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Learnings from 3 Months of Weekly Team Newsletters + Content Prompts

I'm the only full-time employee on my small (but mighty!) team of 3. I sent out a team newsletter the first week we began working on our product, makemix, and have continued to do it every Friday in Slack now for 12 weeks in a row.

The original objective of my newsletter was to quickly catch the team up on my week so they’d be in the loop as they clock out of their weekday jobs and clock into our weekend startup efforts but I've noticed other positive benefits as well that I've listed below.

Team Impact

  1. My teammates have shared that they feel super well-informed and more interested in/knowledgeable about other areas of the business aside from just their primary domain (engineering, design)

  2. It's a good onboarding tool. When our third teammate started, she voluntarily read through each newsletters to get a better understanding of how we got to where we are and I was amazed at how quickly she got up to speed.

  3. The newsletter gives us all a chance to take a pause, lay the week to rest, and prepare for the week ahead. As makers, it's so easy to get caught up in the day to day grind and forget the larger picture but the newsletter helps combat that.

Personal Impact

  1. Writing a weekly newsletter has positively impacted how I prioritize work during the week. I find myself asking "is this newsletter-worthy?" when I'm investing major time in a task which is another way of asking "is this advancing key areas of the product/business?"

  2. It's helped me become a more concise communicator. I have the tendency to be a bit verbose and pairing things down to make it digestible enough for a newsletter has been good practice.

  3. The newsletter has encouraged me to communicate more of the "why's" behind what I've done and not just the status of tasks

I cover anywhere from 5-10 topics each week depending on how crazy things were. Here's a topic bank I created from my last 5 newsletters if you want to create one of your own:
🎨 Design
🗺 Product
💻 Engineering
📣 Marketing
💸 Sales
👥 User Research
🌐 Industry News
🎒 Learnings
🏆 Goals
📌 Tasks
💡 Ideas
🔑 Key Decisions
🤝 Partnerships
📆 Upcoming Events
🛎 Admin
🛠 Artifacts
👏 Shoutouts
🎉 Accomplishments

  1. 2

    That's a really great idea. I hope something like this catches on with remote companies too.
    It's like an asynchronous version of a weekly all-hands meetings.

    How long does it take you to write it each week?

    1. 2

      Thanks! It usually takes me about 45 minutes to write. I usually free-write for 30 minutes about all of the various things that happened in the week and then spent another 15 pairing things down. It's almost like a journaling exercise.

      1. 2

        This seems like a useful way to reflect on the week anyway, even if you weren't working with other people.

        Thanks for sharing it.

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