I need help getting our knowledgebase structured correctly from the start

Hey folks, brand new to Confluence. We signed up for the trial and I'm excited to move forward with this product.

We're a small business: me, my wife and 3 other employees. We do corrective-exercise based therapy for people in pain (it's called The Egoscue Method). We own the clinic in Austin, TX.   We're looking at using this product to fill two primary needs:

1: the repository for our knowledgebase, our policies and procedures. We're working on getting this all together and the question then becomes, how do employees access it? We're looking at this product as a way to not only let people easily find what they need to do their jobs, but to help assist in continually improving the quality of the content. We signed up for the version that includes the Questions/Comments functionality.

2: a therapy resource library. I'm currently using a shared notebook in Evernote but I think this might work better. So for example, if I find a good article on hip function that I want available to therapists, I want to put it up here so they can read it on demand. If a therapist has questions about scoliosis, for example, I'd like them to be able to come here and search on that keyword and find everything we've put up here related to it.

Right now I'm starting with putting up a few "how to" articles in our knowledgebase to get a feel for how that works. I'm unclear about how to optimize the structure. We really need to have our knowledgebase divided up into a few sections: Therapy Processes, Administrative Processes, Management Processes.  I don't want everything in a big pile and then having to use labels to go find everything. I'd like it to be better and more intuitively organized than that. I'm thinking of a simple structure like

  1. Company Knowledgebase
    1. Therapy Processes
    2. Administrative Processes
    3. Management Processes
  2. Information Library
    1. Anatomy Resources
    2. Personal/Professional Growth
    3. Productivity
    4. Inspiration

Something like this. But being new to this platform and basically Confluence-stupid, I'm not clear how to get what I'm going for. Do we have two spaces for the main sections, and then somehow create structure within those? Can there be pages and sub pages? I'm sure this is really clear if I knew where to look so I apologize for asking what is surely a really elemental and probably dumb question. I'm just a bit overwhelmed by the product right now and looking for a quick way to get traction. I appreciate any guidance.  And if anyone here works as a freelance consultant who can charge by the hour to help us get off to a proper start, I'm happy to go that route, too. I'm not trying to monopolize anyone's time. Thank you.

8 answers

Hi Rick,

You structure is good enough. Don't worry too much about it because:

  • You can reorganize pages afterwards, so there's no such thing as a mistake. To reorganize, click on the left sidebar on "Pages", then find the "Browse and Reorder all pages" on the right. Then you can drag'n'drop pages at will. Note that content owners are notified when a page moves, so they can just tell you when they don't agree and they'll be happy when you do it.
  • Second, people use the Quick Search a lot to find pages they've written or topics they need. We don't browse the page tree that often.
  • Some chapters will be eutrophied because your colleagues used them quite a lot; Others will wither. The best wiki is a tool which doesn't "take" time to anyone: The right balance is when employees read it as much as they write into it, because people who write only feel rewarded when others read their documents thoroughly. What I'm trying to say is, preparing the structure isn't as important as ensuring everyone's benefiting from it.

Congratulations on choosing Confluence, I'm confident you'll enjoy writing in it.

 

Thanks Adrien, but I think perhaps I didn't communicate clearly. The structure I laid out is what I WANT to create in Confluence, but I don't know how to do it. I have a "space" for our knowledge base, but at this point it just looks like every page I create will just be all jumbled together into the same big bucket, which I don't want. I want to create the structure I outlined above but I don't know how to do that in Confluence.

So, how do I create that structure so that I can then put the appropriate pages into the appropriate containers?

Pages have child pages. When you click the Create button, the new page is placed as a child of the current page. So: * Go to the home page of your space (the home page is most probably named "Company Knowledgebase"), * Click the create button and choose "Blank page", * Set the title "Therapy Process". You can see the direct children of a page in the left sidebar. You can also configure the sidebar to display all a full tree of the children pages. If you feel like your pages are jumbled together in the same bucket, click the "Pages" link in the left sidebar, then find the "Browse and Reorder all pages" on the right. Then you can drag'n'drop pages to structure them the way you want.

