This is my actual reaction anytime someone says they need help with documentation.
Now if you’re like a lot of people, documentation is not your favorite thing and can quite frankly feel less important, overwhelming and a ‘nice to have’ rather than a need. In fact, most people wait until after the project is completely over to even consider any documentation only to realize when they move to the next project, that documentation could have saved them time. Maybe you’re too busy, you don’t have enough people to complete it, or you’re just not sure where to start with documentation.
I’ve put together this easy to follow 3 step process for documentation to help define, organize and complete it without feeling overwhelmed. I’ve included time saving tips and free templates to keep you on track every step of the way!
This is often skipped because most people assume it’s clear what needs documentation and what doesn’t. Like any other project, documentation needs to be defined to outline the purpose, goals and audience.
1. What is the purpose?
2. What is the goal?
3. Who is if for and how do they access it?
With a well outlined process will make it easier to visualize the extent of documentation needed and help setting up a timeline for completion.
1. Create a templated naming structure for storing documentation
2. Create a database of all documentation needed and include:
3. Setup a schedule based on the priority of the documentation and the responsible individual
1. Record the process and use the transcription to help you get started with documentation.
2. Use templates whenever possible.
3. Write for the intended audience
4. Ensure each responsible individual has access to the templates and is adding in their contributions or completing the documentation as relevant.
5. Proof read and review! It takes time to review the documentation before you hit publish but it’s the best thing you can do to ensure it’s accurate.
Here are some tools and templates to get you started! Keep in mind the easiest way to get started is to use what you have. Limit how many new processes, tools and templates you’re introducing to a team as it could be a more difficult rate of implementation and adoption.
With this simple 3 step process you can finally create a systemized approach to documentation. Whether it’s catching up on documentation you’ve put off or implementing the process from the start of a project, you’re ready to start documenting!
Check back soon for more blog posts on how you can incorporate operations into your creative small business! In the mean time, click below to check out our other resourcesBack to Resources
In December 2019, Sara quit her cushy corporate job in pursuit to become a paid full-time freelance creative. After years of exploring her creative side she realized she needed to bring her operational skills to creative small business owners.
After a TON of failure Sara started to openly talk about her journey on Twitter and her podcast, Talks With SaraNoSocks and saw a theme emerge, business operations was holding creatives back. After lots of trial and error, pivots and pitfalls, she realized a productized service was the answer.
Helping Creatives is a way to bring all those creative small business owners the support they need to hand off some of the operations setbacks and get back to what they really love...creating!