Simon Willison’s Weblog


Doc of docs

7th July 2017

My answer to How to kumbaya with the remote team? on Ask MetaFilter

Here’s a low-tech, high-impact trick I recently learned at work that’s amazingly useful: create a doc-of-docs.

This is a Google Docs document containing links to all of the other documents, tools, dashboards, slack channels etc that a team is using to collaborate on their projects.

Since it’s a document itself, you can add a full paragraph of explanatory text next to each link explaining what it is and why it’s useful—much better than just dumping stuff in a Google Drive folder and hoping people can figure it out for themselves.

You can arrange everything with headings, you can include an “obsolete/archived” section for docs that are out of date but still historically interesting, you can embed screenshots directly in the document. And you don’t need to own it—you can start it, set it to “anyone in the company can edit this” and then let the team collaborate to keep it up to date.

I spent 15 minutes throwing one together for my team a few weeks ago, and now there are SO MANY questions that can be answered with “that’s in the doc-of-docs”—or “make sure that’s in the doc-of-docs once you figure it out”.