise plans, access all Asks features and configurations.

Video instructions

Step-by-step instructions

Step 1: Add Asks to Slack

A Linear admin must take this step in Settings > Asks. Once they do, members (not guests) can update the Asks configuration and add new channels or templates.

  • Asks is available on Enterprise plans. Read more about our Enterprise plan here.
  • Asks supports connecting your Linear workspace to only one Slack workspace.
  • Linear Asks must be installed separately from the Slack integration.

Step 2: Connect channels

Click Add channel to select a Slack channel where Asks can be created. Repeat this process for each channel that will be used to create Asks.

  • To allow Asks to be created in any public channel in your Slack workspace, use the All public channels section. Please note that you must still add Asks to each channel with /invite @Linear Asks in Slack to enable.
  • In private channels, the Asks app must be invited to the Slack channel after configuration with /invite @Linear Asks
  • Asks can be created from DMs, but DMs do not need to be added as channels here. Asks templates added to Private Asks in Settings > Asks are available when creating Asks in DMs.

Step 3: Add teams and templates to channels

First add teams that you’ll want issues routed to, then select templates available under each team. You can add multiple teams and templates to each channel. Learn how to customize templates to build out structured forms below. Workspace level templates are not available for use with Asks.

Step 4: Configure Private Asks

There are some Asks that you’ll want to keep private between the requester and the team managing the issue. Add these sensitive requests under the Private Asks section in Asks settings.

  • Users can create these Asks in the Asks app home (Apps > Linear Asks in Slack's sidebar)
  • Add teams and templates to Private Asks in Settings > Asks as you would to another Asks Slack channel
  • Ensure that the Linear teams you connect to Private Asks are also private. This guarantees that only members of the desired Linear team will see content shared on that issue.
  • Asks created in DMs are also considered Private Asks, as a DM is a private context. When an Ask is created through a DM, the synced thread will be available in relevant user's DM with Linear Asks. Only templates added to Private Asks are available in DMs

Step 5: Set permissions

Linear admins can determine whether Asks channels, teams and templates can be managed by all users, or admins only.

Auto-create Asks

Configure automations in settings to allow Asks to be created automatically.

Auto-create with emoji

By default, users can turn a message in Slack into an Ask by reacting to it with the 🎫 (:ticket:) emoji. This can be turned off for individual channels. Starting a Slack message with 🎫 will also trigger this behavior.

Note that any Asks created via the emoji will not use a template and will be sent to the default team for that Slack channel.

Auto-create on new message

For Slack channels meant solely for the creation of Asks, you can enable auto-creation whenever a new message is posted to the channel. This is common for channels such as #it-asks or #bugs, in which you want all messages to be triaged.

To exempt a message from creating an Ask with this setting on, begin the message with 📢 or 📣 emojis.

Please note that this auto-creation on new messages is not available in private channels.

Auto-create on bot mention

If desired, Slack users can also create an ask by mentioning @Linear Asks in the body of their Slack message.

Disable Asks without a template (General Asks)

When creating Asks, users will choose a template or select General Ask to fill out an Ask with just a title and description. You can remove the option to create General Asks under each channel.

Default templates for auto-created Asks

You may wish to have auto-created Asks use the properties of a particular template in a channel. For example, if you've selected "auto-create on every new message" in #support-engineering, you might want to have auto-created Asks with a particular priority and label.

To do this, go to Asks settings and hover over the template you wish to use as default for auto-created Asks. Click Set as default. New auto-created Asks will use the properties assigned to that template, excepting the template's description (as the message itself will be the description.)

If you'd just like to select a default team, consider selecting a default of "Create Asks without a template."

Bot Slack messages and auto-creation

In general, only Slack messages sent by human actors will create an Ask. This is to prevent excessive noise in Linear from automated channel messages creating issues. However, bot-posted messages can create an Ask if the bot's message begins with 🎫.

Use this behavior when auto-create Asks "on 🎫 reaction" or "On new message" is enabled.

Customize Templates

Asks uses issue templates to assign properties to new Asks. Create or edit templates under Template settings for your team or workspace.

From the template, you can set the following properties so that every Ask created with the template has properties already applied:

Advanced features let you further customize templates and standardize the intake process:

Add placeholder text in templates to generate structured forms in Slack. From the editor, highlight the text you want to use for the placeholder/text field, then select Aa from the formatting toolbar.

