For reasons that continue to elude me, I’ve come across a lot of Microsoft Word template issues in my time. Some templates were so bad that what should be a simple productivity tool ends up hobbling documentation efforts. Finding template issues is a never-ending source of disappointment for me. Perhaps it’s because I usually create templates in the early stages of a project and keep the fuss to a minimum.
Continue reading My Word template manifesto
I was a computer book technical reviewer earlier in my career. It was a freelance gig, but I still consider the work one of the more formative chapters in my professional writing career even though it wasn’t writing work.
Computer book technical reviewers sometimes called technical editors are responsible for ensuring the technical accuracy of information technology book manuscripts. The work taught me to pay attention to technical details, which in turn went on to influence my work as a technical writer and freelance writer.
The lessons I learned include:
Continue reading Lessons learned from working as a computer book industry technical reviewer
There is a dizzying array of online collaboration applications available today.
Even in 2017, you still have to write your own migration plan to move your team from email inboxes to an online collaboration platform.
A proper collaboration platform migration is agnostic — these tips can apply to most any cloud or on-premise collaboration
Continue reading Moving your team from email inboxes to online collaboration
Last year after spending four years working from home, I took a corporate job working in an open office. I read much about the transition being hard, because I went from the upmost privacy to being able to see and hear the people working around me.
Continue reading My experience going from remote work to an open office
One of the benefits of pivoting back to full-time employment is taking time off. I recently spent an entire week at the beach. It was the first time I took that sort of time off on my own accord. My destination was Ocean City, MD, the mandatory vacation of my childhood.
Here are some lessons I learned after my vacation last month:
Continue reading 5 lessons learned from my summer vacation
Managing project documents can be an underappreciated art in some organizations. It’s an area where a technical writer should take charge. I’ve seen document control of all stripes throughout my career. Document control that works. Document control that didn’t work. Even document control that caused a near staff rebellion. I’ve even seen no formal document control practices.
While compliance programs like COSO and Sarbanes Oxley require document control over project documents, it also makes good business sense
Here are some tips for implementing document control within your project team or organization:
Continue reading The gentle art of project documentation control
I’ve long been a student of technical document reviews. So much so, I worked as a technical reviewer for some computer book publishers to learn more about this critical element of the technical communications. Back then I thought I could do a better job than the reviewers where I was working at the time). Editorial and technical reviews are integral parts of the technical publications process. Unfortunately, so many organizations fumble through the review cycle.
Continue reading 4 reasons why your document reviews aren’t working