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TakeTurns Tips: How to write an update

At Every Turn TakeTurns Blog
|  by
Clare Nosowitz
Clare Nosowitz
Customer Success Manager
TakeTurns Tips
TakeTurns Tips: How to write an update

One of the keys to collaborating effectively is being clear in your communications. This is especially vital when working with external stakeholders because they’re not in your organization, so there’s less implied trust between the parties. In order to be transparent and keep everyone on the same page and focused on the end goals, it’s vital to send status updates on a routine basis. 

TakeTurns makes this easy. After you’ve made all the contributions you want to the collaboration and you’re ready to pass control to the other party,  in TakeTurns parlance, you’ll click send update and write a short note to the other party you’re working with. 

It’s similar to sending a status update email. In fact, TakeTurns takes care of notifying all the participants in TakeTurns and via email notifications (so you don’t have to!) And since all of the previous turns (and their update message) are maintained in TakeTurns for the duration of your collaboration, you can always go back to a prior turn to re-read previous updates if you need to refresh your memory. It’s worth mentioning that the ability to re-read the previous updates and the chat and access older versions of the document and files is perfect for new participants who are trying to come up to speed quickly. (It certainly beats trying to navigate numerous email forwards and threads!).

Effective update notes help the other party understand what was done in your turn. Unlike most status update emails, you help the receiving party understand what should be done in their turn. Good status updates propel your collaboration forward and help identify any problems that are slowing progress. 

Below are a few tips to help you write an effective status update.

How to write a good status update

General guidelines

It’s worth mentioning that you should maintain a professional tone when communicating with your external stakeholders or parties like prospects, customers, partners, etc. Some broad-based tips include:

  • Keep it short and to the point
  • Be polite
  • Watch your tone
  • Close politely
  • Proofread before you send

Now, onto the specific advice!

Explain what you did in your turn

Summarize what you did in your turn and take full advantage of the rich text features–bold, italics, underline, lists, or colors–to emphasize or enumerate the highlights. 

Good status updates keep everyone on the same page

Provide context

While TakeTurns does a great job of keeping all the message and collaboration content together–making it easy for people to obtain context or refresh their memories about the focus of the collaboration.  It’s important to recognize that not everyone will always have things fresh in their mind at all times. Reference key items in previous turns, previous versions, or chat messages to help explain what’s happening.

“John/Beth:  In turn seven, you had comments and questions about the indemnification clause. I’ve made the appropriate edits”     

Explain what the other party should do in their turn

You can use the update note to let the other party know what they need to do in their turn. For example, 

“Hi Steve, Please fill in the attached forms and provide the requested documents for income and asset verification.”

If you have questions, it’s usually better to use the chat

If it’s your turn and you have a question for the other party that’s preventing you from working, it’s best to ask your question in the chat. This allows the other party to answer your question ASAP so you can get to work on your turn. 

Closing Thoughts

TakeTurns makes collaboration on documents and files with your clients, vendors, partners —or any party— structured, secure, and transparent. To make sure you get the most out of TakeTurns, we’ve produced these articles detailing the most important tips and tricks. As always, you can check out the help center to obtain full details on any feature mentioned in this article. If you’re not already a TakeTurns subscriber, when you’re ready for chaos-free collaboration, try TakeTurns for free

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