How to create great pages in Confluence
Confluence is an open and accessible tool which allows teams to collaborate on work via an internal wiki. Unlike file-sharing tools, Confluence is fully-self contained and creates a single source of truth which can be seen and edited by anyone in your workplace, depending on the permissions enabled. It's a powerful yet light-weight way to store, share, and edit internal documentation and information.
To get you started here is our beginners guide to get you Confluence-savvy in next to no time.
#1 How to create pages in Confluence
If your organisation is using Confluence, it is likely that you are going to create a page at some point. Creating a page is easy, and the editing tools available in Confluence are typical for a word processing tool. In this section, we cover the initial step of creating a page, as well as some features to consider when such as moving pages, history and versions, and templates and blueprints.
#2 How to edit pages in Confluence
In Confluence, you will likely spend a lot of your time writing and editing pages, so it will help to have a good understanding of all of the tools you have at your fingertips. Confluence includes some fairly standard editing tools such as paragraph styling, text formatting, and lists. In this section, we walk through each of these editing tools and give a brief overview of what they're all about.
#3 Take your Confluence pages to the next level with labels and macros
Labels allow you to group and categorise content across your Confluence instance. Several macros use labels, including Page Properties, Content by Label, and Labels List. Let's talk about how to add a label to a page and some best practices around labels first.
Macros are various plug-ins in Confluence that extend your content beyond what you can do with the basic editor. There are macros to add additional formatting, as well as macros to connect to Jira. Let's talk about a few macros that you might find useful.
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Now you've learned the basics of how to create and edit pages in Confluence, put what you have learned into practice and take your Confluence skills up a level.
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The Showcase Macro, a customer favorite, is now available in Cloud!
A recent survey by a Harvard Business Review writer found that people who write content at work also spend an average of 25.5 hours/week reading content. It’s no surprise that the same survey also found that ‘81% agreed that poorly written material wastes a lot of their time.’
So how do you create compelling content? Confluence makes page creation easy. Presenting that page content in an organized, visually-interesting and engaging way can be a challenge.
When you spend a lot of time documenting information, you want to be confident people will read and understand it. Incorporating ‘cards’ into your page design is a great way to positively impact reader engagement and content consumption. Here are 4 ways to use cards to get your organization and creativity flowing.
Create visual navigation of key information
When there’s a lot of information on one page it can be overwhelming for readers. Creating visual navigation is essential so readers can quickly scan and understand what information is on the page. Putting the most important information on the page in cards is an easy way to make sure critical information stands out. Inside cards, text formats such as headline, bold or color can further draw attention to key headlines.
Improve comprehension and engagement with images
Visual images such as photographs, illustrations, emojis or other graphics grab the attention of readers more quickly than text, and are a proven way to improve reader’s comprehension of the information. So, don’t stop at text formats; play with visual imagery in cards to add interest, color, and fun to your page while improving content engagement and consumption.
Highlight important, urgent or new information
In the same way you label your Confluence pages, you can use cards to mark content that is important, urgent, new or must-read. Adding labels to cards is another way to direct readers to information that is time-sensitive, content they need to read first, or just to let users know that certain information has been updated. Regardless of the reason, using labels within cards is a quick way to ensure your message is communicated effectively.
Call attention to your call-to-action
Does your content include a lot of important links? If so, you’re already aware that typical “Read here” or “Learn more” in-text links aren’t as effective as you need them to be. Instead, use cards and add button links for your calls-to-action. Not only will it draw visual attention, it is a more effective way to improve reader clicks.
These are just a few ideas for how to incorporate cards to create visually-rich, organized pages that improve reader engagement and content consumption. The possibilities for using Cards are endless!
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Break it up! 5 Reasons to Avoid Long Pages in Confluence
The ease of collaboration in Atlassian Confluence makes it stand out from other content platforms. It takes just minutes to learn the basics, so teammates of all kinds can contribute right from day one. Collaboration happens by default in Confluence, and that's a beautiful thing.
If you are using Confluence to manage your business documents, such as project specifications, product concepts, proposals or manuals, you will soon ask yourself the question "how should I manage content that's too long for single pages?"
