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Customer Love Month: Top tips for new users 🆕

 

Hello Confluence community! 👋

As a part of Customer Love Month, we’re spreading the love to our 🆕  Confluence users.

Do you remember your first time using Confluence? If you’re anything like me you probably signed up, logged in, looked at the space in front of you and thought “Woah, what should I do first?” 😰

We’ve all been new users before. And, like anything in life, there’s a learning curve⤴️! But to be the seasoned pro we all want to be (hello, that’s why we’re in this community!), we need somewhere to get the insider info! That’s why the New to Confluence community group exists and you can check it out, here. 😎

How can you get involved as a part of Customer Love Month? Glad you asked! Complete one of the below tasks to get some limited edition Confluence swag! ✅

  1. ✍🏻 If you’re a new Confluence user, join the New to Confluence community group post a question you have about Confluence in the comments.

  2. 🗣 If you’re a seasoned Confluence user, share a piece of advice with our new users in the comments of this post!

  3. ✨ BONUS: share your favorite Confluence tips on LinkedIn or Twitter by tagging @Confluence and using the hashtag #CustomerLoveMonth

24 comments

Andy Gladstone Community Leader Feb 07, 2022

Hey New User, welcome to Confluence! Your life is about to change. The path you have chosen will lead you to enlightenment and a sense of fulfillment and purpose you have never before experienced. Before your journey begins, let me impart one piece of sage advice

Perfection is the enemy of Completion.

Staring at a blank screen can be daunting. Don't let the fear of committing font to screen (is that the modern pen to paper?) hold you back. Your here because you have something to share. And sharing is caring. And it's reciprocal. The more you share, the more you will gain from others who share too. 

So don't let Perfection be the enemy of Completion. Just put your thoughts, ideas, and knowledge on the page. You can always format it later. Or a team member can help with formatting. But only YOU contain the knowledge that you possess. 

Don't be afraid to start typing - you'll see that the momentum will carry you and your organization to higher planes and experiences. 

In the immortal words of Nike

download.jpeg

Like # people like this

Advice:

  • Labels, labels, labels! They have their uses in Jira but in Confluence, you can truly unleash their full potential. Use them with purpose and take advantage of all the organization benefits they offer.
  • Include Page macro! Probably my favorite macro, ever. So many times you may need to share a single page of info in multiple spaces. No more needing to keep track of multiple pages with the same content. Updating those is a nightmare. Instead, have that info live in Confluence where it makes the most sense. Then, use the Include Page macro to share across your site. One source of truth. 
Like # people like this

Advice:

Don't rely too much on plug-ins, and don't put too many demands on Confluence, make good use of the functions provided by its own system, and serve the team through standardized processes, reasonable tool implementation plans, and moderate customization.

Clarify the positioning of Confluence in the company. For example, in my company, as an enterprise-level knowledge base and collaboration tool, we hope that it will: provide a collaborative environment for teams, realize organizational knowledge sharing, and break information silos; as an enterprise knowledge base, promote sharing , we don't want each space administrator to do too many permission presets.

Operate and manage Confluence: Empathize with users: Don’t directly reject the needs of users, tell users the design concept behind Confluence, and the correct operation method, and at the same time, for suggestions on improvement requirements, you can submit discussions or work orders in the official/community, and communicate with users Track together and keep track, so that users have a sense of participation.

Learn to refuse, justified, such as the user's following request:

  • How can I make my information page completely private?
  • Why can't the page editing permission be inherited?

If your instance has a large number of users, such as 5000+, the requirements for system stability and high availability are the highest. On the contrary, we do not need to expand too much, so that future upgrades are more convenient.

If you use Data Center: For upgrades, the latest LTS is preferred, and the version upgrade plan is well-planned, and advice from partners is consulted. Pay attention to the key functions of the official release note in each version and the bugs that have been announced in the current version In addition to the stability of the version, when upgrading, we will try to choose a version that can include more new features. For example, the latest 7.13 LTS integrates the original 2 paid plug-ins: Analytics, calendar, etc. This will be Our preferred upgrade version.

Like # people like this
Rilwan Ahmed Community Leader Feb 07, 2022

Don't use confluence as a file storage system. It's a wiki. 

Like # people like this

My tip is about navigation in Confluence. When the system is getting larger. It is always a challenge to navigate through the pages which are relevant to you. Where is the page I edited or where is this great documentation again.
I don't like to use the favorite star so much because I have to add everything to it and start to search again :-D.
I have played around with different macros but got a breakthrough with 🥁 the shortcut

 G + R

It means "Go + Recently" shows you all pages in historical order. This will open the menu "Recently". This is organized in four different parts: Viewed, Worked On, Drafts, and Starred

recently.png

Here you can easily search through the pages you visited before. The shortcut speeds me up a lot. I don't have to think of page structures or what is the relevant space. I suggest try it and let me know what your experience is with it.