Just be aware that future restructuring that includes creating additional spaces, or combining spaces, may change the URL of pages that are moved. Each page's address includes the space name, so moving pages from one space to another will break links that have been embedded on other pages.

Confluence is able to rewrite links in case of renaming, redirect from the former page to the newer, or display a search to the user with the selection of the possible pages - https://confluence.atlassian.com/display/DOC/Renaming+a+Page

Provided he uses relative links, good point. Which is a great opportunity to say: be sure to use relative links rather than explicit :-)

Hi,

I'm one of the Yoikee Creator developers, and, as @Steve Boydon says, you can use Yoikee Creator to design your domain, and create organized spaces out of that design. You can have a look in the following video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0_B-bBwMUo

or in this blog post

http://blogs.atlassian.com/2014/07/organize-new-confluence-spaces-fast/

We are working on the 2.0 version, a huge improvement in many aspects, but with a new feature that lets users select in each node the type of page: JIRA report, meeting notes or any other page blueprints. Thus, not only spaces but also pages are created with an initial structure, making easier start contributing right away.

If you have any doubt, just let me know!

Cheers,

Gorka

Hi Rick

On the left-hand navbar you should be able to see that you can create a "child" page for any page. This means that you can easily create any hierarchical structure. If you make a mistake you can easily move pages around, so just give it a go! I'm also new to Confluence and haven't yet fully grasped when it's right to use a 'Space' to organise something rather than just a page with child-pages, but your suggestion seems appropriate.

 

ah, ok. So then with this approach, I would create a space for our knowledge base, then parent pages for the main categories, then children pages within those for the actual 'how to' articles?

That seems like it should work. I'm asking about this now as opposed to just kind of floundering around and trying stuff out because in my research, I read a review of a Confluence user who said he really liked the product and still used it but cautioned that setting things up well from the start makes life a lot easier down the road.

But unless someone else has a different idea, I'll try this approach and go from there.  Thanks for the idea!

Have you had a look at a Yoikee mindmaps. It allows you to brainstorm a design, then create it at the click of a button. One added feature is what you do can be used as a template over and over again.

 

Steve

thanks, folks, I appreciate the last few replies. in a few weeks when I can take it for a legitimate spin I'll sign up for a trial of the mindmap solution and see how that works. My only hesitation there is it's an extra $10/month and I don't see us making very dynamic use of that tool beyond initial implementation. Maybe we can pay for it for a few months, get things setup, then if we're not continuing to use it, drop that portion of the subscription.

Then a lot of good information on that Quora link. Definitely saving that to Evernote for reference.

Thanks again. I did convert our free trial of Confluence to a paid monthly subscription. I look forward to exploring and using this tool.

Hi Rick, I'm afraid Yoikee Creator is not yet available for cloud instances. I've created a public issue for it https://keinoby.atlassian.net/browse/YC-8 Cheers, Gorka

well that's a bummer. Looks like an intriguing tool. Oh well.

Rick I also see you ask about employee access.

Confluence / wiki based solutions are perfect for this. it's web based, so accessible by all. You can set up access at varying levels, to the point of read or write access. 

Also, take advantage of labels, it makes things easy for your readers to see groups of things. For example adding

process/management would allow people to group by both. 

For articles labels can be powerful to. Labels can be removed, so don't worry if you get it wrong. 

 

Enjoy

 

 

 

i appreciate the responses on this thread.

I received a direct email from someone who has a Confluence consulting business, Carlos Flores, and he has been very helpful. we just did a 30 minute free initial consult where he looked over our instance and made some extremely helpful suggestions in terms of how to better organize and display our content. what i'll likely do is do most of the heavy lifting myself, then once we're about ready to implement, utilize Carlos to spend a few hours (paid, of course) helping us optimize and fine tune both the function and aesthetics of the site.

 

in just the 30 minutes we were together he had a number of great ideas i'd never thought about that will help this go more smoothly and hopefully receive an even better reception from our team once i unveil it. if anyone's interested, here is his website:

www.digitalskysolutions.com

Based on today's call, he and i will definitely be doing business.

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