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Getting Started with Confluence (Atlympics submission)


Does this sound familiar?

I know there’s a doc in Slack-- just gotta find it in one of the 328 channels.
Pretty sure somebody put that info in a spreadsheet somewhere.
I’ll just grab a new screenshot to recreate this how-to for the fourth time.

Instead, what if you could save hours every week by easily finding the answers you need, eliminate duplicate work, team up with experts, and contribute to a community that’s focused on learning and growth?

All of this becomes possible when we share knowledge in a fully accurate and continuously updated single-source-of-truth 🌈 

Confluence is the platform we’ll use to achieve this collective goal. Learn the ins and outs of Confluence with this very helpful quick-start guide.

Before we all jump in, let’s establish some guidance on when and how to use Confluence.

Setting Expectations

Sharing knowledge isn’t a new task to add to your already full plate.

In fact, it’s something we already do; we just waste a lot of time and energy doing it ineffectively. Without a strategy, we spend extra hours every week searching for, recreating, and re-sharing knowledge because we can’t find what was shared previously. That’s why everyone benefits from contributing to a single-source-of-truth.

Use Cases

Sharing knowledge requires that we think ahead and think of others.

It’s critical to understand the “who, what, when, why, and how” for tasks across the organization. And that knowledge needs to be easily accessible by everyone.

Here are just a few examples of knowledge that should be added to Confluence:

  • Release notes, playbooks, how-to guides, customer interviews, retrospectives, product requirements, training plans, battlecards, project decisions, personas, style guides, company policies, and on and on!

  • Use cases by business function

Still wondering what should go in Confluence? If it’s learnable, then it’s knowledge, and it belongs in Confluence.

Okay, let’s start making some pages! 📄

Creating Pages

Your content lives in pages (like the one you’re reading here). Pages are living documents that are easy to create, edit, collaborate on, and organize. You can create pages for almost anything, from project plans to meeting decisions, troubleshooting guides, policies, and more.

Ready? Let’s get started with these guidelines:

  • Look before you leap:

    • Avoid unnecessary work by doing a quick search to confirm the page doesn’t already exist or that a similar page can’t be updated with your new content.

  • Be deliberate:

    • When you create a page, clearly identify its purpose and consider the audience, and then structure accordingly.

  • Structure for value:

    • Keep it brief and format your page to help readers understand the depth of your genius 🧠

    • Use page templates to save time and align with similar pages.

  • Organize for outsiders:

    • Locate your page within an accessible page hierarchy so that others (especially those outside your team) can easily find it.

    • Pages should be organized under a parent page whenever possible, and they should fit in with the purpose of the space they’re in.

  • Be accountable:

    • By creating a page, you take responsibility for its upkeep and accuracy.

    • If you’re not confident about a page’s accuracy, make that clear. Add a “review” status and @mention an expert to get help.

Ultimately, don’t be afraid to mess up. We’re all learning this together. Plus, Confluence allows you to review and compare past versions of pages, so you can always pull a u-turn

When you have questions, reach out to your friendly Confluence Admin, @Nathan Phipps

1 comment


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edward_talley July 28, 2021

This is a solid introduction.  I'll likely crib some of this and adapt the approach to my current org.

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