Task description cheat sheet

Good task descriptions allow us to stay organized and work efficiently across multiple members simultaneously. Most importantly, they allow us to easily search our task lists and find specific items we are working on for a member.

Frustratingly ambiguous task descriptions

RECEIPT FOR PRINTING

Receipts receipts receipts!

Please pay

Check deposit

(no subject)

Please send check

Invoice

May Invoice

Verizon bill

Urgent

Hi Abby

Did I send this?

For payroll

FW:[blank]

Awesomely unambiguous task descriptions & task details

Below are a few examples of good task descriptions that contain contextual information that reduces ambiguity and makes tasks more searchable. A useful pattern is to begin your description with what it is you are submitting, followed by a colon.

Bills/payment requests - "Bill Submission: Vendor - Date (Payment option)"

"Bill submission: Landlords R Us - December 2016"

  • Account: Props
  • Program: Cheaper by the Dozen
  • Activity: The Kitchen
  • Memo: Novelty Scissors

"Bill submission: Landlords R Us - December 2016 (Check to Print)" - when a pdf check is needed

  • Account: Props
  • Program: Cheaper by the Dozen
  • Activity: The Kitchen
  • Memo: Novelty Scissors

Transaction Receipts - "[Bank Account]: Vendor - Amount"

"Amex Receipt: Joe's Wig Emporium - $45.98"

  • Account: Props
  • Program: Cheaper by the Dozen
  • Activity: The Kitchen
  • Memo: Novelty Scissors

"Chase Receipts: Home Depot $78 & Dominos $25" 

  • Account: Props
  • Program: Cheaper by the Dozen
  • Activity: The Kitchen
  • Memo: Novelty Scissors

Payroll Reimbursements - "Reimbursement: Employee Name - Amount"

"Reimbursement: Abby Felder - $1,000,000"

  • Account: Props
  • Program: Cheaper by the Dozen
  • Activity: The Kitchen
  • Memo: Novelty Scissors

Receivable invoices - "To Be Invoiced: Customer"

"To be invoiced: Huge Performing Arts Venue"

  • Contact: Megan Runyan: megan@artspool.co
  • Description: Novelty Scissors
  • Qty/Fee: $5000
  • Due by: Net 30
  • Account: Props
  • Program: Cheaper by the Dozen
  • Activity: The Kitchen

New employees

Hmm, it's best not to email this one in. Use the New Hire Form instead.

New independent contractor

"New contractor: Errol Flynn - start date 12/1/16"

Grant budget and report requests

We've got a fancy web form for this one too. Read all about it.

Grant awards

"Grant Award: Rockefeller Foundation 2016"

DocuSign requests

"For DocuSign: Offer Letter for Sam Flynn"

"For DocuSign: Contract with Joe's Wig Emporium"

Request for COI/Additional insured

"COI request: General Liability - 2016 Gala"

"Certificate of Insurance request: Workers' Comp - Cheaper by the Dozen"

Contracts

"Theatre Contract: SoHo Rep - 12/1/2017 - 12/31/2017"

"Vendor Contract: Vendor Name"

 


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