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Habits of Effective Technical Writers

Posted by
Anastasia in Technical Writing on 11/12/20193 min read

white armchair at desk banner

Developing good habits and getting rid of the bad ones is something that applies not only to our personal lives but our careers as well. Today we'd like to talk about good habits that technical writers can work on to improve performance and prevent burnouts.

Behold! These habits will change things for the better.

Creating Checklists

It is a truly great skill that can help you stay on top of your schedule. It doesn't matter whether analog or digital, what matters is going back to the lists and crossing out completed items.

Since help authoring is mainly a mental activity it can lack the satisfaction of finishing something material and tangible, checklists can partly make up for it. Although organizing things is still their primary function, of course.

Using Spell-checkers

This should always be the final touch. You change something - you spell-check. People often forget to spell-check after each iteration. Sometimes you think, 'Well, I will be changing things around in this help topic later anyway, I'll spell-check then.' It is easy to lose track of whether you checked the spelling at all as you have more important things to do. It is great to have active spell-checking enabled, but that is not the case for everyone. So, with any content change, before you hit that 'Save' button, do yourself a favor and use a spell-checker!

Bookmarking

Bookmarking useful and/or interesting pages. This can be your favorite low-fi radio for concentration when writing help topics, apps that will capitalize titles for you correctly, online notes, apps that make the display switch to warm colors in the evening, etc. You won't use all of them, but some can turn out helpful!

Decluttering Your Desk

And don’t forget about the desktop as well! Productivity and good mood can be buried under piles of clutter on your work desk. Keeping things clean and in order gives a guaranteed boost of concentration and great vibes!

Tracking Time

black apple watch

Track the time you spend on various tasks. This habit is going to turn into something more later, namely, you will become better at time management. Plus, if you have been tracking tasks in an app, you will be able to get some overview metrics after some time. Analyzing those can help you move things in the right direction.

Listening to Your Body

People tend to forget to register what their body is feeling when they are working hard. We created a blog post on the top ergonomic devices for technical writers, definitely go check it out and see how you can improve your current environment.

Healthy Snacks

plate with nuts and strawberry

Having healthy snacks seems to be the right thing to mention after the previous tip. Superfoods will keep you energized and productive as well, this is simply a healthier choice in general to munch on berries, a nut mix, some veggies instead of sugary cookies/chocolate bars.

Conclusion

Any more work-related good habits you would like to share with us? It is nice to talk about positive changes. If you have any great tips for fellow technical writers, feel free to write them in the comments below.

Good habits are very much like a garden you should tend to. They will fade if left unattended. Let this post be a friendly reminder to plant the seeds of healthy and positive habits and water them daily!

Good luck with your technical writing!
ClickHelp Team
Author, host and deliver documentation across platforms and devices

 

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