October 17, 20212 min read

The Power of Writing in an Asynchronous World

Ship 30

The past year has seen a major shift in the way companies and people work.

No more water cooler chats, board room meetings, cubicle conferences. The world has gone digital, seeing workforces move their workflows online.

The problem is that companies still lean on old school practices to get things done.

  • Employees making phone calls to share thoughts

  • Lack of documentation within & across departments

  • Files passed around via email to collaborate

Sure these tools get the job done, but at what opportunity cost?

Writing enables information scaling

Would you rather give 100 people a presentation once, or 100 presentations each to one person?

This question does a great job framing how you can distribute your knowledge through writing. Writing enables a write once, ditribute infinitely approach while saving the time it would take to redistribute that knowledge over and over again.

A single contribution towards your company wiki can be leveraged by

  • your manager

  • your manager's manager

  • your peers

  • yourself

Talk about a compounding asset, phew.

Writing enables asynchronous work

Emails are the earliest example of this, now multipled exponentially in the real-time communication tools in use today.

The ability to juggle deep work and attend to asynchronous communication when it's convenient is all thanks to writing.

Writing enables collaborative iteration

The plethora of colloboration tools available enable teams to brain dump their best and worst ideas in public at the same time.

Wouldn't all that noise lead to a messy signal? How do you pick out the useful information?

In a traditional meeting this would be a nightmare.

The power in writing collaboratively is you can iterate on your work as a team. Trim your doc down and take the best idea from each member, and even continue to refine ideas as your see fit.

It's no wonder companies embracing remote work continue to thrive.