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In trying to get my colleagues excited about using Confluence, I spend quite a lot of time showing them its advantages. Once they see how useful a page properties report can be, or collaborative editing while drafting meeting notes is, or even the simple use of labels, they start to see that working in the Confluence environment is a lot more powerful than working in Microsoft Word.
Even though the search function isn't great, the editor can be a nightmare, and most frustratingly of all, Atlassian seems to prioritise selling plugins over developing their product themselves, I really enjoy working in Confluence and discovering all of the useful macros and possibilities it has to offer.
I'd love to know what some of your favourite aspects of working in Confluence are - whether it be commenting, creating your own templates, or particular macros you can't do without. What tips and tricks do you show your team to get them excited about Confluence?
Caveat: I'm an Atlassian, but I do not work on Confluence (I'm in the design team). Figured I'd share what I love and use in Confluence, if you're curious!
- I used Confluence at a previous company, but use it very differently at Atlassian.
- In particular, I'm a HUGE fan of the 'blogs' feature in Confluence. Atlassian as a whole, and my team in particular, uses our internal instance of Confluence daily to blog announcements, celebrate wins, introduce themselves as new hires to the company, celebrate personal stuff (marriages, babies, new homes), and mourn the hard but real stuff (illnesses, family struggles). We use it to feel like a true community, who work hard and support each other as human beings. This makes doing the work itself much better, since we relate to each other as humans (and because we know what's happening in the company via announcement blogs!).
- From a template perspective, I love having some structured formats that I simply fill in for standard work -- like the 'meeting notes' template, or the 'better retros' template. This gives me just enough guidance, but still lots of flexibility, to have more effective discussions and focus on the work itself.
- I use macros like the 'panel' to call out if some work is closed for discussion, and the 'status' macro to show it's a draft (or final/decided).
- I've now become a big fan of using the 'Trello board' macro to insert a trello board into a Confluence page, giving increased interactivity and visibility on my team's work (we also use Jira, of course!).
- I use the 'Table of Contents' macro when I find myself getting verbose and yet dont want to break the page into multiple pages. Gives a nice outline. I use the 'expand' macro regularly for the same reason -- hmm. Maybe I'm too wordy? :)