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Document storage and tracking with Confluence

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Document storage and tracking are fundamental if you have multiple departments that work remotely. These capabilities directly impact the security and privacy of your organization, your customers, and your vendors. 

According to Forrester, 72% of organizations use a mix of paper documents and digital processes, while 13% of organizations that are more digitally mature use only digital processes. Regardless of your company's document tracking processes, you need to make sure your file management practices are keeping your vulnerable data secure.

Whether you’re looking to give your inconsistent or outdated documentation practices a makeover or you want to be able to efficiently transfer knowledge when onboarding new employees, Confluence has you covered. Discover document storage and document tracking solutions and tips from Confluence.

Control who can access documents

Your cross-functional team deals with tons of project documents within their workflow. From contracts to proposals to creative briefs and strategies, your team accesses a variety of important and confidential information daily. You need to control who can store, view, and edit these documents. And with Confluence, you can do just that.

When you use page restrictions and permissions, you can control who gets access to your Confluence spaces, pages, and any embedded files or attached documents. But page restrictions are different from permissions.

  • Page restrictions: By default, Confluence pages are open for viewing and editing. But if you need to, you can restrict viewing, editing, or both. Admins can change restrictions at an individual page level or at a parent level, where the child pages will inherit those restrictions.
  • Permissions: Permissions happen at the global or space level. Confluence admins assign site-wide global permissions. They cover things like whether a teammate can create a space or even log in. Space permissions determine access settings for different groups and individual users. They cover things like permissions to view, add, change, and delete content within a space. 

Think of Confluence spaces like a house. You can give anyone a key to your front door (permissions), but that doesn’t necessarily mean they have access to all of the rooms within your house (page restrictions). 

When using Confluence as your document tracking system, you may find yourself restricting a lot of pages for different users. You may need to lock up and secure documentation for HIPAA compliance or protect documents like budgets or employee reviews. If you find yourself setting a bunch of different restrictions for different page users in your document management system, you may want to consider creating a new space specifically for these sensitive files. Once you create a new restricted space, you can give permissions only to those stakeholders who need access to it rather than needing to restrict individual users.

Track document changes and revisions

With page history and page comparison views in Confluence, you get the best of document tracking along with an audit trail of page changes. The system also sends follow-up notifications to anyone watching the page.

Confluence page history allows you to track and compare changes and revisions between different page versions and lets you restore previous versions of the page if necessary. This level of version control not only gives you the power to view and make changes easily but also provides a level of transparency to everyone who has access to the page.

When viewing a specific version of a Confluence page, the following functions are available:

  • Current version: View the newest version of the page.
  • Compare with current: Compare differences between the newest version of the page and the page you’re viewing.
  • Restore this version: Bring back the content of a previous version of the page.
  • View page history: Look at the list of page revisions and versions.
  • Previous and next: Look at the previous or next versions of pages.

Although it’s not possible to see individual changes made by each person permitted to a specific page, you can see the names of the people who have contributed to a particular version of a page.

Easily find what you’re looking for

Employees spend (see also: waste) 20% of their day searching for and gathering information, according to McKinsey. Time they could spend doing anything more productive.

One of Confluence’s key features is a built-in search function powered by Atlassian Intelligence (AI). AI search in Confluence does more than let users find relevant documentation. It learns from your organization. Unique project names or acronyms become part of the searchable database. And all of it can be kept as accessible or inaccessible as you like thanks to comprehensive permission-enabling.

When users search in Confluence, the platform looks for content in all workspaces (including personal spaces), space descriptions, personal profiles, mail, and pages. The search and tracking features also scan the content of some attached files, like PDFs, Microsoft Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, and Excel spreadsheets. The results users see are based on their individual Confluence permissions, so they’ll only see the content they’re allowed to.

Users can refine their search with interactive filters. They can search within and using the following parameters:

  • Within a space: The space the team member is currently in will appear at the top by default, but users can find content within another space or list of spaces.
  • By a specific person: The “contributor” filter lets users find content that’s modified—created, commented on, or updated—by individual people. When users start typing a username, Confluence will show possible results in real time.
  • By content type: The “type” filter will only surface results that are specific content types, like pages, comments, user profiles, or blog posts.
  • Within a set time frame: The “date” filter will only surface content that was last modified—created, commented on, or updated—within a specified period of time.
  • With a specific label: The “label” filter will only surface content that has a particular label. To use this file tracking feature, team members can begin typing the label name and select from a list of potential matches.
  • Within a space category: Space admins are able to organize spaces into categories for teammate locations, subjects, and departments. Users can browse possible categories within the space directory or start typing a category name to find documents within a group of related spaces. 

You can also use Confluence’s advanced search options to add more filters like date range, creator, title, or ancestor page. If you’re looking for a user-friendly document-tracking software solution, Confluence’s search function is a great place to start.

Get a document tracking and storage tool that can do even more

Your company is dealing with many moving parts—individuals, groups, projects, and files—and you need a team workspace that can keep up. With Confluence, you get more than a knowledge and collaboration platform; you also get a holistic document tracking and storage tool.

Try Confluence today and discover how your choice in a document management system can help you protect your organization’s vulnerable data, save your team’s valuable time, and improve your company’s bottom line.

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