Rule number one for success with longer content: Break it up into a tree of pages.
5 Reasons to Break Up your Confluence Content
When you've used tools like MS Word to author long content, you've probably never tried to squeeze everything onto just one page. And even if there was no limit on how long that page could be, you likely still wouldn't try to do it. Long-scrolling pages should be avoided when authoring in Confluence, just like with other tools.
In this post we'll look at some of the biggest benefits that come from formatting longer content across multiple pages, including:
Improve Readability and Understandability
The attention readers give to online content, including your coworkers who read Confluence pages, drops off dramatically as they progress down a page. Many studies have been done on this topic, and none have good news for long-format pages:
- Over half of readers spend fewer than 15 seconds actively on a web page (source)
- Users spend 80% of their time looking at information above the page fold (source)
- Scanning/reading of content happens less as a reader goes down a page (source)
To understand the structure of long content squeezed into a single page, a reader has to scan for headers and subheads to come up with an outline. Although this information can be included at the top of the page using a toc macro, it is lost as soon as you start reading or scrolling the page.
This problem has been solved in Word for ages by providing an outline view which is always visible – and there is also an easy solution for this in Confluence.
By splitting the sections of content up into different pages, readers can navigate using a clear, clean page tree interface that's always accessible on the left side of the page. Not only is this navigation much easier than scrolling and scanning for headers and subheads, but these shorter pages improve the readability challenges of long ones.
Improve Your Search Results
Confluence's search function is often the fastest way for users to find information, and it's gotten consistently better with each generation of the platform.
The problem long pages face is that even if they contain well structured sections, each page is indexed as a whole and represented by only one search result – no matter how many matches are found within it.
So after navigating to a search result, users still have to use their browser's search/find function to locate the section of the page that's relevant. The longer a single page is, the more of its content will actually be missed by searching users.
Breaking a topic into a tree of multiple pages brings a huge benefit by increasing the chances that a searcher will see what they're looking for directly in the results.
Control Who Is Editing What
Permissions in Confluence work at the page level. This means that within a single page of content, you can't limit viewing or editing of certain sections to individual teams or people. There is no way to add this level of permissions granularity.
Once again, breaking the content up into separate pages saves the day. Doing this allows you to control the permissions of each page in the way that suits your use case and preferred workflow best.
As we've discussed before on this blog, inline comments in Confluence provide a real boost to productivity for smaller teams who need to discuss a piece of content while it’s under construction. But the longer a page is, the harder it is to locate the relevant comment sections. When inline discussion is likely, breaking the content into shorter pages is a huge help.
As a rule of thumb, the ‘old-fashioned’ comments at the end of a Confluence page are a better way to keep pages clutter-free. Unlike inline comments, they avoid leaving a bunch of orange markup which can confuse casual readers. But even with 'global' comments, long pages are problematic. It takes so much scrolling to reach these comments that many readers simply won't ever get that far. Using multiple pages with shorter content solves it handily.
Publish Changes Faster
Collaborative editing is another cool feature in Confluence which can be a bad match for longer page content. There's a simple reason – any collaborator can click 'Update' and publish the current unfinished state of other collaborators' content.
The more content a given page includes, the higher the chance that different teammates will edit the page at the same time. Although you see contributors joining the editing session, you usually have to scroll the page a lot to see who is editing what. And the longer the content is, the more likely it is that changes being made will be extensive.
This can lead to confusing or even embarrassing page states being exposed to an entire team, an internal or external organization, or even to the general public.
Breaking content into shorter pages mitigates this by leaving pages with a narrower topic scope. It's a lot less likely that multiple people will edit shorter pages at the same time, and the changes that different users make to them are likely to have less overlap and be far less complex.
Breaking Up Can Be Hard to Do
Naturally, there are plenty of cases where you shouldn't break up your Confluence content at all. Meeting notes, decisions, and lots of other kinds of short form content work great as single pages.
But for the situations where managing content across a tree of pages brings big benefits, there is also a different set of challenges to consider (or questions to answer). For example:
- How do you define where a document is, and what pages are part of it?
