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Tools

We try to keep our process and tools simple, and use as few pieces of software as possible.

Linear

We use Linear to assign everyone's tasks. There's a view called "Everyone" that should be automatically surfaced on any NATION Linear account. It gives an overview of what every person in our small company is up to. It's important to stay abreast of as much as you can — it helps us build together.

When QAing the product, you can add individual issues in Linear with screenshots or descriptions. Try to group issues together in a logical way so as not to create a load of issues for any one individual.

It's completely acceptable to assign someone else a task, especially if that task is blocking you from getting yours done.

Slack

If Linear is journalism, Slack is creative nonfiction.

It's for thoughts, inspiration, discussion, ideas — to bring the team on a journey through how you're thinking, and to put it on record. We use Slack to surface issues and spark discussions. (Notably, if those discussions become emotionally charged, we must move it to a phone / Zoom / in-person conversation.

We expect everyone to be willing to write clearly. When you have an idea, don't just say, "What if we did...". Add some context, flesh out your concept, and share it with the group. You don't have to refine your idea, but you do have to make your thinking high-resolution. That's done in writing.

Slack is instant messaging. It's meant to be lighthearted. Have fun in there.

Zoom

Other than external-facing calls, we try to steer away from lots of "touchbases" or other sorts of routine web meetings. They tend not to be productive, and any call in which half the team is bored is a badly structured call.

When on Zoom, the most important thing for us while building is to screen share. It simulates the in-person act of looking over each other's shoulders at a screen, creating something simultaneously.

Google Docs

When it comes to drafting, use whatever software you'd like. (I, Diego, use iA Writer and a Terminal. Elle sometimes uses a quick note app to get an outline done. Ryan often writes directly in Slack. All of the above are valid.)

However, when it comes to getting feedback on a piece of writing, throw it into Google Docs so we can all comment and use the Suggestions mode to form the piece. (This is mostly applicable to the creative team.)