3 reasons your team should be writing things down

January 19, 2018

It's time to talk about the most underrated best practice to implement in your team: writing things down. Sounds so simple yet it takes the right tool and the right workflow to encourage your team members to write things down and share what they write with the rest of the team. But here's why it's worth it:


#1 - It forces every person on your team to organize their thoughts and ideas


There's a huge difference between discussing an idea via a quick meeting or via a communication channel (email or chat) and getting your team to write their ideas down. As soon as you write something down, especially if it's meant to be shared, you're naturally inclined to structure it and do your best so that it's crystal clear. In turn, it allows for a much more efficient way of working: if the idea or information is presented in a structured manner, then it's much easier for team members give their two cents.


In our team, whenever we start to think of a new feature, the very first step is to write up the product specs in a note and the second is to share it with all relevant team members. Writing the idea in a note gets the ball rolling. And it's the case for a lot of what we do: setting goals, weekly agendas, content strategy and more.


#2 - It drives natural knowledge sharing


There's something addicting about writing. It's no surprise that there are so many different personal note-taking apps and techniques out there. People love to jot down their thoughts, ideas. We've all felt that sense of relief of preserving our thoughts or genius idea by simply putting it down in words.


Imagine that sense of relief on a team scale. If every time your team writes they also share, then knowledge sharing happens naturally and becomes part of your team's culture and values.


#3 - It sets processes in place


Processes are so important for any team: whether you're a startup or a full-blown corporation. They ensure consistency and keep everyone on the same page about how to achieve the best results. It's easier said then done, though. If processes are implied but not written down, it's harder for teams to commit to sticking to them. Keeping the way you handle specific tasks as a team "on paper", make processes more official and gets teams to actually follow them. And let's be honest, nobody likes to have to ask or be asked about how to's.


But perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind is that processes are like teams: they evolve. Or rather, they should evolve. Processes are easier to track and improve when they're written down.


It just makes so much sense for teams to write and share notes, processes, goals—it should come as naturally as internal communication, because it's certainly as crucial.


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