... to build a remote culture where people trust each other, create project docs with personality, onboard people at their own pace, and more.
Surprise! We use our own product for almost everything we do.
It should come as no life-changing revelation that as the makers of Slite, we use our own product for everything from creating meeting notes, to illustrating marketing plans, to making our HR Handbook look a little more human.
It's not that we're in love with ourselves—although we're a fully decent group of humans—it's more that as a seasoned remote company, we've sought to tweak our product to meet the needs of a group that collaborates across the world: us!
Because we believe building things we need and want, based on the way we like to work with one another.
So without further extending this introduction, here are 11 ways we use our product every day.
1. Planning team projects
"For the final part of our cycle pitching process, we made a sketch from our plan. Why? Because it's simple and joyful. Just as marketing should be." —Clément, Marketing
Like many small-to-mid-sized startups, the Slite Marketing Team has a "many hat" approach. This small-yet-mighty team of just 4 people has lots of ground to cover as they look to bring their product to the masses.
So how do they stay on top of everything in a mad-fast marketing world?
To plan their cycles, the team combines Smart Tables to tie all their docs together while using the Sketch Block (bye-bye uncle Gantt chart 👋🏼 ) to give a quick—and pretty—overview of when things need to happen.
Here are some snapshots of their docs:
2. Running a content calendar
"Putting together a content plan is like keeping a cat in a bathtub. It starts with the best intentions, but it can quickly become a scramble once things get started." —Marc, Content
Most brands want a fast-paced content culture. That means collaborating across a lot of teams, with a lot of people, on a lot of different topics.
That's why a functional content calendar can be such a precious gem.
It allows you keep everything meshed together by tagging contributors, production stages, and the different assets that you're working on.
We use a Smart Table for this, and of course, we write and edit all our articles directly on Slite docs.
"My approach to our HR Handbook is simple: I treat it like a story. There are comments, reactions, even videos to introduce certain areas. It's always evolving and that's why I think it works. It's a place where interactions happen." —Vaida, People
Our People Team uses Slite every day for things like hiring, remote policies, learning & development, project planning, and more.
But what ties everything together? The HR Handbook.
It's key for sharing information and training with managers. It also acts as a guide to 1:1s, outlines the employee lifecycle, and explains how to run GROW conversations with team members.
Let's now take a moment to admire the beauty of this publication:
4. Planning all-hands support
"I love highlighters. I use them for everything. But I use tables whenever I'm planning. And as the only support person, I do a lot of planning, so I use a lot of tables. I can't NOT use them. Does that mean I love them? I guess so." —Alexandria, Support
We do all-hands support at Slite, which means that everyone (and we mean everyone) in the company talks to customers in an assigned rotation.
To keep the schedule running smoothly, we put the support rotation in a permanent doc nested within the team channel. We also create a separate calendar for everyone's assigned days.
Here's how it looks in vivo:
5. Reporting customer satisfaction
Why should you report on customer satisfaction? For a Customer Support Team, it shows impact.
We find that data, quotes, and interpretations help in getting other teams up to speed, quickly. And of course, Alexandria is pretty much incapable of making a report that doesn't include highlights, emojis, and video...
6. Onboarding team members to support
We break support onboarding into bite-sized pieces across a new hire's early months. We also share a checklist with them to give a central home to this process. This lets people set themselves up at their own pace, without having to meet on a call.
7. Running weekly meetings
"We use our product like a root system in a forest. In a wide-ranging team, documents connect us, and slow things down to a manageable pace. We can share information quickly with the rest of the team and make decisions based on what to do next. Sorry, I can't help pitching the product, it's kind of my job." —Brieuc, Sales
We preach meeting asynchronously whenever we can. But we're bipeds like everyone else, so we do need to talk. To keep things organized, we park everything in a central place.
Nothing overly complicated, just a doc where everyone can add topics, follow up actions, and prioritize the things we need to work on as a team.
Consider it a cocktail of live and async communication.🍹
Like many fast-growing brands, we get feedback about our product from a hundred different places.
A long list of features won't cut the mustard, so instead we have a doc that uses our Cover Video feature to present radio feedback to the entire team on a periodic basis. Then, the entire support, sales, and success teams chime in to give the doc some context and opinions.
The result is part TV show, part incredibly valuable product information.
9. Planning feature builds
"Slite is our team's living manual and I refer to it often while I work. On a personal level, it gives me more confidence in what I'm designing." —Rob, Product Design
We use our product to plan out, and thoroughly think through the features we intend to build. This brings clarity to everyone involved in the design process, including product managers, designers, and engineers.
Everyone gets to chime into the source of truth and it makes the whole process much clearer, helps us identify gaps in our thinking, ensure all feedback is addressed quickly, and ultimately reach a higher quality of product.
A roadmap needs to ignite passion across a team or it gets relegated to a pile of corporate-ese. Our Leadership Team takes this phenom very seriously and puts extra care into building excitement and alignment around our roadmaps—providing weekly updates that mean something to the people who will help to execute them.
Here's Chris on the topic:
"Weekly updates are not only about giving the latest numbers. They're about echoing our way of working, what we care about, our strategy, and engaging the team around important topics." —Chris, CEO
11. Building a culture where people trust each other
We believe that a successful brand shines from the inside out. So we put immense care in building a culture where we can genuinely trust our teammates and feel proud—we're not using this term lightly—to work with people. For this reason, we ask every team member to write a thoughtful introduction about who they really are.
"The key to a successful intro at a company is avoiding any Linkedin-esque type of BS. We need to know the real human who's behind the team member in order to build great work relationships." —Chris
Marc Cinanni is a creative writer who's fascinated by the emergence of remote as a new way of life. His pieces are punchy, absurd, and often personal. He writes for remote teams, managers, and people interested in feeling better about the way they work. Follow him @marccinanni.
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