10 Ways to Avoid Unnecessary Meetings with Asynchronous P2s

Our CEO recently asked us to reflect on this question for the new year: “Are all your meetings so effective that you look forward to them?” It’s important to also ask, if you are a meeting organizer, are attendees looking forward to your meeting? Live meetings have their place but are costly in terms of time and energy.

Asynchronous work has a lot of buzz but many don't know what it looks like or how to adapt to it. Some readers of this P2 are part of organizations that are looking to move to async work and to use P2 as Automattic makes use of it. Here are 10 P2 use cases that you might find useful.

1. Courses P2

Automattic and others are using P2 to train staff and teach courses using asynchronous courses and boot camps. Students don’t need to all be on the same Zoom call to learn and interact.

2. Requests P2s

Our legal staff tells us that in the past when someone needed a contract, the default was to schedule a meeting to discuss. The default now is to submit legal requests on the contracts P2. Our legal team has a standardized form to complete. The contracts can then be discussed in comments.

Additionally, Automattic’s Systems/IT team, Data Teams, and others have request P2s:

3. Status Reports P2

Automattic has a P2 called Thursday Updates where every team is required to provide a status update summary every two weeks. At many organizations, such updates would be delivered in Powerpoint at a live meeting, often to full rooms with people who don’t need to be there.

4. New Employee Introductions

With office cultures, when a new employee joins someone might walk them around the office to introduce them. Automattic asks every new employee to write a post and embed a video where they introduce themselves and co-workers respond and welcome in comments.

Another format is for a manager to interview a new team-mate:

5. New Hire Trials

Hiring new staff is often done in a series of Zoom calls or in-person meetings that can be exhausting for everyone. At Automattic, we create a P2 for each new candidate and work with them on trial projects.

6. Call Notes

It’s common to have a follow-up meeting where the first 10 minutes is where people try to remember what was said in a prior meeting. At Automattic, it’s a requirement that every external call have notes shared in P2. That way if you missed the call you can get a summary, or if you were on the call you can be reminded. You can also consider videoing the call and embedding the Loom or other video type in the P2 so that people can ask questions and comment.

You can also embed the video recording from a meeting into a P2 so that people can watch later and comment:

7. Collaborate with Partners and Customers On P2

Partners and clients will often want to schedule a regular meeting, even if there are no major updates to discuss. Consider creating a partnership or major client P2 and asking the partner or client to share updates there. Then only schedule meetings as needed.

8. Celebrate Wins

Office cultures might schedule after-work outings to celebrate wins or commemorate a year of success. As we can’t easily get people together in person it’s common at Automattic to use P2 to celebrate wins.

9. Meetup Guides and Summaries

Teams at Automattic periodically meet up in person. Team leads are tasked with researching and booking. They also must summarize meetups to share details like attendees, location, cost, projects, Internet speed tests, and other logistics. Without these posts, meetings might be required with accounting to discuss costs and with other team leads who are researching the location. Fun fact: historically Lisbon, Portugal and Hawaii have been the most popular meetup locations at Automattic.

10. Document a Challenging Topic

Automattic has a number of documentation P2s that we call Universities. We have everything from Domain University to Scheduling University. There is so much to cover in these university P2s that it might require a full-day live training session. With these P2 universities, staff can drink from these firehose on their own when they have time.

P2’s Year in Review and Look Ahead

2021 has been the apex of P2’s evolution since the product was launched in 2009 and relaunched in 2020. One reason for P2’s rapid evolution has been that so many people at Automattic contributed to improving everything behind the scenes from the apps to performance to new blocks.

Organizations that have standardized on P2 recognize that the vision for the platform is to offer freedom from the drudgery of email, waves of Zoom calls, and attention-diverting live chats. P2 offers asynchronous communications powered by the highly regarded WordPress editor. In 2022, P2 users will see new windows open with more expansive features including a people directory and P2 Patterns.

Here are some highlights from 2021:

A Peak at What’s Next For P2 in 2022

Collaborative editing means you will be able to work on P2 draft with teammates before posting.

More Integrations. A top P2 benefit is that your team can share content from apps that not all can access. In 2022, we will continue to add more integrations. If you use Slack and P2, you will be able to easily pick Slack messages that you decide are important and should be shared in P2.

Conversely, you will also be able to receive new post notifications for P2 sites in your workspace. A channel can be subscribed to multiple P2s. ⬇️

Github embeds and more integrations. If you use Github, you will be able to embed Github issues.

