Building the Perfect Knowledge Library
If you haven’t yet, take a few minutes to read through our 5 Amazing Ways to Use Knowledge Library guide.
Once you have an idea of what you want your Knowledge Library to do, it’s time to start creating a plan and building out content.
This guide will walk you through organizing your Knowledge Library and will give you tips for choosing and refining categories based on what you’re trying to accomplish.
Anatomy of a Knowledge Library
If you already understand how Knowledge Library is organized and how its permissions work, you can jump to the next section: Building Your Knowledge Library.
Knowledge Library is made up of a few different layers that sit on top of each other. If you understand how each of these layers work, planning your Knowledge Library is easy.The Top Layer: Your Knowledge Library Home
The Top Layer: Your Knowledge Library Home
The homepage is the first thing your users see when they visit your Knowledge Library. Think of it as the top layer. It’s also where admins can set the cover photo, highlight priority resources, and add quick resource links.
The left side of your Homepage is your list of categories—each representing a different resource or resource hub. Together these categories are the core of your Knowledge Library.
Tip: the Knowledge Library icon and homepage don’t actually become visible to a user until they have been given access to at least one published category.The Core Layer: Categories
The Core Layer: Categories
Categories can either be their own resource or can act as a landing page for a larger resource hub.
A category is hidden to users by default until they’ve been given access to it, which means each of your users gets a unique version of the Knowledge Library tailored to their needs.
Tip: Categories can’t be combined later.
The Resources: Subcategories
When you want to add a resource to a category, you’ll create a subcategory to build it in.
Subcategories can be reordered later and even moved under another subcategory.
Why We Plan Categories First
Designing your Knowledge Library always starts with planning out your categories. That’s because editing and viewing rights for users can only be assigned at the category level, never the subcategory level. And giving someone access to a category always means giving them access to all of its subcategories.
Tip: You can’t give someone access to (or exclude them from) particular subcategories.
Taking time to plan out your categories first can save you time down the line.Building Your Knowledge Library
Building Your Knowledge Library
Quick note, if you haven’t read the 5 Amazing Ways to Use Knowledge Library, you should really do that now. It only takes a few minutes, and it makes the planning process easy.
Now that you understand the main parts of your Knowledge Library, it’s time to start planning (and building out) your categories.General Tips for Choosing Your Categories
General Tips for Choosing Your Categories
If you’re feeling a little unsure of what your categories should be, here are some tips to help you out:
Tip #1: Categories almost always represent a high level topic or an audience
To start, list out all of the topics you want your Knowledge Library to cover and each of the audiences you want to support with specific resource hubs. Check if any of these are related subcategories. From there, you have your starting categories. Also pay attention to the common uses of Knowledge Library below—they’ll each give you some tips on choosing categories for specific situations.
Tip #2: Check your categories against one simple rule
All resources in a single category should be relevant to the same people, and should be able to share editors without causing any conflicts.
You shouldn’t keep your sales onboarding and call center onboarding resources in the same category. That’s because they’re each relevant to very different audiences, and neither team would be thrilled with another team being able to edit (or delete) their onboarding resources.
Tip #3: As an admin you can see the entire Knowledge Library. Your users can’t.
Making a really robust Knowledge Library means having a lot of categories, all of which are visible to a Knowledge Library admin. Your users, on the other hand, will only see what they’ve been given access to. If things are starting to look a bit cluttered in your view, gather user feedback or have your users send you screenshots of their Knowledge Library homepage before you start deleting categories. Their view may be very different from yours.Tips for the Most Common Uses of Knowledge Library
Tips for the Most Common Uses of Knowledge Library
Hopefully you’ve read the 5 Amazing Things Knowledge Library Can Do guide by now and have identified some amazing things you want Knowledge Library to do in your own organization.
Below you’ll find tips and tricks for choosing your categories and building your Knowledge Library around each of those 5 uses outlined in the guide mentioned above. Feel free to read through each of those uses for the tips or to just skip to the ones that you specifically intend to build into your own Knowledge Library.Official Organization/Company Resources
Official Organization/Company Resources
Since these resources are going to be made visible to everyone, your list of categories will just be the different types of resources you want to offer.
Tip: Try to combine categories with similar topics that won’t create awkward co-editing situations.
For example, Benefits and HR Policies can be combined if the people responsible for each category roll up to the same team.
Tool & Process Guides
Your categories here will be based on the different teams or departments who have organization-wide resources to share (Legal guides or IT resources, for example)
Tip#1: Run a quick check to make sure that the resources in each category really do share the same audience. For example, the Equipment Options for Execs subcategory in the image on the left probably shouldn’t be visible anyone other than executives.
Tip #2: Check to see if subcategories can be combined. For example, the new equipment setup guides in the image above can probably be folded into their own subcategory for new hires.Themed & Cross-Functional Resource Hubs
Themed & Cross-Functional Resource Hubs
Choosing categories here is straightforward. Whatever you’re building the hub around (topic or audience) will be the category.
Tip: If you want to be sure that the individual resources in your hub are easy to find, you can always link to them in other parts of your Knowledge Library.
Team & Department Resource Hubs
It should be no surprise that your base categories here will be the names of your teams and departments.
Remember that the point here isn’t to build the category out for them—it’s to create the space and then help them build it out for themselves.
Tip: Some teams may have shared resources or processes with another team. Ask each team about that and consider creating another category that those teams can share.
Employee-Led Community & Social Group Resource Hubs
Your categories here should be named after the groups you created them for, and the category editors should be the group admins.
Tip: Make sure viewing rights are restricted to members in the group.
Consider adding a quick disclaimer on the category homepage pointing out that this is user generated content, not official organizational content.
For example, Official Chai Labs Resource Links should be renamed to Chai Labs Resource Links.What Comes Next
What Comes Next
Take some time to finish building out your content plan. When you’re ready to start creating your Knowledge Library team be sure to read our guide on Building a Rockstar Knowledge Library Team.
And, if you’re looking for help from your fellow Workplace admins then join our Chief Workplace Officer multi-company group.