10 Ways to Use Shortcut Docs
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Shortcut Best Practices

10 Ways to Use Shortcut Docs

Torie Mantzouranis
Senior Manager, User Education
June 1, 2022

Docs is Shortcut's very appropriately named documentation tool - yes, a new way for you to create documents (Docs!) for your team (and for yourself!) that works seamlessly with the rest of Shortcut.

Why Docs?

We believe that fresh, living documentation updated in real time is the only kind of trustworthy, useful written information. That’s why, in Shortcut, Docs and the rest of your work stay synced automatically to exist as a single source of truth.

We think this is a game-changer for product development.

For example, you can highlight any text in a Doc and create a Story, Epic, Milestone, or Iteration from that text to be forever synced across Shortcut.

This way, if an engineer updates that Story while they're working in the code, it automatically updates in Docs.

You can also link Docs to existing Stories, Epics, Milestones, Labels, and Iterations.

Pretty cool, right?

Down with dead documentation!

Get Context Quickly

It’s hard to jump into discussions and unblock work when you can’t access relevant information. Shortcut makes it easy to provide context and meet people where they want to consume information. Have confidence that what you’re working on is the latest. Any changes you make automatically get synced to the core documentation that others are reading.

No More Tool Hopping

It’s mentally exhausting to always be switching between tools. Shortcut offers a streamlined, seamless user experience across Docs and work (via one unified UI and consistent information architecture). Docs allows you to put your mental energy towards creativity, not context switching between tools.

Product Collaboration

Shortcut provides a single source of truth for product development. Shortcut makes it easy to collaborate by unifying and aligning teams across the development and GTM organization.

Merge Processes

Docs supports the rituals and processes you’re already using within the app. The product development lifecycle is enhanced by keeping everything synced within the Shortcut app.

Docs: How Does it Work?

Docs can work for you in all kinds of ways. Thus, we’ve conveniently broken down the most common Docs use cases. We’ve divided these into product & engineering categories. Keep in mind all these use cases live as Templates in Shortcut so it only takes one click to give them a try.

How Product Folks Use Docs

Product managers spend a lot of time updating various channels and attending meetings. They also put a lot of effort into creating good documentation.

But documentation loses its value as soon as it becomes stale, when it becomes divorced from the execution of work, which is constantly evolving.

As a PM, you don’t necessarily have time to constantly replicate content across Docs and Stories to keep everything up to date.

So below are remedies for this: 5 templates progressive software teams can start using to help work smarter and faster.

1. Product Requirement Docs (PRDs) - To define the requirements of a particular product, including the product's purpose, features, functionality, and behavior.

PRD (Product Requirement Doc) Template

2. 1:1s - To keep meetings focused with a written agenda and record.

1:1 Template

3. Project Kickoff - To ensure your team understands the project’s vision, mission, and strategy.

Project Kickoff Template

4. OKRs - To track teams’ progress and goals transparently and in real time.

OKR Template

5. MVP Ideation - To outline the goals, success metrics, key value props, marketing, and release plan.

MVP ideation Template

How Engineering Folks Use Docs

As a member of an engineering team, you often want to know: Why am I building this? Days, months, or years later you may want to know: why did we decide to build it this way?

Instead of searching across multiple tools (comments within issue tracker tickets, Slack threads, Notion docs, etc.), you want the context in the place that makes sense. You don’t have the time to read through lengthy documents in different tools in order to understand what you’re building, and why.

Engineers also want to have confidence that the tickets you’re working on have the latest specs, and that any changes you make automatically get synced to the core documentation that others are reading.

Here are five Docs templates to remedy these common pains.

6. Technical Design Doc (Architecture Requirement Docs) - To let your engineering team define, evaluate, and iterate on a solution when it's cheapest: before implementing it. This shares knowledge within the engineering team and can be the basis for future documentation.

7. Architecture Decision Record (ADRs) - To capture an important architectural decision made along with its context and consequences.

ADR Template

8. Incident Post Mortem - To collaborate and learn from incidents.

Incident Postmortem Template

9. Squad Daily Standup - To help your team uncover and coordinate interdependencies, and bring visibility to what you’re working on as a team. Stand-ups can be run synchronously during a meeting or asynchronously via a Doc.

Squad Daily Standup Template

10. Iteration Planning - To kick off a time-boxed period of development.

Iteration/Sprint Planning Template

Get Started with Docs Templates

It’s time to bring some zen into the chaos.

Choose a template and give Docs a try!

If you’re not already a user, what are you waiting for? Sign up for a 14-day trial of Shortcut. It’s free.

And for a quick spin on getting started with Docs, check out the video!

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