People Directory will allow you to manage the members in your workspace, invite more and keep profiles for each to learn more about them and see their activity. ⬇️

P2 Patterns. You may have heard of the WordPress Block Patterns. P2 is bringing on a new way for you to copy and reuse formatting.

New Hosting Options. P2 has its first customers hosted on WordPress VIP and will continue to expand on that momentum.

Let us know what P2 features you want to see in 2022. We can only hope that you are as excited about P2 in 2022 as we are. Keep going with your P2 and as always stay in touch!

Welcoming The New Changelog Block

We rolled out a new block today called changelog. You can read a post about it on the somewhat new P2 Updates.

If you haven’t used a changelog it’s a nice visual representation of what your team or company is working on or where your project stands. Here’s what it looks like:

new
Posted news on P2Feedback.
improved
Added a video walk-through on P2 Updates.
fixed
Right sized the screen grab.
Metrics
Number of changelogs posted.

If you have any ideas for how you might use the changelog please leave a comment.

The P2 Changelog is good value

You can find standalone changelog products that cost $50 to $279 per month. In contrast with P2 it is yet another block.

P2 Integrates Figma

Today we announced an integration partnership with Figma. If you use Figma or are interested in using their design tool we think the combination of P2 and Figma will thrill you.

Here’s how it works. Say you, or a designer you work with, creates design elements in Figma. You probably want to share the latest version. Until now this means you probably are emailing screen grabs broadly, and whenever you update you send more screen grabs. In short, version control is painful.

With the P2 integration, you can just connect to Figma and your team can view your latest designs. What’s more your team can contribute to the Figma designs with comments, likes, votes and more.

How to Make the P2 + Figma Integration Work

As with other P2 integrations simply click on the + sign in the front page editor and search for Figma. You will then be prompted to enter the Figma URL.

Step 1 : Copy the link to the art board or prototype from Figma
Step 2: Add the Figma block and paste the link into it

If you are not familiar with Figma and want to learn more I can recommend this post – Figma – Worth the Hype? Absolutely. The Figma team also shared this high level overview:

  • Figma was recently voted to be “the most exciting design tool of 2021” in UXTools.co’s survey with over 4000 designers 
  • Figma is the third fastest growing apps on Okta’s 2021 Businesses at Work report.
  • Customers include Automattic, British Telecom, Twitter, Spotify, Rakuten, Google, Microsoft, Condé Nast, and more.
  • Figma raised $50M in April 2020 led by a16z.

P2 Interactive Glossary Testing

This is an announcement that I am very excited about 🔥. We are now openly testing here P2 Glossary, a simple yet powerful tool to help P2 users and readers to define and easily understand acronyms and other terms that they might not recognize.

It’s common to find lists of glossary items on the web such as this one. Such lists can be a bit annoying because one might head-scratch over a term, then Google that term, then visit Wikipedia or another reference site where often the results include several definitions. P2 Glossary promises to remove this loop by enabling custom glossary development for each P2 together with a dead simple way for readers to find definitions.

Description

We developed a basic interactive glossary and it is now running on this P2. You aren’t able to activate it currently on your own P2s. To see it in action simply hover over the first mention of ‘glossary’ above. Below is a screen grab example as well.

An example of definition
  • One use case example is deciphering acronyms and project or tools names. I try to avoid acronyms on this P2 but on other P2s I follow I wonder what is FG, HE, AT, GT, etc.?
  • Even if the name is not a cryptic acronym, finding a short overview, reason for existence, history, and goals, can be challenging.
  • This tool auto-converts occurrences of glossary words in P2 posts/comments to links to the glossary items. To be clear you do not need to find use of these terms on your P2 and link them; P2 Glossary will find them for you.
  • Any matches are underlined with a dotted line, and hovering them with the cursor will load the definition in a popup.
  • Glossary definitions support rich formatting, so tooltips can have text, links and even images, so they can be very powerful.

Caveats:

  • Only the first occurrence of a term in a post is highlighted
  • Terms less than 4 characters long are case sensitive. This it so the word ‘at’ doesn’t get highlighted for AT. But longer terms will ignore case.
  • The glossary doesn’t allow duplicate definitions for the same term, so you have to input them inline in a single field.

Easy as that!

How to Test

Please report any issues by commenting on this post.

If you have any use cases in mind for P2’s glossary it would be great to learn about them.

#bug

New P2 Help Section

If you click on the Help link at the bottom of the side-bar this will now take you to P2 Help. Previously that link went to WordPress.com support but as much in P2 works differently from standard WordPress.com it makes sense to have it’s own support site.

If you ever see anything you think is missing there please comment.

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