No matter how decisive you commit to the library work of your workspace, eventually, you are going to admit that keeping it tidy and organized is challenging.
However, since the workspace should be the single source of truth for your team, the proper organization effectively cut the time wasted in locating a document, which could accumulate to 19.8% of business time or 18 minutes on each document.
Most of all, you must have been upset in those 18 minutes looking for the information you want, not to mention later forgetting some detail of tasks, even the task itself, because of the disturbance. Keeping a digital (or physical) workspace tidy reduces your stress levels, which prevents undesirable consequences.
Keep these three tips in mind to alleviate the library work to a minimum. When offering examples, we use HackMD, the relevant features are available in most apps, nevertheless.
Metadata is necessary
When creating a document, be mindful of the title and the tags. While each team member may have her habits, it’s worth discussing with your team, based on existing conventions, to draw up some protocol on metadata, the data that help people grasp the data it describes.
There are various methodologies available, old and new, for example, Johnny.Decimal.
As to tagging, make sure these three dimensions are included in your tagging protocol:
feature spec, etc. Keep it simple.
rfc(request for comments),
publish, etc. Follow the concrete workflow of your team.
- Topic: for example, in a UI/UX team, the topics may be
profile, etc. Try to be consistent with the mission or the agenda of this workspace.
Don’t forget that every document has a title AND tags, do not conflate them. Allot the burden of differentiation to both.
Delete obsolete notes
An obvious step, yet emotionally difficult.
Although documents may still spark joy, you have to discard them when they seem to be obsolete.
Try to look at it this way: if you are not visiting Trash to restore them in 30 days (in HackMD, Trash holds deleted notes for 30 days in a paid workspace), then it proves that you understand your teamwork well.
Every team member counts and has to be accountable
As mentioned earlier, you cannot maintain the workspace alone. You will need every member’s commitment.
Offering precise metadata, to begin with, team members are entrusted with the responsibility and the permission to alter metadata if they see fit.
On the other hand, the knowledge base you use should be able to track who did what, so that everyone can be held accountable. In HackMD, you can tell who did a certain change right in the editor, and a more detailed comparison can be found in Versions.
The time saved from and the stress reduced in finding documents should be enough as rewards for administrative efforts. However, don’t hesitate to set incentives to mobilize people.
Keep your workspace tidy and organized, though toilsome to do, is worthwhile every time you need information in it.
Choose your knowledge base software wisely. HackMD cares for taking delight in the editor and the long-term effectiveness as a workspace for your team.