I’ve been meaning to write this for a while and pondering how to deal with communications overload. Finally, inspired by
Danica Radovanovic’s Communications Protocol, I’ve created my own.
If you want to share information, make a specific request - email’s your beast. Want a conversation or to bat ideas back and forth? - let’s both avoid RSI and hop on a call - or if it’s something where there are lots of questions for me to answer, but other people are going to need to benefit from the answers - put them in a shared doc, like an etherpad or GDoc - we can comment there and share with the relevant people to make it a bit more permanent.
I have vowed to check emails once per day, which means that you’ll probably not get a response within 24 hours - so not your ideal mechanism if you need a speedy response. I don’t check emails sent after 6pm in whichever timezone I am currently working, so they will be picked up the next day. I don’t check work emails at the weekend - so see below if you need to contact me.
Instant messaging (e.g. grove, IRC)
I aspire to spend more time talking to people directly in chats to help them when they need it. I’ll need people’s help to reduce email volume to make that easier though!
I love twitter! Sharing something you just want me to see at my leisure. I dream of a day, when like
@pschemedia - it can be my main mode of communication. I get DMs on my phone like text messages, so if you’re trying to get hold of me when I’m not checking email. I have no problem with emergency tweets from work colleagues even at weekends (Note: Emergency >= “the site we are due to launch on Monday just got taken over by internet pirates”, or “I’m stuck in Bogota and my bag just got stolen, can you buy me a new flight, pretty please!”).
SMS & Phone
I’m a bit of a phone disaster and spend lots of time in situations where I can’t have volume on, don’t recommend relying on this one.
I have office hours from 2-3pm CE(S)T each day. These are for anyone to drop into - irrespective of whether I work with them or not. I also love talking about projects that I am not directly involved in at this point, so if you want my input, but aren’t in my team - this is your chance!
That’s radical. By far my favourite communication mechanism.
I read everything that I receive in paper form. If it’s handwritten, you can guarantee I’ll hang on each word - so the optimum form of communication if you want my undivided attention.
Google plus, Facebook, and Linkedin
Google plus is an OK medium for work things, but the filtering mechanism of Gmail means it doesn’t go into my primary email, so I won’t see it so often. I try and keep Facebook for fun updates. Notifications from Linkedin are disabled - as I found them incredibly annoying - so you could be waiting for a long time for an answer there.
Trello and GDocs
I guess not traditionally thought of as communications mechanisms, but if you ping me there with a direct @/+ notification, I’ll get it and should be able to respond in your doc / plan directly where you need it.