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25 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Got Started With Confluence Cloud

A lot of people who first start Confluence Cloud do not even suspect how many features and capabilities they may not reveal at once.

In this post, we will share our long-term expertise and experience with Confluence Cloud, so you can quickly get started with it and master its capabilities in the shortest time possible.

1. Labels

Labeling of pages is a must-have in Confluence Cloud. Labels can greatly simplify categorization and lookup for specific pages. If you are actively using macros, labels can help you narrow down the found results and limit them for specific purposes. With labels, you can indicate the status of the page, content type, team to which this page attributes, etc.

Use labels to organize your content

Besides pages, you can also label blog posts and attachments and further use the Content by Label macro to see content items having the required label.

2. Teams

This is a common approach when a company is divided into multiple teams. Every team includes several people, and some individuals can be a part of multiple teams. In the same way, you can re-create a similar team structure in Confluence too.

Create teams in Confluence

Just add your teammates into the team, and you can further mention all its members within comments, on pages, or invite them at once for real-time collaboration.

Collaborate with the team on your documents

Additionally, within the team you can better track pages that your teammates have edited recently and see their contributions at once.

3. Templates

In most cases, your first attempts at creating pages in Confluence will result in randomly structured pages. Anyway, sometime later, you will realize that your pages share a similar structure, and it is not very convenient to re-create this structure every time you create a new page.
Confluence Cloud bundles dozens of templates for all possible use cases. Templates can be global and space-specific, so every team can design their templates and use them within their own spaces.

Discover the variety of templates available in Confluence

By using templates, you can standardize the approach to creating structured pages and unifying your content. Even if you have not selected the page template during the page creation, you can choose the required one while editing the page.

Use templates to unify content

4. Page Properties Report macro

The Page Properties Report macro is the king of macros in Confluence Cloud. This macro lets you collect attributes from Confluence pages and show them within the reporting table. On the source pages, you just need to add the Page Properties macro and insert the two-column table within it. In one column, add names of attributes and in the other their actual values. Now you can collect these attributes with the Page Properties Report macro.

Get the summary information from your Confluence pages

Don’t forget to tag pages with specific labels, so the macro can look up for them. With its help, you can create reports on your product pages, customer interviews, experiments, blog posts, and other articles you keep in Confluence.

5. Dates

Are you still entering the date in plain text? If yes, stop doing it. It is challenging to notice dates within the large text blocks for your colleagues, so they may miss some important updates or notices from you. Use the Date macro. Start entering two slashes ‘//’, and pick the date from the prompted calendar.

Choose the required date

Your dates will be more noticeable when surrounded by text, and your teammates can quickly scan your announcements for their due dates.

6. Statuses

When you are working on some tasks or initiatives, it’s essential to indicate their current status. And plain text is not the best option in this case. We get used so much to generic text snippets. So we scan lines and may accidentally miss important information. With the Status macro, you can show the actual progress on some task or activity.

Customize your status

You just need to enter the status name and pick the color. That’s it. Now you and your team can instantly see the status of the document, task, experiment, or initiative.

7. Layouts

Making all pages look like one column mixing text, macros, and tables is a bad practice. Use the page layout to design appealing pages and attract your readers’ attention to its specific parts.

Visualize your content with the help of layouts

Confluence Cloud provides five types of layouts that you can use. When using the layouts, apply the full-page width to let your content fit bigger areas.

8. Emojis

Emojis have become a part of our everyday communication in different messengers and social networks. We use them regularly to show our feelings when we like or dislike some content. The variety of emojis helps us simplify the expression of our emotions. But we strongly believe that using emojis on Confluence pages is a bad idea. Well, this is actually not so. Of course, using emojis in some compliance-related documentation is not good, and the auditor will not appreciate your efforts, so use them wisely.

Use emojis to catch users’ attention

Are you making announcements or planning some initiative? Emojis will help you to capture the attention of your readers on important parts. Besides using on your Confluence pages, you can use emojis in page names, so in the page tree, you will see a more beautiful picture.

