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How do you use Confluence for documentation?

Karen O'Keefe Jan 04, 2019

I'm looking for a way to use Confluence to manage documentation. I'm poking around and am having a hard time knowing where to start.

2 answers

2 votes
Kesha Thillainayagam Atlassian Team Jan 04, 2019

Hi @Karen O'Keefe !

Would love to help. Can you tell me what kind of documentation you're trying to manage (i.e project documentation, team documentation, HR stuff, etc.)?

Karen O'Keefe Jan 04, 2019

I'm a technical writer in an IT department. We will have a variety of documentation:

  • Process docs
  • Technical specs
  • Workflows
  • System docs
  • Possibly user docs
  • Schedules
  • Checklists
  • SCRUM docs
  • Etc
Kesha Thillainayagam Atlassian Team Jan 04, 2019

Got it - so it looks like there may be a mix of docs that are just relevant to your team and some that are relevant to your customers/employees (whoever your users are)?

If you have docs that are being written to be consumed by those outside your team then I'd create a space specifically for those docs. For example, we have a Workplace Technology space that is purely for the whole company to refer to if they have questions about process, systems, software, etc. In that space, we have setup the page tree hierarchy to be parent page for the topic and then child pages underneath that go into detail on the subtopics:

  • Parent page: Setting up your computer
    • Setting up printer
    • Backing up files
    • article 3
    • article 4 and so on
  • Video Conferencing
    • article 1
    • article 2, etc.

For the documentation that's more to be consumed by you and your team on specs, processes, etc. you can really set it up the same way, but I'd do it in a separate IT team space. In this space is where you keep all documentation relevant to your team's schedule, workflows, processes, etc.

The page tree organization can work the same way with Processes, Tech specs, etc. as parent pages and underneath you have your different processes and specs.

OR your parent page can be related to what the process is for. For example, if you work more project based, maybe you have a parent page that is:

  • Project x
    • process for project x
    • tech specs for project x
    • workflow for project x, etc. 

Does that help answer your question? Let me know if I'm not understanding correctly!

1 vote
James Bullock Jan 04, 2019

Hi Karen:

I'm poking around and am having a hard time knowing where to start.

(Trick) Think of Confluence as a weird kind of file cabinet on steroids. (Trick) Start with some little bit of work you are doing that would be useful to record, retrieve, share and track. Put that in Confluence. (Trick) Start poking at some features. When one looks useful, try it with something you are doing.

This is the approach you and Kesha are taking above. So, do that, then wash, rinse, repeat. (Trick) As you get smarter about using the tools, touch up the stuff you did before. Confluence is a great tool to support ways of working that you are refining over time.

(Trick) I like to keep two backlog lists:

  • Work, work, I could do using Confluence as I use it right now
  • Confluence work, to use new features, configurations or similar doing the work, work
  • (Trick) You might want to split out a third backlog of "...features I haven't poked at, yet." Or you could keep those things in your "confluence work" backlog.

FWIW, this comment is the beginning of an article with a couple examples -- thanks for the inspiration -- that I wrote direclty in Confluence. I have recently started using Confluence as a CRM, and to curate my correspondence, comments, and posts. Wash, rinse, repeat, as I said.

James Bullock Jan 04, 2019


Ideas: some useful examples of Confluence use, including doc-wrangling. Maybe try doing like they're doing. Here

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