Recommended Best Practices by Update:
Titles: Clear, Concise, and Consistent
Clear -- Be direct with your language. If a recurring Action, provide the timeframe. If related to a topic or specific bill, include that information. (Ex: Weekly Transportation Call 11/6)
Concise -- Don't use full sentences or long phrases. Your audience will likely be sifting through numerous Actions. Save your audience time with brief titles. (Ex: Funding Update - Sen. Collins' Transportation LA)
Consistent -- Use a consistent naming mechanism. Don't make your audience guess which Actions are similar. Instead, provide them with a consistent framework from which they can take in all the information. (Ex: "Met about US S 4155 trajectory", "Spoke about 2/24 hearing, Trucking in America")
Your audience could be a pivotal stakeholder who reads an Actions Export to review efforts taken by your team, or a colleague who needs to catch up on your organization's network. Account for these differences with clear, concise, and consistent Titles to make future reports easy for anyone to read.
Most importantly, don't overthink it! Are there details about the interaction you need to share? Have important takeaway information to add? In that case, always use the Summary. Titles should be so simple that you don't have to exert energy into deciding what additional information to include. Flesh those details out in the Summary instead.
Use an Action as a Template
Especially for recurring meetings, first identify what needs to be included in the Summary. For example, are there also recurring questions? Do you need to document contributions of each person involved in the meeting? Identify what these needs are, and create an Action that fully documents those details when the first meeting or phone call occurs. Use this Action as your template and duplicate it for future or recurring meetings. Update the new Action with the new meeting details.
Document Your Labels Strategy
Labels are used by nearly every FiscalNote client. Because they help document and organize your unique work, there have been a number of different approach methods. However, we typically recommend the following as ideal strategies for using Labels:
- Sub-Category (Ex: 'Manufacturing' for an Airbags-related conversation)
- Region (Ex: NE, SW, etc.)
- Business Unit (Ex: Product, Finance, Legal)
- Lobbying Disclosure Codes (Ex: LD-2)
Whichever approach you settle on, document it in FiscalNote. We recommend using 1 of 2 options:
- Upload a document to Drive that details the labels strategy.
- Share the labels strategy in the Overview of an Issue which all team members have access to.
Both methods ensure you or your colleagues won't get lost when looking for the information -- everything will be right in FiscalNote.