Tortuga's Communication Flowchart


Fred Perrotta

In the Bay Area, three garbage cans is the norm. One each for composting, recycling, and landfill.

I always think of them in that order. Can this go into the compost? If yes, put it there. If not, can it go in recycling? And so on down the line. Landfill is the catchall for anything that's not compostable or recyclable.

In an effort to streamline communications at Tortuga and to prevent losing track of anything, I consider our communications flow in a similar way. The flow below is based on the tools we use for remote work.

Is this a discreet task that I can assign to a specific person with a specific due date?

  1. If yes, create Asana task
  2. If no, continue...

Is this a question, request, or conversation with one or more team members?

  1. If yes, send email
  2. If no, continue...

Is this a GIF?

  1. If yes, send via Slack, especially if it involves a sloth
  2. If no, probably still send via Slack

The goal is to put tasks in a format where they can be seen and acted upon. Everything else should go through email or Slack.

Email is preferable to encourage asynchronous communication. Starting a conversation in Slack creates time pressure to monitor chat lest you miss out on an important conversation. If consequential decisions are being made on Slack, you're doing it wrong. Making Slack the hub for those conversations discourages your team from turning off chat and doing deep work.

Is that worth it? Or could you just send an email instead and wait a day or so to resolve it? I have to resist the temptation for the instant gratification of sharing ideas and hashing them out over chat.

We have enough companies that primarily manufacture urgency. Don't be one.