How We Communicate

37signals posted their Guide to Internal Communication, which is a short and pithy read.

Writing solidifies, chat dissolves. Substantial decisions start and end with an exchange of complete thoughts, not one-line-at-a-time jousts. If it’s important, critical, or fundamental, write it up, don’t chat it down.


Speaking only helps who’s in the room, writing helps everyone. This includes people who couldn’t make it, or future employees who join years from now.

For years I measured my productivity by logging what I worked on every fifteen minutes. This was a tactic my brother-in-law taught me, and he is one of the most productive people I’ve ever watched work.

In addition, I used to email my daily report to my boss at the end of every day; talk about accountability. I don’t know if any boss ever appreciated my reports, but it helped me.

This quote from the article reminds me of those days, and inspires me again:

Every workday at 16:30, Basecamp (the product) automatically asks every employee “What did you work on today?” Whatever people write up is shared with everyone in the company. Everyone’s responses are displayed on a single page, grouped by date, so anyone who’s curious about what’s happening across the company can simply read from top to bottom. And if you have a question about anything, you can comment on anyone’s “what did you work on today?” check-in to keep the conversation in context.