Like # people like this

If you are new to Confluence - you are so lucky! It's an infinite opportunity to learn and explore 💙

 

As a Confluence super-user, I have a set of rules I'm always relying on:

 

1. Build a good parent-child relationship. 

Having organized page trees is vital to your comfort and speed in navigating around Confluence. It makes your teammates lives more manageable as well.

2. Use Macros

Table of Contents, Dates, Roadmap, Status, the list of Confluence Macros I'm using daily is significantly longer. Macros are your second step to efficiency.

3. Spend time on Formatting

Invest a few more minutes in polishing your content with simple formattings like tables, rows and columns, info panels, expanders and headings. If you want more people reading your content - make it attractive :) 

 

Bonus Pro-Tip: Use Templates! They are like a warm hug by the Confluence team, always here to save the day.

Like # people like this

All the advice so far is solid.  However, if you are like me and a perfectionistic, put that aside and JUST START. 

 

1. Pick a template and play with it.  My confluence site has changed several times. Why?  Because the customer needs have changed.  So.... just start. 

2. And, don't fall in with anything you create.  You may need to change it.

Like # people like this

For me, a really helpful tip is to learn shortcuts...

  1. To see what shortcuts are available, click Shift + ?
  2. To edit a page just click e
  3. When editing a page click / to add a macro, just start typing and voila! your favourite macros appear
  4. Also, when editing and want to publish, just click Command + Enter
  5. When viewing a page and want to search other pages, click /
  6. When viewing a page and want to add a comment, click m

There are many more, but these are the ones that I use the most!

Like # people like this

For me, these tipps are really helpful.

  1. Try to structure your contents, so its easy to find again
  2. Keep your content up to date, if there is to much outdated content, people will not read/use it anymore as it is not reliable 
  3. Try to make clear if content is still in the works or ready
  4. Differentiate between discussion/living content and documentation 
  5. Use as much macros as needed but as less as possible, macros might slow down the page
  6. As mentioned before, g + r is also one of my favorite shortcuts. Also get familiar with the others
Like # people like this

When I was getting started in Confluence (a mere 7 months ago), I took time to go through the Atlassian trainings which were super helpful for taking me from 😳 to 🤓. Thankfully, I was starting with a rather fresh start in my company, but it still felt very overwhelming.

My other tips include:

  • Learning about macros (I love children display and decision reports!)
  • Thinking through organization and page structure ahead of time but also know there's room for iteration
  • Templates!! Use the already available templates or make your own to set the stage for clear documentation every time
  • Direct users to your documentation - if they have access to the info they need to problem solve something themselves, then rather than give them the answer, direct them to where they can find it themselves the next time
Like # people like this

When I first set up Confluence I did not take into consideration the future and the need  I would have for so much documentation.  My advice is to set up your index of pages with the future in mind.  Allow for meetings, notes, technical needs, showstoppers and always start off with your space page and define what the project is the details the team members and THE GOAL :)

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Gaurav Community Leader Feb 08, 2022

"No two pages in a single space can have the same name"; this is something which I learnt by experience and would encourage new users to plan and decide the naming conventions accordingly, something which is easily scalable as the project/ space grows.

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1. Format your pages.

2. Use Macros.

3. Use Templates to beautify your pages.

Like # people like this

Hi @Jena Pender 

    Whether you're using confluence for the first time or more often, keep a few things in mind:

    1.- Learn to use all its functionalities
    2.- Structure your information
    3.- Use tags to facilitate searches
    4.- Make your own templates to adapt it to your needs
    5.- Explore, investigate, do not stay in the basic functionalities
    6.- Use the macros

    In a word, watch videos, read the official tutorial, but love confluence and take advantage of its full potential for your benefit and that of your team.

    Cheer up !!! 💙

Cheers

Like # people like this

Several people in comments already mentioned the usage of templates. And one said that pages need unique titles. 

