Atlassian Confluence borrows features normally found on Social Networking sites, such as Facebook, and merges these with an Information Building and Sharing framework. Having a strong sense of community inside Confluence is important, especially when working in modern distributed teams, who might only meet online. When there is a good sense of Community, things generally work better, for everyone.
Build Your Online Profile
When you hover your mouse over the Profile Picture of any Confluence User, you’ll see their basic Profile Information. Just like FaceBook, knowing with whom you’re interacting online is important.
- To create your own Profile, click on the Profile Picture, and select Profile. To edit your Profile, just click on the Edit Profile button, top right.
- We encourage all of our Team members to add some useful information in the Personal and Company sections. This helps to build a good online Community within confluence, especially as some of our Team Members only interact online. This becomes even more important as the size of our company grows larger.
- Once you’ve updated your details, just click the Save button, then click on the Profile tab again.
Your Profile Picture
Next, you can upload your own profile picture, or an avatar if you like. To do this, just click on the Picture link in the sidebar. From here, you can upload your picture, or even take a picture using your own Webcam. Just click on ‘Done’ when you’re finished.
Emails From Confluence – Explained
Click on the Profile Picture, and select Settings, then click on Email from the sidebar. Although Confluence will reduce your email load, Email is still used to alert you to important actions and updates.
- Autowatch, alerts you to changes made on content that you have created.
- The Daily updates report. This summarises all the changes to the site, which you have permission to view.
- Subscribe to all blogs does exactly what it says. Blogs are used by teams to make announcements regarding their work, such as new Projects started, or existing ones completed. This will help keep you up-to-date with what’s going on around your organisation.
- Subscribe to Network, will alert you when anyone you are following in your own Network adds or changes content.
- Subscribe to New follower Notifications will let you know when someone adds you to their own Network, and begins following you.
- Notify on my actions will send you notifications on all changes to content that you make on the site, in addition to other people’s changes.
- Show changed content can be rather detailed. It will send a notification showing the differences between the current and previous versions of the page, whenever content is changed.
- Subscribe to recommended updates, will send you recommended items that you might be interested in, based on the comments and likes that you make over time. This can highlight items that you might otherwise miss. A link in the email message will allow you to choose either daily or weekly notifications.
Choose the emails you want
You can select the email you receive, by clicking on the Edit button, and ticking the items that you want.
By adjusting, just slightly, your old work habits, Confluence can give you back valuable time. It also makes team-working simpler, clearer, and more effective.
Build Your Network
From The Dashboard, the Activity feed shows what’s going on across you entire organisation, at least within the Space and Page security level that you can access. This shows the big picture, but you can also see what’s happening with my closest colleagues, using the Network feature. This gives a clear view of what’s going on in the areas that concern you directly.
- To follow people, simply hover the cursor over their profile picture for a second, or their name on a page, and when the pop-up box appears, just click on – Follow. They will then be added to your own Network of colleagues. If you want to remove them, just do the same, and select Stop Following.
Your Network Filter
- To open the Network page, click on your own Profile Picture, and select Network from the menu. The Network page is an information filter. It shows clearly what is happening, but relevant only to your immediate network.
- You can follow, and also stop following people, to reflect the work your currently involved with. This saves time, by showing in one place, updates from only those people that your directly involved with. When you stop following people, you can still keep Watch on the Spaces or Pages that we’ve both worked on, using the Watch Spaces or Watch pages function. . So if any content changes later, you’ll be notified when that happens.
Comments & Likes Drive Discussion
Comments especially, can greatly reduce the time you need to spend using email. Comments do this by putting the discussion directly onto the related Page content. Comments and likes will show up on the Activity feed of the Dashboard or in your Network, which makes discussion immediately visible to your team. By moving the discussion out of Email, and attaching it directly to the Confluence Page, you also bring more clarity to what you are jointly building in Confluence. By extracting information that can sometimes get lost in emails, and putting it right onto the page, the discussion, and our decisions, become more transparent for everyone. When you write or reply to a comment, everyone gets notified automatically, either through their Notifications Workbox, or by an automated email.
If you want to bring other people into the discussion, either on a Page, or in a Comment, just mention them by typing the @ symbol, then begin typing their name. Confluence will search for a match. This is a great way to reduce time lost in writing separate emails, and also keeps the discussion on the Page. When used wisely, it can save you, and your whole team a lot of time.
When you are mentioned in a Comment or on a page in Confluence, or a task is assigned to you, you are informed of these through the Notifications Workbox. When you open your Notifications, you will see all of the incoming Notifications that apply to you. The Workbox can take the place of many separate Emails normally sent between teams. Notifications make team-working a better experience.
Sharing & Watching Content
Sharing Content with others
Sharing content with your team is a great way to make sure that your colleagues know exactly where to find the information that they need, or to begin a discussion on a particular page or piece of work. Pages and other content shared through Confluence will go straight to your colleague’s Notifications Workbox. This removes the need to send separate emails containing links to pages.
- To share a page or blog post, open the content, and click on the Share button at the top of the page. You can share to individuals, or to groups of people, if you know the group name.
Watching Content For Changes (Pages or Entire Spaces)
Next to the Share button at the top of the page, you will find the Watch button. When you Watch either a specific page, or the entire Space, you will be Notified, through the Workbox, automatically, whenever a change happens. This is great, to a point, but you can get overloaded with update spam if you aren’t careful. For example, I really don’t want to be notified if someone has simply corrected a spelling mistake on a Page.
Notify Watchers (when editing a page or a blog)
- When you open a Page in the Editor, and make a change, you will see a checkbox called “Notify Watchers”. If you make a simple change, for example making a Spelling Correction, and you don’t want to Spam your team-mates, just un-check this box. This prevents your changes creating Spam for anyone Watching the page or Space for content changes. You will need to use your own judgement when, or when not to notify watchers.
Your Profile & Settings
As well as the Workbox, Confluence will also send you Notification Emails, when various actions take place. To control your Notification Email Delivery, just click on your Profile picture, and select the Settings option. With your Settings page open, just click on the Email option. From the Email page, it’s your choice when Confluence will send you an Email when any of various actions take place. Simply click Edit to make your selection of when you want to receive Emails, and then click the Submit button to save your changes. Although Confluence will reduce your Email, there are still times when it’s useful.
- Tasks show full Summary of any Tasks that you have assigned to other people, or that have been assigned to you, and whether they are completed or not.
- The Saved for Later page. On the top of all Pages and Blog Posts, you will find a Save for Later button. When you need to review a page, but you are too busy to do it right away, click the Save for later button, and the page will be placed in this list.
- The Watches page, shows all the Content that you are actively Watching. This means that you’ll be notified automatically when any updates are made. This is great for keeping up to date on important content.
- The Drafts page, shows any Pages that you’ve created, but which you have not yet Published.
- Network page is the information filter that you can use to see only the work being carried out by your team, and other colleagues that you’re working with.
- Settings, allows you to control your email notifications. From the settings page, you can also upload your own Profile picture.
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