Slow Time Collaborating with Power.ME

Collaborating Snails

The average workday is full of interruptions and distractions, and although a lot of those distractions come from external things like the internet or the open window, some of them come from the internal workplace. Someone has a thought that he thinks you need to hear and hey presto! Your workflow and focus get interrupted. Or there’s a meeting scheduled smack dab in the middle of your peak production time, and your productivity gets hamstrung, even though the only purpose of the meeting is to ensure everyone is on the same page. These sorts of interruptions are the type that can be cured with a shift from real time communication to what Jason Fried calls “slow time.”

Jason says that “slow time” means “maybe it takes two or three days to have this conversation. And we do it over periods of 15 minutes here, two minutes there, four minutes there.” Unless something is truly urgent and needs to be discussed right now, this sort of slower communication that takes place on team members’ own terms may allow you to focus your time and energies in a more productive way.

But how should you go about slow time communication? First you need some sort of passive communication tool. If you go into your coworker’s office and start talking, that’s active communication. Your coworker actively needs to respond right then. The same sort of thing happens with phone calls. So what tool should you use so people can be passive about how they respond—so they can choose a good time to reply? Everyone has their email, but that coworker you need to share something with probably has dozens of other things buried in her inbox as well. What will make her see your email above all of the others? And what if you two have already exchanged a few different emails on the same topic? How can you keep all your ideas easily accessible?

If you’re using Power.ME, the answer is pretty simple.

Every thing you put into Power.ME—a task, a project, a folder, a media file, etc.—supports comments between you and anyone you share it with. To comment on something, open the content’s Details page (for tasks, click or tap on the title or cell, for projects and media files, click or tap on the icon). If they device you’re using doesn’t already display the area beneath the Notes portion of the page, scroll down.

Underneath the Notes portion of the Details page is a blank white field that says, “Write your comment here …” That little field provides your Power.ME slow-time solution. You can send a quick note to your team members, and not only will they be able to respond and share their collaborative thoughts on their own schedule, but all those thoughts will stay organized together with the task, project, or file they relate to. You’ll have all your team’s thoughts out in the open and available to review and refer to later on. And if a task becomes more urgent than usual, but not so urgent that you need to talk in real time, you can change the task’s priority level so it will feature more prominently in your team members’ Power.ME lists.

When, or for which types of projects do you prefer slow-time collaboration?

To learn more about commenting and priority levels, see the User Guide for your device.
Image by Simon Howden, via

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