More and more individuals are looking to create a "How to work with me" document, which allows you to share how you do your best work with others. In a series of short articles, I'll share tips we've uncovered from working with hundreds of people to create their own personal user manuals.

The first step - is to think about it's purpose.

1/ Consider its purpose.

Manual of Me is a document which explains how people can work best with you — it outlines not what you do, but how you do. You can include almost anything in a Manual of Me, it’s a hugely flexible document, but starting by thinking about the issues you commonly face is a good start.

For example, if you’re frequently joining new teams, perhaps you’re a freelancer or contractor, your Manual of Me might be focused on introducing yourself and what role you play in a team.

If you’re trying to tackle communication issues in your team, and using Manual of Me as a document which highlights working preferences, your document might want to focus on which channels you use, how you like to start conversations, and any boundaries you have.

If you’re embracing remote work as a team, perhaps your Manual of Me is going to focus on the challenges you think you might encounter and aim to establish some shared ways of working between you.

Figuring out the purpose of your Manual of Me before you go any further will really help you to choose what you include in your manual, how you support each other in answering the questions, where it will live, and how you’ll keep it updated over time.

Communicating this purpose internally within your team and colleagues is really helpful too — especially if you’re asking others to create their own Manuals or even just when you’re sharing yours, so you can be clear on why you’ve created this document, and the benefits it will bring.

Manual of Me has a number of pre-designed options for purposes including joining a new team, building stronger relationships within a team, introducing yourself, asking yourself challenging questions, and more — or you can pick a custom set of questions tailored to exactly your own need.

You might even end up with multiple manuals, for different needs, something which Manual of Me for Teams can handle — a different set of questions for each purpose, so you’re always sharing the most useful insights.

Once you’ve aligned on the purpose of the document, the next step is to select your questions… Coming soon in Part 2.