My pro tip combines those two: When using templates you can set dynamic titles. (not sure if that is the actual term for it ;)) For weekly meeting notes we have a macro that creates a new page from the meeting note template. When editing the macro there's a field called "Title of page to be created". In there we usually put in @currentDate Meeting Notes and then the name of the meeting. Now when someone uses the macro to create a page it will automatically have the current date in the title. It's very nifty and helps you keeping page names unique :) 

Like # people like this

My tips for getting best out of confluence is:

  • Define page structure very well it is important to set up a clear and organized page structure so content is grouped by subject and relevance.
  • Use Page Templates - Page templates are best way to getting started add content as confluence offers many templates. One can start with them and build a custom page templates as per the requirement.
  • Make the best use of Confluence Macros - Confluence has set of macros that offers range of functionalities, which can make the page more dynamic and enhance the look & feel.
  • Grant Permission wiselyMake sure to give users the exact permissions they need to perform their work, and minimize the number of system and space administrators to no more than five people.
Like # people like this
Jimmy Seddon Community Leader Feb 09, 2022

Ok my best tip for new users is to check out the Confluence Fundamentals course on the Atlassian University: https://university.atlassian.com/student/path/861302-confluence-fundamentals

It's free and it really helps you understand the terminology as well as how to get started.

Like # people like this

I think the most important thing for a Confluence newbie/explorer is literally just hitting that backslash command! See what comes up!

There are so many keystrokes I still don't have memorized, but that trusty backslash has helped me and my teammates pick up Confluence fast and take advantage of some of its built-in macros and interactive elements. :)

Like # people like this
Vinod Ramadoss Community Leader Feb 09, 2022

In my early days of Confluence, i was using Confluence for Repository management. With experience I realised the true potential and its versatility. I am a big user of Confluence macros for info graphics and inferences.

One quick tip is, try understanding the underlying Confluence structure, this will assist in structuring and organizing the pages effectively. 

Like # people like this

I will provide tips based on things I have seen done at my company that I felt the need to provide deeper training on: 

  1.  As someone mentioned above - find out what your company expects from Confluence, and how information is organized. If there are no standards or guidelines, find out who you can talk to to establish some. It may seem harmless to have no rhyme or reason to info architecture for a small company, but its easy to lose control quickly. 
  2. Understand Permissions structure, and the difference between Space Permissions and Page Permissions. This will help you understand why people can or cannot see or edit your pages in your spaces. 
  3. Use page sections when laying out pages. If you need 3 columns, choose the 3-column section rather than creating three columns using a macro. If the next section is a report that needs to span the page, use the single column section layout for that section. The result is a clean professional result that behaves well. 
  4. When creating complex pages, be careful of page size and # of macros used on a page. The single biggest issue we see is when someone has a 10-ft-long page with hundreds of instances of the "status" macro on it and wonders why the page crashes, doesnt save or doesnt load at all. Remember that plug-ins you add to the base product are usually created by different companies and they cant test every plugin against every other existing plugin. Sometimes they dont play nice together in a page, especially if the page is overloaded with macros. (This is likely not as big an issue on Cloud - IDK - we use Server, migrating to DC)
  5. Dont panic if you think you lost content. You can probably get it back. Confluence saves every version of every page each time you publish, saves your unpublished Drafts every __ seconds (# depends on your config) and even "deleted" pages sit in a trash can until it is purged (check  with your Space Owner to see if your page is still in the "Trash" - if so a Space Admin or Owner can restore it) :-)
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Disclaimer: ^^Tips above are based on a SERVER config. I do not know if they apply to CLOUD instances. 

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Ajay _view26_ Community Leader Feb 10, 2022

For us, we make sure the content gets on Confluence first.. rather than getting scattered on Jira Issue comments & Google Docs! Then have monthly sessions to organize and label the content to keep it fresh & searchable!

Tips for new users - A fun way to understand the best practices  - "https://www.k15t.com/rock-the-docs/documentation-guide"

Cheers

Ajay

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Matt Reiner _K15t_ Marketplace Partner Feb 10, 2022

When you or someone else makes a great page—great formatting, use of macros, etc—consider whether it would be useful for the entire team, or even the organization.

Those are the perfect pages to turn into a space or site-wide page template. Really good page templates are rarely created in a single, purposeful creative session. They often come organically from the team and are improved over time.

So keep your eye out for the best pages and templatize (is that a word?) them. Oh, and use the Create from Template or Create from Template Pro macros to make them even more accessible to everyone.

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So maaaany great tips! 💙 I really have nothing more to add.

The only other thing I can think of: First of all use the (advanced) search to find content. Maybe there is already someone who has documented information. And, if there is already content, it should be mandatory to refer to it. Either with a link, with the Excerpt Include macro or with the Include Page macro.

And, if you come across a page you like, make sure to leave a comment or like for your colleague/team member. A small gesture that shows appreciation and encourages collaboration.

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