Have you ever had a client who’ll just randomly forward emails from their colleagues, send feedback on WhatsApp, give links, explain things in meetings — basically, give bits and pieces of information in various formats? I certainly have.
When it comes from a client, I make it a point to bring all that information into one place, and make sure everything is accessible for me and my team later. I think of it as part of my job.
But when we brief someone — say a designer for some work we’re collaborating on — we make sure we put together everything they’d need in one place, like a Notion page. Because we know that when the information is scattered, it’s extremely likely that they’ll miss something or the other — and we’ll be to blame for it.
Not just for project briefs. Everything from employment agreements and SOPs to everyday emails, when you’re communicating, make sure you give everything the receiver needs in one place. To achieve this, start thinking from the receiver’s point of view.
Ask yourself, what would they need to do the job well?
Identify all the tacit knowledge you have that can be useful for the receiver.
Think about all the information you know to be ‘given’, that the receiver might not know.
Have you made a list of all your lessons?
Putting in this effort upfront saves you a lot of trouble at the backend.