Finding documents like Word files in a file share structure can be tricky. But it's usually pretty clear what's included in them, since these kind of files are self-contained. It's different in Confluence – the page trees that make up a document will likely live in a space that has a lot of other kinds of content. You'll need a method to define where these documents are, and what pages are contained in a document in order to keep them together as a group.
- How do you track the change history of a document?
Confluence automatically records a version history of all pages, and the Scroll Versions app offers robust version management for entire spaces – both very handy solutions. But documents are different, they're a tree of pages that need to be tracked together, independent of pages or spaces. To manage documents properly you'll need a way to save the version history of these pages together with their tree structure.
In a follow-up post, we'll cover these and some of the other pain points of multi-page document management in Confluence, and share some tricks and workarounds you can employ to solve them.
If you're looking for a solution to document management that integrates directly into Confluence, the Scroll Documents app might be the right choice for your team.
Handle multi-page content as a single unit and modernize your document management process with Atlassian Confluence.
Since teams and their projects are often spread across multiple Confluence pages and spaces, it can be difficult for stakeholders to easily track progress. Solve this problem by using the Team Homepage Template -- part of our new portfolio of Easy Dynamic Templates. Create a holistic, one-page overview that provides a framework for key information such as team members, project status, deliverables, success highlights and more. Accomplish more in a shorter time by allowing team members to create, collaborate, and organize all their team's work in one place.
Team Homepage by Easy Dynamic Templates
Scaffolding Forms & Templates’ portfolio of predefined templates has a simple solution to view your team dynamics on a single live page. Team Homepage template will help both big and small teams, with a single view of all team member details.
Scaffolding's extensive array of macros easily captures Confluence data like usernames, roles, pictures, and even a small introduction of the team. From there, you can make easy and simple adjustments to the template like adding team members' availability during upcoming holidays. Capture live data via pick lists, drop-down menus, checkboxes, and more. Arrange fields on the page to create the look you want.
Want to Make a more Powerful Template Dashboard for your Organization?
Here are some templates that can be a good addition to your team's Dashboard on top of your newly created Team Homepage.
- Meeting notes template
- Create meeting notes to review decisions and assign actions to team members. This assures all stakeholders can progress with a single agreed-upon objective.
- Add agendas upfront directly from here. During the meeting add all discussion points and actions.
- Weekly meeting notesis a related template that can be a perfect companion to team standups.
- Make every meeting productive and avoid redundant discussions in recurring meetings by capturing meeting agendas and notes.
- On-boarding template
- Welcome new team members and give them a clear map of the journey ahead.
- Include the onboarding exercises, documentation, and links that your new members will need.
- To-do list template
- A personal favorite which exemplifies organizational excellence
- To-do list that captures, categorizes, and prioritizes tasks
Wondering how to get started? Simply review our Live Demo of the Team Dashboard then start by introducing each of the required recipes into your instance.
Once your Team Homepage is in place, use the Team Dashboard template to bring your team experience to a whole new level.
To learn more about using templates in Confluence, check out our How to Easily Create Templates in Confluence and Improve Content Structure blog.
Put Scaffolding Forms & Templates to work for your teams today.
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Pages best confluence
Collaboration is front and center in the digital workplace, and Confluence is the way to connect teams with the information they need. But as projects grow more complex, sprawl sets in. Text-heavy pages begin to lack focus. Vital information gets buried. Engagement slows, readers lose interest, retention flat lines. Projects suffer, as deadlines are missed. You start to think, “There’s got to be a better way…”
It turns out that the more information you have, the more organized it needs to be. That’s why we created Composition Tabs for Confluence, a simple-to-use tool that takes the heavy lifting out of creating pages that are easy to read and maintain. With Composition Tabs, you can differentiate content for multiple audiences on one page by visually directing readers to the information that’s specific to them using powerful macros. And with design features like hero images, banners and callouts, your visually-rich pages will keep readers attention.
Composition Tabs gives your team the ability to create engaging pages faster, and update them as projects evolve. Here’s how CompositionTabs can add value to your Confluence pages.
