Follow a topic

Zulip lets you follow topics you are interested in. You can follow or unfollow any topic. You can also configure Zulip to automatically follow topics you start or participate in. Participating in a topic means sending a message, reacting with an emoji, or participating in a poll. You can also automatically follow topics where you are mentioned.

It's easy to prioritize catching up on followed topics. You can:

  • Configure how you get notified about new messages for topics you follow.

  • Use the Shift + N keyboard shortcut to go to the next unread followed topic.

  • Filter the inbox and recent conversations views to only show followed topics.

  • See which topics you are following in the left sidebar.

You can use followed topics for a variety of workflows:

  • Catch up on followed topics at the start of the day, and whenever you want to spend a few minutes checking on on the conversations that need your attention.

  • No more stressing about missing a reply to your message in channels you don't regularly read. You can automatically follow topics you start or participate in.

  • You can also mute the channels you don't regularly read, and automatically follow or unmute topics you start or participate in. In muted channels, topics you follow are automatically treated as unmuted, so it will be easy to see when someone responds to your message.

  • If you like, follow just the topics where your prompt attention is needed, and enable desktop and mobile notifications for followed topics.

Follow or unfollow a topic

  1. Hover over a topic in the left sidebar.

  2. Click on the ellipsis ().

  3. Configure topic notifications using the row of icons at the top of the menu.

You can also configure notifications by clicking the topic notifications status icon (, , , or ) wherever it appears.

Catch up on followed topics

  1. Click on Inbox (or if the views section is collapsed) in the left sidebar, or use the Shift + I keyboard shortcut.

  2. Filter the view to the topics you follow by selecting Followed topics from the dropdown in the upper left of the inbox view.

  3. Click on a conversation you're interested in to view it. You can also use the arrow keys to select a conversation, and press Enter.

  4. Return to Inbox when done to select the next conversation. You can use the back button in your browser or the desktop app, Shift + I, or Esc if Inbox is configured as you home view.

You can also use Shift + N from any location to go to the next unread followed topic.

Configure notifications for followed topics

You can configure custom notifications for followed topics. You can also configure the unread count badge to include unread messages just in followed topics, without counting other channel messages.

  1. Click on the gear () icon in the upper right corner of the web or desktop app.

  2. Select Personal settings.

  3. On the left, click Notifications.

  4. In the Notification triggers table, toggle the settings for Followed topics.

You will receive both followed topics notifications and channel notifications in topics you follow.

Automatically follow topics

Follow topics you start or participate in

  1. Click on the gear () icon in the upper right corner of the web or desktop app.

  2. Select Personal settings.

  3. On the left, click Notifications.

  4. Under Topic notifications, select the desired option from the Automatically follow topics dropdown.

Follow topics where you are mentioned

You can automatically follow topics where you are personally mentioned. If this setting is enabled:

  • You will automatically follow topics where you are personally mentioned, but group mentions and wildcard mentions (@all, @topic, etc.) will not affect topic status.
  • You will automatically follow topics in muted channels when you are mentioned.
  • Mentions will not cause you to automatically follow topics you have explicitly muted.

  1. Click on the gear () icon in the upper right corner of the web or desktop app.

  2. Select Personal settings.

  3. On the left, click Notifications.

  4. Under Topic notifications, toggle Automatically follow topics where I'm mentioned.

Manage configured topics

  1. Click on the gear () icon in the upper right corner of the web or desktop app.

  2. Select Personal settings.

  3. On the left, click Topics.

  4. Configure notifications for each topic by selecting the desired option from the dropdown in the Status column.