Tagtext

Text Travels

Exepundit write a short post today that really struck me. In Some Helpful Cautions he writes,

“Would the person who sent you that e-mail be completely comfortable if you forwarded it to another person?”

I never assume my email is private. I never assume the recipient of my email is the only person who will see it. Let me tell you a story about working in tech support. There are no secrets.

When you’re supporting customers, you generate a lot of text. You send email. You type instant messages. You update tickets. Your words are everywhere. Those words end up in the most unlikely of places.

Text Travels

When you update a ticket, that ticket could be seen my management, either yours or the customer’s management. Is this how you want to come across to management?

Ticket notes can be sent to customers. Did you write anything in the notes you wouldn’t want the customer to see? I’ve had help desk reps or other technicians send the entire ticket, with all notes and history to a customer or to another team without my knowledge. I have never been burned by this because I never make notes that disparage the customer or lie.

Truth

Never lie in ticket. Don’t say you did something when you didn’t. Don’t say you updated the customer if you did not. Don’t say you installed a program if you didn’t. Don’t say you called someone and left a voicemail if you never dialed their number.

Your lies will come back to haunt you. You’re doing a disservice to your customer and yourself. So don’t lie. Tell the truth about what you did, what you didn’t do and most importantly, what worked to resolve the issue.

Help Future You

Future you needs the help of Past You to be successful. I’ve fixed thousands of problems over the years. I’ve assisted other people with fixes and workarounds for their problems. Some took minutes and others took hours, days or weeks.

Always write what you did! Future You will thank you. I’ve gone back to old tickets many times to find “issue was resolved. Closing ticket.”

“Update fixed problem.”

Worked with _____ team to resolve issue.

WHAT DID YOU DO?

How does that help you or anyone? You’ll see this issue again. I guarantee when you fix an obscure issue you’ve never seen before, it will come up again!

Help yourself. Help your team. Help you 6 months from now when you remember fixing the issue, but have no idea what you did. Leave yourself a trail to follow.

List what you did. Specifically. Leave ticket notes behind that anyone could follow. Because in 6 months, or a year, or even 6 weeks later you are that person.

There’s nothing worse than solving the same problem over and over and starting from scratch each time. Give yourself and your team a head start.

SimpleNote is textual nirvana

You need to back up. Everyone says it but most people don’t. There is no excuse not to back up your data. If it is important enough to write down and save, it is important enough to back up.

Here’s an example. The head of a large media company is composing the eulogy for a friend of over two decades. He has written four pages of heartfelt prose. He pours out his thought sand feelings to be read to a crowded room of friends and family about his dearly departed friend. Upon completing his missive, he presses send on his mail client and sends the important document to his assistant for proofreading and editing before it becomes the final document to be practiced and delivered.

Or so he thought. Upon arriving at the office to meet with his assistant and go over the eulogy, she had nothing. She has never received the document. He went to look for it in via sent items. Nothing. He checked the deleted items. Nil. He checked the drafts folder. Perhaps he had forgotten to send the document and there it was!

Out of his four written pages, less than one remained. Sitting in the Drafts folder mockingly offering him a copy. A poor copy for sure. His words were lost.

Does this sound familiar?

How many times have you written a brilliant blog post, long, well-reasoned comment, or essay for class in a browser window or email client? How many times have you lost an important note? Did you take it down in a text file but never saved and your computer rebooted or crashed? I did not ask if you lost data because I know you have.

Enter Simplenote. The idea is so simple you’d wish you have thought of it first. In Simplenote for each note you start, it not only lives right then and there in the moment you wrote it. It will also push a copy to the “cloud” for safe keeping. So now your information lives in two places. Congratulations! You have now backed up. Wasn’t that hard? But what if you delete your note you ask? Well first off, you did something to delete it. It wasn’t a computer error or something out of your control. But we’re all human. We all make mistakes.

Enter versioning. This big scary looking word just means “more than one copy” of your document. What if you make a change to your document, delete a large portion without meaning to, or at the very worst delete the entire thing? Click a button or drag a slider and your hard work is restored just like that.

Simplenote is perfection of textual nirvana. Write words and don’t press save. Write more words and they’re all safe. Write your words and never worry about whether they’ll be there when you need them. It’s something we all take for granted, until it fails us.