Highly Customizable Tabs Create Better Formatting
Composition Tabs for Confluence features a highly-customizable tab structure:
- Vertical tabs: (top, bottom, left, right) make it easy to segment content by audience, timeline, subject matter, Jira issue, user role, team or any other grouping you may have. No more page scroll!
- Sub-tabs: create content hierarchy and allow your audience to drill down into more detail while maintaining an organized look and feel.
- Auto-rotate tabs: create a mini-slideshow that’s great for displaying news on a homepage, events, important reminders, etc.
Design Elements Drive Page Engagement
Composition Tabs’ macros lets you add visually-interesting and beautiful design elements to Confluence pages, including paper-like cards that call out important content or calls-to-action.
Create page banners, spotlights and hero images that grab the reader’s attention. Use categories, pin-ups, menus and highlights to drive page engagement.
Visual Call Outs Become Easy to Create
Use Composition Tab macros to create toggled sections that become visible or hidden. Create floating sections of text and images that draw attention to important information and add visual interest.
Over 2,000 organizations worldwide use Composition Tabs for Confluence. Customers rave about Composition’s must-have Confluence product functionality and the quality of our global support team. We’re here to answer your questions and help you move past any roadblocks, especially during evaluation and implementation.
What makes a great team? Is it the people, process, or tools used?
Of course, all three components are essential to make a successful team. But even with the right technology and incredibly talented people, sometimes you don’t seem to get the desired results.
It has been the case for the hugely popular Atlassian tool, Confluence. The online knowledge base and wiki solutions are of immense help for teams to get real-time hyper-access to all types of information from anywhere, anytime, and from any device.
Confluence also provides a great way to build team collaboration and helps track all your essential documents with a centralized version control system.
But not everyone seems to be using it to its fullest potential. Here are some excellent tips that can help you unlock the true potential of the Atlassian Confluence tool.
Confluence Best Practices: What is The Best Way to Organize Your Confluence Space?
Confluence serves as the centralized knowledge base across your organization.
So, you have to understand that it is not just for personal use or for a particular team’s benefit. Everything stored in Confluence should be named and organized to make it easy to search for and navigate the topic in question.
The main goal of Confluence is to make information sharing and knowledge discovery more accessible and more collaborative.
So, think about making your documents easy to find for anyone, even when they’re complete beginners to the system.
Here are some significant criteria you should keep in your mind when creating new Confluence pages and organizing your current information:
- Information organization and structuring of your spaces and pages
- Formatting and style
- Ease of information gathering and search
- Integrations with other tools
Why Does Having A Mature Confluence Space Matter?
So why is it essential to keep your Confluence Space neat and clean? Well, for starters, the very reason why you use Confluence is to make information sharing and discovery easy.
When pages and spaces are sloppy and disorganized, searching for information and keeping track of all the different versions of data stored in Confluence becomes too difficult.
Here are some reasons why you should always aim to maintain a mature confluence space:
- A mature Confluence space is decluttered and helps you search for and make edits to the information quickly.
- By reorganizing the page trees, you can identify obsolete pages and make sure they are correctly tagged to get accurate information.
- With proper version control of your pages and documents, you can ensure that information is up to date and accurate.
A well-organized Confluence space can easily integrate with other Atlassian marketplace apps and efficiently incorporate page archiving, page discovery, and information identification.
When you have a well-organized Confluence:
- It becomes easy to identify outdated data and take the necessary action to archive them or update them properly.
- You’ll save disk space and lower database storage requirements by identifying duplicate data and removing old and inaccurate data from Confluence.
- If your Confluence space is mature, deletion of data, identification of large attachments that are no longer needed, backup, and restoration become more efficient.
Some Tips On Decluttering Your Atlassian Confluence Space
Here are some tips to help you achieve a mature Confluence Space required to make your team more efficient.
Start Making Use Of Spaces
Many beginners tend to create pages and store them in their Confluence just as a standalone document.
This method can be an organizational mess when you have thousands of documents that range in topic from installation instructions to meeting notes stored on your Confluence.
Start creating and making use of spaces. Spaces help create an information hierarchy and act as the home for the various types of Confluence content.
