The Art of Writing Sh*t Down
When you think you are really bad at writing stuff down
Remote work requires documention.
Writing things down can reduce hours spent in meetings.
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Writing things down can reduce interruptions thanks to “search-first” practices.
Writing things down allows for post mortems on decisions.
And for most founders and a lot of executives writing things down is hard. You didn’t get funded because of a succinct document. Instead, it probably was your visual roadmap and a passionate pitch, delivered in a meeting.
You have presence. You know how to inspire people. And documents aren’t usually super inspiring.
Hence, you don’t do it.
After all, meeting investors / wooing prospects / checking in with VIP clients is way more important than writing stuff down, right?
And there you are, modeling for everybody that documenting workflows is a pain in the a** and wondering why people ask so many obvious things on Slack. And you forget that they are obvious to you only because all the company-history that lives in your head.
That doesn’t change the fact that writing stuff done is still hard.
Fine. Own it. Don’t write stuff down. And don’t promise you’ll get to it, because we both know you won’t.
Because writing stuff down is something that you can perfectly well delegate.
Make a video. Record a screenshare and talk through the how, what, and why of the things you do. The lowest hanging fruit is to then simply pass it through a transcription software - but let’s be honest. Who wants to sift through transcriptions?
Decide whether this is internal or public knowledge.
Internal knowledge should probably go to your COO or equivalent. Public knowledge can be shared with both marketing and support, so it can be used as input for content or the customer knowledge base.
Delegate and be done.
Someone else is now going to take your information and turn it into legible, well structured and helpful diagrams, process descriptions, or blog articles.
And if even recording yourself is too hard, get on a call with someone and explain the thing to them - while you are recording.
There is really no excuse for you to hide all that knowledge in your head.
If you’d like to comment, come over to LinkedIn where I published the original thought.
Not hiding my knowledge in March/April 2023
The year is starting strong, and so far there two opportunities to actually see/engage with me in real life.
Business of Software, March 27/28 in Cambridge, UK. I’ll be speaking about Distraction Management, or how to be productive when you have kids. If the conference sounds interesting, use VALENTINA20 at checkout to get a 20% discount on the ticket prices. And then let me know that you are coming so we can set up a conversation.
Running Remote, April 25/26 in Lisbon Portugal. The European edition of THE conference on the future of work for people who want to take their companies to the next level with remote work. I’ll be there mostly to connect with friends that I rarely see in real life - and if you will be there, let me know.
I also answered a couple of questions about remote work for Oncehub - enjoy the deepdive if you are into reading.
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