What this article covers:
- What's a Check-in
- Why share a Check-in?
- The sections of a Check-in
- Writing a great Check-in
- Checking off items
What’s a Check-In?
A Check-in is meant to be a useful status update for you and your team. They’re designed to help you sort out your day or week by quickly developing a list of what you’re going to do and what you’ve done.
Most people tend to write and share their Check-in in the morning.
Why share a Check-in?
Check-ins help you plan your day, focus better, and feel less overwhelmed. Sharing a Check-in with your team helps them understand your priorities and progress. And as team members all share a Check-in, they stay in sync with what everyone is doing.
Developing a habit of regular check-ins means you also log your work, so you can easily review everything you’ve done in one place, which is especially useful for performance reviews.
The sections of a Check-in
Under My Check-in you’ll see it’s marked as DRAFT. This means it’s currently in draft mode and not yet shared with the rest of your team.
In the first section, Plan, you’ll see a list of circles. Each circle denotes a place to enter in a note for your Check-in that details an entry for what you plan to do. Use it as an opportunity to plan what you’re going to do on a given day.
The next section is What Happened, and also has circles. This is where you share the list of progress you’ve made recently (maybe yesterday or last week).
The final section is the daily question and your mood. You can choose to share a mood with an emoji every day (or not) and answer a team question (or not). These are great ways to help your team understand how you’re doing and get to know them better.
Writing a great Check-in
For both sections, a good practice when you write an item is to try to make each one clearly understood on its own, and meaningful to whoever on your team might read it. This’ll also make it easier to review your own past work later on. It’s not necessary to list out everything you need to do, and you can group items if that makes sense.
When you start out, try 2-5 items. A good approach is to name the item, such as “Draft agenda for team meeting.” It can also be helpful to clarify the stage, such as “Start first draft of go-to-market plan.” How much information you provide is completely up to you, but it can help you build the habit if you standardize a format.
Checking off items
If you’ve finished off a Plan item, you can check it off and it’ll move down to the What Happened section. If you’ve got a project that’s going to last for a while, you can leave it in your plan and use the What Happened section to describe the progress you’ve made. For example, you may include a document you’ve made, pull request you’ve opened, or issue you’ve closed.
When you set up your integrations, you see items in the right panel of the Check-in page. Depending on what you’ve integrated, it will list things like Google Calendar items, Google Docs, Asana projects, or GitHub items. With just a click, you can easily add these to your lists to create your Check-in.
Building the habit
As with any new practice, it can take some time to get the hang of it. There’s no “wrong” way to do Check-ins, so a good approach is to experiment. Try it at different times, with different formats, and then get feedback from your team. You can then align on a format that works best for you.
Learn more — Here are some additional articles to help you get up to speed on making the most of Check-ins.