P2 is a great communication channel for discussion, the alignment of ideas, decision making, learning, and preserving an archive of your work. Yet there can be some anxiety around P2ing: Where do I post? What do I write? How do I know how much to write? Why would anyone care? What if I say something inappropriate or foolish? How do I make time?
Regardless of how much experience you have, you may ask yourself these questions at some point in your career. As with writer’s block, the hardest part is often getting started: once you start using P2, you will find your way and everything will become easier.
What to write about
In addition to documenting processes, P2 is a major tool for knowledge-sharing. These are useful things to write about:
- Pain points: If you see a solution to someone’s pain point, or see a lot of people with the same pain point, explore and share your observations and recommendations. Make sure your post is constructive and solutions-oriented : highlight the issue and problem, note some solutions, and open the discussion up to additional ideas.
- Gaps in knowledge: P2 is ideal for plugging in holes of information and knowledge. Focus on filling in the gap and acting as a resource (rather than spend excessive energy on where you saw the gap).
- Strengths: If you’re good at something, share how you do it. It’s often hard to know our own strengths, so use feedback from colleagues, 1:1s, or peer reviews to identify what you do well, write about it.
- Cross-team sharing: If you see something happening on a P2 that your team might not follow but the background or discussion relates to everyone’s work, bridge the gap. Share this knowledge. Read, process, and write how it’s relevant to your team on your team’s P2.
- Problem solving: Outline how you solved a problem. This provides a good track record of the work that was done, and will offer important context and information in the future if the same or a similar problem happens again.
- Requests: Sometimes it’s not obvious how to resolve things, or you might get stuck and can’t find the way forward. Solve a problem by opening it up to your team.
- Ideas: Use P2 as a digital whiteboard for whatever you’re thinking about — bounce ideas off of others. Sometimes it’s not really about the initial idea, but how it grows and evolves with contributions from everyone.
- Tips: Share interesting tips, tricks, and concepts you’ve learned.
Think of the reader
P2 consumption and information overload are real struggles. Remember this as you write.
- Title appropriately. Tell skimmers what the post is about up-front.
- Focus on the goal. What do you want the reader to walk away with? Make it easy for them to find that information, either in a summary at the beginning (TL;DR) or with bullets or other visible cues to catch their eye.
- Remember the reader has limited time. Make your post as reader-friendly and engaging as possible. Break up long walls of text. Bonus points for GIFs!
- Think about what the reader needs to know and clearly highlight that information with bullets, headings, bold font, etc.
- Include everything your reader needs in the post itself. It’s fine to link elsewhere for extra context, but make sure all essential content for understanding your post is either restated or summarized in the post. Don’t make the reader chase links.
Keep searchability in mind
Remember your reader may be you … 12 months from now.
- Use a title that describes what the P2 post is about.
- Use tags.
- Don’t bury searchable content in images or videos. Include error message text and video text summaries.
- If something goes by several names (2-step, 2fa, Two Factor Authentication, Two Step Auth) or might be worded in different ways (employment verification, work confirmation), try sprinkling them throughout so a search will surface your post.
You don’t want to waste anyone’s time, including your own. P2ing does not have to be labor- or time-intensive: your posts don’t have to be flawless.
Here is an example on how to make it happen, from the perspective of a regular P2 user:
- As soon as I have an idea for a post, I take notes (for example, with Simplenote).
- I write headings with bullet lists underneath.
- I drop ideas into the note between live chats, Slack conversations, and tasks.
- I think in the shower.
- When I’m done with other responsibilities, I sit down to draft a new post on P2.
- I transport my notes into the WordPress desktop app for editing, then fill it in with conversational language.
- I preview, edit, and repeat — but not too many times. Perfect is the enemy of done.
This information may seem like a lot to remember. It’s OK. Remember: P2ing is a learned skill. Try some of these ideas and see what works for you. Then return here for more.