Start page names with emojis to make a more appealing page tree

9. User mentions

User mentions are a primary way to notify your teammates about important changes on Confluence pages. You can mention users in various scenarios, like assigning a task, showing attribution of a decision to a specific person, requesting someone’s input, or asking for comments about some points.

Notify people about their tasks by mentioning them

You can use user mentions on Confluence pages, within tasks, and in page or inline comments. The user you mentioned will receive an email notification, so it will decrease the probability of missing important updates by this person.

10. Inline comments

Inline comments can significantly accelerate and improve the review processes. You just need to select a specific text snippet you want to comment on and enter a comment. This text piece will be highlighted, and the person who will be updating the page content can easily understand what part of the page should be revised and corrected.

Add comments to discuss your content

Inline comments are visible in the page view and edit modes, so at any point, you can view them and make updates on your pages accordingly.

11. Tasks

Do you love checklists? If no, it’s time to start using them. This is no secret that it’s quite difficult to keep track of all tasks in Confluence. People are constantly creating new and new pages, change their order and structure. As the result, some tasks can be lost, but this does not mean that these tasks can be ignored.
In Confluence Cloud, you can easily manage tasks and keep an eye on all of them. How can you do this? Create a new task list and follow this pattern: [@user-mention] complete task by [//due-date].

Create task lists

Then you can use the Task Report macro or view these tasks in your task list. You can quickly close the completed tasks and be sure that no tasks will be missed.

View your tasks with the help the Task Report macro

12. Decisions

We are taking dozens of decisions every day, and after a couple of days, we may forget why this or that decision was taken. In Confluence Cloud, you can use the Decision macro for doing this. It lets you track decisions during meetings and online workshops with your teammates.

Take decisions together with your team

Like tasks, you can collect decisions with the Decision Report and see them within a single table. This way, you can instantly trace all decisions you made for a specific project or product.

13. Sharing pages

You have created a cool page with very useful content for your teammates. You are waiting for feedback from them; one day passes, two, three, a week … Still no feedback. Is it a familiar scenario? If yes, please consider that Confluence Cloud provides a convenient way of content sharing.

Once the page is ready, click Share and enter the names of people or your team you want to share this page with. Alternatively, you can copy the shareable link and post it somewhere in Slack or Microsoft Teams for your colleagues.

Share your pages with the team

In the same way, you can invite your teammates for real-time collaboration on a specific Confluence page. Everyone will be able to see the actual updates and modifications on a page and contribute their ideas and thoughts on the fly.

14. Archiving pages

We create pages in Confluence regularly; after some time, our spaces become the storage of information where 70 percent of information is not actual or is totally deprecated. It is vital to preserve healthy spaces and clean the unnecessary pages from them.

It is always a pain to decide to delete some page, as we still remember all our efforts and time we spent on its creation. We have illusions that in a couple of months, we will need this page. No, you will not need it. Don’t be afraid and clean your Confluence from old and unused pages. For those of you who do not want to permanently delete pages, just try to archive them.

Archive the pages you don’t use

The page will disappear from the page tree and will reside in the page archive. So if sometime later you need this page, you will be able to restore it.

Restore the pages you need

15. Trello integration

For those of you who manage projects in Trello, there is no need to switch between Confluence and Trello all the time. You can embed your Trello board into a Confluence page and manage tasks without leaving your Confluence. This greatly simplifies your experience and lets your team focus on tasks rather than on a necessity to constantly switch between two applications.

Integrate Confluence and Trello

16. Issue creation in Jira

Confluence Cloud allows you to create Jira tasks from a specific text snippet inline on your Confluence pages. Just select some text, hover over it, click Create an issue, select the project and issue type, add its description, and save it. That’s all.

Create Jira tasks right in Confluence

In the same way, you can create multiple tasks from a two-column table. In the first column, specify summaries of tasks; in the other column, their descriptions. Take care that in the Description column you have no images, as in this case, tasks in Jira will not be created; only plain-text is supported.

