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Mr. Oldman stands up and expands

What do Gary Oldman, Scrum Standup meetings and odd at-first-glance technologies have in common?

Maybe nothing, other than this post.

I’ve gotten into the habit of communicating standup notes very quickly. I do not expect people to be sitting in their inboxes waiting for info to come to them. However it’s great to get the info out as soon as possible, so discussions can be had quickly. Things move so quickly in creative development, it’s important for everyone to have the info needed to plan and pivot.

The team I’m on values more communication (even if they have to sift through it) over less. So, I take notes and get them out right after the standup. And I send them to everyone.



Some (maybe most folks) will ignore them, and that’s fine. Like I said our team came to agreement about the amount of signal vs. noise. Ask your team if you’re not sure.

Here’s my current process.

I like to capture everything on paper. So, during the standup I write notes on a yellow legal pad as people are answering the three magic questions.

After the meeting, as soon as I can, I transcribe the notes to the Notes app on my Mac. I keep a daily log of everything I do at work in that app. It is easy to use and syncs across every Mac device. Plus it supports images, and you can even draw in it for quick sketches.

Next, I find and paste in the links for the tasks mentioned in the meeting from our task tracking system (currently, JIRA). Next I copy the notes and paste them into an email for everyone.

Side note: If you use the native mail.app on MacOS, you can select the text from the Note and Share it to Mail.app. This is very quick.

One last thing, and a lot of people think I’m crazy when I bring this up. If you’re not using text expansion, you really should give it a try. Instead of typing the same thing many times throughout the day, you type a simple snippet, and it expands to the real’ text.

For example if I type ;d it expands to the full date, like this: Tuesday, December 8, 2015. I never have to type the date in long form again.

I can hear you saying to yourself, what’s the big deal? How lazy does one have to be? Go on, get out of here.

get outta hereget outta here

Do me a favor, grab the trial version of aText or see the demos for Text Expander. Then just make one expansion for your email address. See how many times you type it in a day. Add another snippet and look at how much time your saving, and stuff you’re unloading from your brain. Then you’ll see the light.

In my email subject line I type ;asu and it populates with Art Standup notes, Tuesday, December 8, 2015. You can wrap snippets inside snippets!

OK, real talk time. I think speed of communication and signal vs. noise on your team is important. Hopefully you do too. But I care most that you start with yourself and get text expansion up and running.

Cheers to you and your future text expansion mastery!


Posted on 12/8/2015

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