View of template with placeholder text and how it is rendered in Slack

Submit Asks in Slack

Create Asks

From any connected channel or DM, use the following actions to create an Ask:

Select overflow menu and then crate a new Ask
Creation methodLocation
Create from an existing Slack messageOverflow menu on a Slack message
Create from a slash commandUse the /asks slash command in Slack and hit Enter
Create Private AsksIn your DM with Asks in Slack (Apps > Asks from the sidebar), select the option to Create Private Ask
Auto-create with emojiApply the 🎫 (:ticket:) emoji to a message in Slack
Auto-create on new public channel messagesConfigure in Asks settings per-channel
Auto-create on @Linear AsksConfigure in Asks settings per-channel

Once created, Asks will create a threaded reply with a link to the Ask and connected Linear issue. The Slack thread and Linear issue share a synced comment thread, so comments and files can be shared across both applications.

Manage your Asks

View Asks

See a list of all active and closed Asks in Asks app home. Select Open thread to go the the Ask in the channel it was created in. You can also view Asks and their threads (including private Asks) in the Messages tab.

Mark as urgent

If your Ask is urgent, you can choose to override its default priority by selecting the Mark as urgent option in your Ask's unfurl menu. This will also apply a siren emoji to your Ask for better visibility in Slack.

See status and assignee

Asks app home will show the real-time status and assignee of your Ask. You'll also be notified in the original thread when your issue leaves Triage, and when it's completed, canceled, or reopened. In a shared channel using Asks, users from the other organization will not see Asks app home.

Reply and share files

Reply to the Slack thread to ask questions, follow up on the Ask, or even send files, screenshots, and video to the assignee working on your Ask. All replies are sent to the Linear issue on a synced comment thread.

Close Asks

You’ll get a notification on the thread whenever a comment is posted to the Ask and when the Ask is completed, canceled, or re-opened. When completed, the Ask message will also have a ✅ on the original Ask.

You can close your own Asks from in Slack from Apps > Asks > Home if needed by changing its status.

Triage Asks in Linear

Triage is a Linear team's inbox, and the best place for processing new issues.

When Asks are submitted to your team, they'll arrive in your team's Triage. From there, they can be reviewed, prioritized, and assigned.

Duplicate detection

Issues in Triage are automatically evaluated for their similarity to existing issues in your workspace. In cases where an issue with a similar title and description already exists in your workspace, you'll be presented with an option to mark the Ask as a duplicate of, or related to the existing issue.

Triage automations

We recommend configuring Triage responsibility to automate who gets notified or assigned issues as they come in. You can also link to a PagerDuty schedule.

Triage-specific SLAs

Set up SLAs to automatically apply deadlines to Asks in SLA settings. You can specify different deadlines for how long an issue can stay in Triage versus how long it takes to complete the issue. Consider creating two different SLAs — one filtered to status: Triage (so it only applies when the issue is in Triage) and one filtered to external source: Asks but without a status filter.

Working on Asks in Linear

Work on Asks issues in Linear as you would a regular issue.

Whoever submitted the Ask can see the issue status, assignee, and reply in the synced comment thread. They will be notified on the thread automatically when the Ask is completed, canceled, or re-opened.

Users with a Linear account will be able to make updates to Asks from Slack using the Quick Actions menu, including changing the status and assigning it to themselves.

Send updates to Slack

All Asks issues in Linear have a comment thread synced with Slack. Any replies to this shared comment thread will cross-post to the Asks Slack thread and notify the creator of the Ask (and vice versa). Find it at the top of the issue's activity feed.

  • Threads in Slack and Linear will update as replies are sent in either location.
  • You can send across files such as images, videos, and PDFs.
  • The Asks thread will be updated when the Ask leaves triage, is completed, canceled, or re-opened. You'll see a ✅ on the initial Ask message when it's completed or ✖️ when it's canceled. If you prefer not to notify a thread for cancelations, you can opt-out of that behavior per channel in Asks settings.

Analytics & Reporting

Insights shows you realtime analytics of your Linear data so you can spot trends and remove blockers.

Look at Insights for specific teams or create a workspace-wide view to look at your Asks data across your workspace. Consider using the following parameters to filter your views, as well as to measure, slice, and segment your data.

  • External source: Apply this filter on a view and then select Asks to see only issues filed through Asks.
  • Teams: Slice by team to better understand the differences between how different Linear teams process Asks.
  • Templates: Slice by template to see how your different Asks templates are used across a team or workspace.
  • SLAs and Lead time: Explore how quickly Asks are resolved and whether your team is meeting SLAs.
  • Triage time: See how quickly Asks are reviewed and assigned to a team member.

How are requests distributed across different teams? Find out by creating a a view filtered to only show Asks (e.g. set the external source filter = Asks). Measure the Issue count and segment by Team. In the graph below, you can see that the IT team receives most of the requests made via Asks.

Insights showing how many Asks each team receives

FAQ