Frequently Asked Questions

How can I access this field guide more quickly on a mobile device?

On recent versions of iOS and Android you can add the Documenters Field Guide to your home screen and access it like an app. This also lets you access parts of the app without an internet connection.

To save on iOS

  1. Visit fieldguide.documenters.org in Safari.
  2. Click on the Share icon (the box with the arrow pointing up)
  3. Click “Add to Home Screen”

To save on Android:

  1. Visit fieldguide.documenters.org in Chrome.
  2. A dialog should pop up asking if you want to add the site to your home screen, follow the prompt.

I’ve already completed my application. Why am I getting this reminder that I need to update it?

We’ve added a brief skills survey to help our staff better track growth, gaps and needs with the Documenters Program. If you filled out a Documenters application before October 2018, you’ll need and fill out this short survey in order to complete your eligibility. The survey will be included in the Documenters Program application for all applicants after October 2018.

To update your application:

  1. Log in
  2. Click on your initials in the upper right hand corner
  3. Click on “Profile”
  4. Click on “Edit application”
  5. Click and drag the blue dots to indicate your skill in each of the six areas (photography, audio, video, notetaking, interviewing, social media)
  6. Be sure to click “Submit” at the top of the page when you’re done
  7. Once this is completed, you should see an option to apply for assignments when you click on them in the assignments tab

When I click on an assignment, there isn’t any way to apply for it. How do I apply?

You can view all open assignments on the right side of the assignments tab of Documenters.org. If you do not see this it is either because you are not logged in to your account or you have not yet updated your application.

If you do not see your initials in the upper right corner of the screen, click on the blue “Log in” button to log into your account. If you are logged in, you may need to update your application.

I just applied for an assignment. When will I know if I was selected?

We typically post assignments for the following week on Tuesday afternoon and assign roles on Friday morning so you have the weekend to prepare. If you are not selected you can apply to the waitlist in the event that a role opens up. This doesn’t happen often but if it does you’ll have shorter notice, likely 12-48 hours before the meeting.

How can I prepare for my assignment?

Review meeting documentation included with your assigned meeting, including meeting minutes, agenda, transcripts, previous Documenter content, etc (not all meetings will have documentation but most will).

Clicking on “View original meeting details” or “View source” will take you to the website where we got the meeting time and date information.

See the “Before You Begin” section of this guide for details, ideas and checklists.

How do I submit my notes or Twitter thread after attending a meeting?

From your assignment approval message (Subject line: “Your next assignment awaits! Instructions and submission guidelines”) click on the hyperlinked role next to your name (“Notetaking” or “Live-tweeting,” etc) to go directly to your submission form. You can also get there by going to “Profile” and clicking on “My assignments,” where you can view all assignments.

All notes should be submitted via the Google Doc attached to your assignment. The Google Doc is automatically generated when you are assigned and may be accessed via the email from Google, the thumbnail on your assignment page on Documenters.org, or in your Google Drive. If you type up your notes in a separate file, copy and paste them into the Google Doc.

See the “Before You Begin” section of this Field Guide for more tips, tricks and resources on preparing for your assignment.

How does the Documenters.org pay scale work?

Our three most common assignments: 1) meeting notes + audio recording 2) live-tweeting + photos 3) special assignments.

All Documenters.org assignments are independent contracts based on a pay rate of $16 per hour, however some assignments also include a minimum base rate.


Public meeting-related assignments:

  • We pay $16 per hour.
  • For meetings that run 2 hours or less, default pay is 3.5 hours: 2 hours for meeting attendance + 1.5 hours for pre-research, follow-up work, note editing, uploading, etc.
  • If a meeting runs longer, we adjust your compensation to the meeting duration (rounded up to the nearest half hour) + 1.5 hours.
  • If your assigned meeting is cancelled less than 72 hours in advance of the scheduled start time, we pay a “kill fee” of $16.

Please include the exact duration of your assigned meeting in your meeting checklist upon submission (meeting duration is confirmed through meeting minutes, official confirmation and Documenter checklists). All required content must be completed before an assignment is approved and payment is released.


Street Team and Special Assignments:

Unless otherwise noted in the assignment details, Street Team assignments and Special Assignments are paid at $16 per hour rounded up to the nearest half-hour. View your assigned meeting on Documenters.org for details and contact our Documenters Field Coordinator for questions.

When will I get paid?

After your first submission you’ll receive an email from Gusto, the system we use to manage payments. Click the link in the email to create your account and enter your social security number, address, and bank account coordinates (The information is kept securely by Gusto). Once that information is entered you’ll be set up for direct deposit, and you’ll also be able to login anytime to see your payment records or tax forms.

We run payments for all approved assignments every Monday, and, provided you’ve set up your Gusto profile, the payment will be in your account 5 days after we press the button. If there are no bank holidays, this is usually Friday. If you have any questions about payment contact your Documenters Field Coordinator.