Spaces are also a great way to implement effective content management and knowledge management within the Confluence tool.
For instance, you can create a separate space for a particular project or team. Confluence allows you to create as many spaces as you want, so remember to associate your pages with the relevant space to avoid orphan pages.
You can also have team spaces, project spaces, and personal spaces.
Once your spaces are ready, assign parent pages and child pages to organize the pages within a space and form a meaningful content hierarchy.
Make Use Of Page Templates
Remember, when you add something to Confluence, it is not just for your use. It is shared, stored, versioned as more people access the document.
So it makes sense to follow a proper structure and consistency to your documents. Use pre-defined templates or create a custom template that makes it easy for anyone to understand and navigate through a page quickly.
You need to ensure that your pages are formatted and easy to navigate. Making use of templates will help you achieve that and more by enforcing uniformity across your pages.
Space Layouts Help You Highlight The Most Important Content
When designing your templates and page content, use a hierarchy that will display the most critical content at the top to make it more visible to readers.
You can also customize the space around the page to add custom sidebars and search bars or any custom macros to enable faster information discovery.
Categorize Your Spaces
By categorizing your spaces, you can help Confluence users get access to related information quickly.
For instance, content marketing space, customer insights, user persona, and such can be grouped into the marketing category, whereas your project management documents can be grouped in another category.
Archive Old Pages
Eliminating old pages helps you maintain an organized page track and helps people find what they are looking for more quickly.
For instance, if the user searches for a topic and finds two documents on the same topic, they might get confused about what to follow. Archiving old and outdated pages allows users to gain clarity and up-to-date information.
Promote Collaboration And Engagement
Make it easy to share the confluence pages across your team members. Confluence can be of enormous help as a collaboration tool to create transparency at work and promote productivity.
Allow your users to get ownership of the confluence pages and enable sharing options. You can also promote internal blogging to enhance a transparent and open culture.
Measure your engagement with analytics functionality provided by Confluence to see the active reader count, most active users, the popular spaces, and common searches.
All this information can also help you build better Confluence governance and a user experience that fosters collaboration.
How Coyote Creek Help You Get the Most From Confluence
Creating a Confluence infrastructure to support your ITSM and other teams can be a time-consuming task, mainly as your organization is growing and information updates begin to be overwhelming.
Coyote Creek is a platinum solutions partner that can provide you with Atlassian support. From migrations to Atlassian licensing, co-termination for optimized pricing, and more.
We can help you understand your infrastructure and enhance it to meet your exact business needs and goals now and in the future as your company continues to grow. Some of their premium services include:
Atlassian Jira consulting, project management support, upgrades, licensing, and training for Atlassian product suite and plugins
Excellent support and expertise delivered for Atlassian application lifecycle management practices and tools to address enterprise-level issues
Proven best practices and tested solutions that will help your company perform better as you scale up
Our expertise covers the Atlassian Suite’s entire spectrum, including Jira, Opsgenie, Bitbucket, third-party integrations, optimized configurations, and more.
To learn more about how we can support you, contact us to set up a time to chat.
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15 Sites and Counting: 3 Site-Building Tips from Box’s Atlassian Admin
Confluence does it all. It’s a hub for news, projects, information and documentation within and across teams. You can get more stuff done faster, without leaving anyone behind. And the list of benefits goes on. But all of these good things only happen if users, well, actually use it.
The trick to boosting adoption? Make your Confluence kickass.
Kickass confluence instances are easy to use, easy to navigate, easy to maintain, useful across a variety of teams, personalized for the user, and, critically, nice to look at.
To show you how to build a kickass Confluence instance of your own, we transform gaming company Arctic Rim’s instance in seven steps using Refined.
(Full disclosure: Arctic Rim is a fake company we invented for this post (good name, right?) and its sister webinar.)
- Start with Confluence basics: spaces and pages
- Add structure with a hierarchy
- Organize your pages into spaces
- Build-out your site navigation
- Add a theme
- Choose layouts for your landing pages
- Personalize Confluence for users with permissions, custom welcome messages and more