Google docs vs Hackpad: Don’t kill your remote communication!
123 Ship.it - Why remote communication is crucial for us:• 15 people in our team work remotely• We work in diﬀerent time zones• over 5 software projects simultaneously• every tool that empower our communication is crucial for us
Why we need collaborative documentation• specifications,• discussions,• important decisions,• researches,• content creation,• ideas,• asynchronous discussions.
Before: Communication and creating documents in google docs• GD: free, a lot of features and diﬀerent document types, rich text formatting. But...• ...we created docs only when there was no other option• we pushed other channels of communication to the limit• Creating a doc seemed to be necessary evil• Result: communication mess
New hope: discovery of hackpad.com• you can create text documents,• share it easily with others,• edit in realtime,• link between documents,• create collections.• much simpler than googledocs•
After: How communication changed after switching to hackpad• With hackpad simplicity we started to create new docs right away• It take less than 10 seconds to create new "pad" and share it with others• pads often change into long (and productive!) discussions• A lot of diﬀerent hackpads with million of thoughts, often out-of-date or unnecessary• We organize all pads on weekly basis
Google docs have a lot morefeatures. Some of them seem important, but the thruth iswhen you start using hackpad you realize that you dont need them at all. Simplicity wins.
Hackpad: Lean documentation• Create often and you will have a lot of unnecessary documents• Validate it and just delete not-so-important-ones, leaving only meaningful reference• Dont be afraid to write!• When productive communication just happens, do not try to cut it down, focus on better organization
Hackpad use cases:• Fast to-do lists. In some cases management tools (in our case trello) seem too slow and we create quick to-do lists in pads.• Content creation. Im writing these slides on a hackpad, sharing it with team and editor :)• Ideas and discussions. When somebody has a new idea worth considering, we put it in a hackpad and start to discuss if it makes any sense.
Hackpad use cases:• Text references. Every valuable piece of text about any of our projects is added to project collection.• Every piece of text that need to be written down fast - after inspiring meetings or customer interviews. If its valuable, we move it further (for example to the spreadsheet with customer interviews).• Small texts that can be changed by others like meeting agenda.• Communication with client. Its often more productive to send link to pad than writing an e-mail with things about project to discuss. Trust me, its faster and more eﬀective.