“Could you just do me a one pager on that?”

I remember the sinking feeling those words triggered. You knew that you had lost their attention and they were resorting to diversionary tactics.

So many documents are diversionary. Putting off doing something by writing a templated bit of business fluff. Reading yet another fictional case study rather than inspiring your own. Faffing about with formatting and fonts rather than taking the leap and sharing what you have written. Burying the final document on an obscure file server with the confident expecatation that it will never be seen by human eyes again.

If you are tempted to write a document today, or asked to do so by your boss, resist. Do something useful instead.

2 thoughts on ““Could you just do me a one pager on that?””

  1. To be fair I spend a great deal of time writing documents, sometimes "a one pager" and they can be effective. The problem is when you have to circulate things around stakeholders and get people on-board with the idea. Yes, we could have a meeting about it but if we had a meeting about every idea then no one would get anything done. You shouldn’t be bound by formatting issues but clearly stating your case in writing has gravitas. You can’t always go off on your own and do what the hell you like, too often I see people going off and deciding to do what they want without engaging with people who know stuff and without putting words on the screen you can’t be clear about what you expect and you can’t hold it up for criticism.

    Criticism of your work should be one of the first things you seek instead of just taking a leap and getting it wrong.

    Like

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