A General Rule for Team Communication Across Multiple Platforms

Modern businesses use a variety of apps and tools to keep track of work and get work done. And most of those apps and tools include some kind of messaging system. At Lawyerist, for example, we use Gmail and Slack for communication, but we also use Google Docs, Teamwork, and Trello, each of which has its own built-in messaging.

And some of our tools have more than one kind of messaging. In Teamwork, for example, you can leave comments on just about anything, including messages.1 And while Slack is mostly just a stream of messages, you can also comment on uploaded files or text snippets. Google Docs has at least 3 kinds of messaging: (1) you can chat with other people currently viewing the document, (2) you can comment on any portion of the document, and (3) you can comment on suggested edits.

So if you need to refer back to a message, where do you go? It can be a problem. Our solution is simple, but it has been effective. Here is our general rule on communication:

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  1. Fortunately, you can turn off messages in Teamwork projects, which simplifies things a little. 

A Guide for Remote Teams

Work Afar is the official guide for starting, growing, and leading remote teams.

Work Afar is written by Holden Page, an editor for Lawyerist. Holden works remotely, and the writers he manages are spread out across the US. Follow Work Afar for information, tools, and tips for remote teams.

The Best Pocket Capture Notebook

I keep a pocket notebook with me at all times, for writing down anything and everything. My notebooks contain things I need to do around the house, article outlines, business ideas, meeting notes, and more. I like thin, pocket-sized notebooks because they are easier to carry and because it only takes 2–3 weeks to fill them up, which is a nice interval for processing their contents.

I’m explaining how I use my notebooks because the way I use them has a lot to do with which notebooks I prefer. So does the pen I carry everywhere with me — a Fischer Space Pen.

So, my notebooks need to last 2–3 weeks and they need to be able to survive being stored in my back pocket most of that time. And the paper needs to hold up to a Fischer Space Pen (which is roughly equivalent to most ballpoint pens). With those requirements in mind, here are the ones I have tried, and my thoughts on each.

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What it Means to Add Purpose to Your Day

When Leo Babauta wrote about Most-Important Tasks on Zen Habits, he titled his post “Purpose to Your Day.” I was reminded of what he meant last night when I found myself drifting from one thing to another in my hotel room during a conference. I did some writing, then I found myself playing a game. Then I sat down and flipped through a few browser tabs over and over. I didn’t feel like watching TV or reading my book because I knew I had work I should be doing, but I didn’t have a clear picture of what those things were or the motivation to do them, so I went through the motions without accomplishing anything.

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Most-Important Tasks: Origins

Humans have been making lists for as long as there has been writing. Umberto Eco called the list “the origin of culture.”

What does culture want? To make infinity comprehensible. It also wants to create order — not always, but often. And how, as a human being, does one face infinity? How does one attempt to grasp the incomprehensible? Through lists, through catalogs, through collections in museums and through encyclopedias and dictionaries.

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