17. Jira issues macro

Being a project manager is not an easy task. You need to continuously track the progress of your projects, identify potential risks, and eliminate obstacles. So you need a quick way to see potential problems before their occurrence and help your team cope with them in advance.

Use Jira issues macro

If you waste your time on continuous transitions from Jira to Confluence and vice versa, you will miss many things. For such cases, you can use the Jira issues macro. It allows you to view the table listing tasks from the ongoing sprint or version. In addition, you can build basic reports to see the essential information about your projects and their activities.

18. Create from Template macro

You have created cool templates, but your teammates are not using them? They are constantly experimenting with page structure, and the resulting variants look like Frankenstein’s offsprings. No problem. Add the Create from Template macro on a parent page and give this button a meaningful title. Now your teammates will use the pre-defined template instead of highly-customizable pages they design on their own.

Use pre-defined templates

19. Publish without notifications

We are receiving hundreds of emails every day. Some of them are important, some of them are of no importance at all. By default, Confluence sends email notifications about all modifications on Confluence pages which can drive your colleagues crazy. Use the Publish without notifications option for minor updates on Confluence pages and lower the number of senseless emails 🙂

Don’t disturb your colleagues with minor content updates

20. Adding watchers

Confluence Cloud adds a user as a watcher when one edits a page. In some situations, this can become a problem as your teammates may not follow all your updates. For these situations, you can add watchers for specific Confluence pages, so all the notifications will be sent to the page watchers. Unfortunately, you cannot add your team as watchers all at once. You will have to enter the names of your teammates one by one. For the team-specific spaces, you can add your teammates as space watchers.

Add watcher to your pages

21. Replacing values

This feature was missing in the new editor for some time, and it was a real problem to replace some values. You needed to use the built-in browser search functions, change the value and proceed to the next one. This was a time-consuming process. Now you can cope with this in a couple of clicks, for the exact case matching enable the corresponding option.

Replace values easily

22. Space shortcuts

We keep a lot of information within Confluence, but sometimes we may need to add some quick links to the frequently used external resources. You can quickly do this with space shortcuts which allows you to add links to the Jira project or backlog, Bitbucket repository, a page with analytics, or anything else.

Use space shortcuts to add links

23. Re-ordering and sorting pages

Re-ordering of pages was a real pain-point in Confluence Server. You needed all the time to go to the space settings, drag pages, you accidentally clicked the page name, transitioned to this page, then returned to the space settings. In Confluence Cloud, you can do this right on the sidebar. Drag the page across the page tree to the correct position.

Drag pages across the page tree

In some situations, you may need to sort your pages in alphabetical order. You can do this in the space settings. Just open the required page branch and click the Sort alphabetically icon.

Sort your pages in alphabetical order

You can also check all the essential steps and action items you can take to build a dream space for your coolest product team.

24. Comparing changes

Our Confluence pages are changing over time. So if you visit some Confluence page after a while, you may notice that its content has changed greatly. So here you can compare changes between two revisions to see their difference.

Compare changes between two page revisions

This is very convenient, and in several seconds you can instantly see what was added and what was deleted.

25. Starring pages

People have some pages that they regularly visit in Confluence. This may not be very convenient to go to the space, find the page in the page tree, and only then open it. As an alternative, you can try to star such pages and access them from the Confluence dashboard. Just click the Star this page icon, and it’s on your list of starred pages.

Access pages right from the dashboard

What’s next?

Well, now it’s your turn to go through the list and check these Confluence capabilities. If you have a light experience with Confluence macros, please check our Anatomy of Confluence Cloud macros and master the essential macros in a couple of hours.

Feel free to comment on this post and ask your questions … and don’t forget to put likes 😉

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Irina Sanikovich

Irina Sanikovich

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Responsible for content and events at https://stiltsoft.com/ A banal line, but I love reading, learning, and traveling.