February 24, 2022

5 Confluence Best Practices to Improve Collaboration

Getting Started
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Why Collaborate in Confluence?

While Confluence was originally created over 15 years ago as an enterprise wiki editor, today it’s grown into a flexible, powerful one-stop for teams to collaborate and share their work. Teams can easily customize their workspace with additional apps and integrations (like Gliffy!) to help fit their unique needs. 

Because of this flexibility, collaboration in Confluence can easily fit into and support your team's existing ways of working and sharing information.

To learn more about all the ways teams are making the most of Confluence, check out our resource page, What is Confluence Used For?

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5 Confluence Best Practices to Get Started

Because Confluence is so flexible, it’s important to establish clear ground rules and best practices so that your team can stay organized and take advantage of every feature. These tips will keep everyone on track.

1. Create Clear Content Structures

Confluence allows you to break your instance into spaces, which are the highest level of folder or information structure available. It’s a good idea to create a corporate or company-level space as well as spaces for each department, such as Engineering or Marketing.

For building content structure beyond department-level spaces, it’s a good idea to get input from each team or designate a person within that team to be accountable for making additional pages and spaces. Depending on the size of the department, you may choose to create spaces for more specific functions; for example, Human Resources might have a “Corporate Policies” space as well as a “Recruiting” space.

Within each space, encourage users to adopt chronological or project-level page structures. Having clear content structure is especially important when you use Confluence for documentation, so it's easy for your team to reference older documentation or projects, as well as find the latest and greatest the team is working on. Making a concept map is a good way to organize page hierarchy before building everything out in Confluence. 

2. Use Templates to Avoid Writer’s Block

Starting with a blank page can be overwhelming. The good news? Confluence gives you a head start with hundreds of pre-built templates for things like project plans, documentation, and reporting or business assessments. Gliffy even made an event planning template to help round out this library.

You can find Confluence’s templates in the right side panel that appears when you click the “Create” button to add a new page. You can also make your own templates for things like recurring reports or meeting notes where you’d like consistent structure. 

3. Give Users Their Personal Space

Learning all the bells and whistles of Confluence takes some time, so it’s a good idea to make sure all your users know how to jump into their personal space and make it their own. 

You can find your personal space by clicking your profile icon in the upper right and selecting “Personal Space” in the drop-down menu. Personal spaces are a great sandbox for playing with and testing Confluence’s features if you’re concerned about accidentally notifying colleagues of every experimental change on a team space.

Encourage your teammates and users to start storing notes and ideas in their personal space. This is a great first step into Confluence that makes collaborating on bigger projects and pages feel more familiar. For large or remote-first organizations, the Confluence personal space can also be a great place to provide a bio and a few fun facts to help build connections across your team.

4. Get the Collaboration Shortcuts Memorized

This is your essential "Confluence Tips and Tricks" run-down. Speaking of collaboration, there are a few need-to-know shortcuts to share with your users and teammates:

  • Use the “@” command to tag a teammate. This will keep them informed of changes made to the page as you publish updates.
  • Type “[]” or use the Action Item button in the toolbar (it looks like a checkbox) to add checkable boxes of your own. This is great for building out clear steps for a project plan.
  • When you tag a teammate inside an Action item, that snippet of text appears as a task in their Confluence profile. You can find your assigned tasks by clicking the profile icon in the upper right, then selecting “Tasks” from the drop-down menu.
  • You can leave comments at the bottom of any page or highlight text on the page to leave a more specific comment. This is a great way to engage with content that you don’t own, have a question about, or simply need to approve without editing the page.

See these features in action with our video, Collaborating in Confluence Cloud >>

5. Make Your Pages Pretty!

Hear us out — the Confluence team has found that the pages that receive the most engagement are those with clear organization and graphics like the roadmap macro or diagrams, so creating Confluence pages with effective visuals is well worth it.

Gliffy Diagrams for Confluence makes it easy to build and add diagrams without ever leaving confluence. You can add basic diagrams like flowcharts, mind maps, and wireframes or more complex, technical diagrams like any of the 14 types of UML diagrams and cloud architecture diagrams.

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With These Confluence Best Practices, You're All Set

Jump into Confluence and you’ll see how easy it is to learn! Just be sure to share and follow the tips outlined above and your team will be working together in no time. For even more Confluence tips and tricks, check out our Confluence guide for beginners, or for more ways to collaborate, take a look at some of our favorite Atlassian team plays.

Plus, Confluence and Gliffy are free for up to 10 users, so you can test it out for a smaller part of your team or set things up before rolling it out to your entire organization.

Try Free in Confluence  Learn More About Gliffy

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