User Manuals for People

Humans are messy systems. We don’t work the same way every time. We have plenty of bugs. And we certainly don’t come with easy to read instruction manuals. Unless we write them ourselves.

The concept of “user manuals for people” has been around for over a decade. Originating in executive leadership circles, it has gained traction over the past few years at all levels of organizations. The topic has been covered by Bloomberg / Business Week (2008), the New York Times (2014), BBC Capital (2017), Quartz (2017), and more.

The idea is to provide people who work with (or for) you a guide. An on-boarding document of sorts. A shortcut to learning your quirks and getting down to the business of working with you effectively. Continue reading


The greatest date format. I use it. Here’s why you should too.

  1. People from every country can easily understand it.
    3/6/2018 is March in the U.S. but June in Europe. Why are you making things confusing when you could make them simple?
  2. If you add it to the beginning of file names, they sort themselves!
    Makes files easier to find. Plus the dates don’t get rewritten when you email the file to someone else.
  3. It’s been the ISO standard since 1976.
    Originally introduced in ISO 2014 (1976) which was then superseded by ISO 8601 (1988) which unified and replaced a collection of older ISO standards on date and time notation.
  4. It’s easy!
    You can write it on paper and type it on computers. There’s nothing fancy involved. So start using it today!