Feel like you’re sending the same instructions, procedure checklists or other basic communications around the office time and again? Save yourself time and trouble by setting up a workplace wiki.
This is one of those timesavers that everyone at Team Lifehacker uses nearly every day. We’ve got people working all across the country, and our internal wiki is one of the few absolutely indispensable tools that we use regularly.
Think of a workplace wiki like this: Any time you’re writing a piece of communication that’s not just applicable to the person you’re emailing, but to everyone on your email list — hell, even everyone who may end up working with you in the future — it belongs in your workplace wiki.
At Lifehacker, that information includes style guides, editor tools, comment moderation guidelines, common workflows, shared logins and even long state-of-the-union type conversations. At your workplace, it could be procedures for escalating support tickets, instructions for setting up your company email account, and so on. Whatever your job, chances are good that you could use a wiki.
Sure, a wiki isn’t your only option. A lot of companies create regular old Microsoft Word documents and store them on a server or something along those lines, too. But wikis come with all kinds of benefits, including revision control, multi-user editing and anywhere web accessibility.
If you think you might benefit from a wiki at your workplace, you’re in luck. MediaWiki, the software that powers Wikipedia, is a free, open-source web app that’s easy to install on any server. You can follow MediaWiki’s installation instructions if you’ve got a server you’d like to install it on. Even easier, many web hosts offer one-click MediaWiki installations. (I know, for example, that Dreamhost has one-click installs.)
Share how you save time and streamline this sort of repetitive communication — whether or not you’re using a wiki — in the comments.