What's changed in 2021: We at Less Annoying still love our wikis! We recently migrated our entire wiki over to Notion, and it's since been our one-stop shop for all our internal documents and shared procedures. In addition to the uses in the article below, two new ways we've started using a workspace/wiki tool like Notion is to manage our upcoming projects, and meeting agenda topics.
One of the biggest challenges businesses of all sizes face is the organization and storage of information. It's tough enough to keep track of your own thoughts, and it gets significantly harder when you work with other people. And it's not just enough to store everything on a hard drive somewhere. You need to actually be able to find the information you're looking for in the future or else there's not much point in storing the info in the first place.
That's where a wiki a can help you. Most people have heard of some wiki sites such as Wikipedia and WikiLeaks, but it seems like most people don't really understand what a wiki actually is. A Wiki is just a website where the users can control the content. Think of it as an online version of the bulletin board at your office. Anyone in your office can add, remove or edit content from the board, and then everyone else can see it. But unlike the bulletin board, a wiki has virtually unlimited storage capacity, and search is built in so you can easily find whatever you're looking for.
Setting up a wiki will give everyone you work with a clear place to store documentation, files, procedures, and anything else that you can think of. From document sharing to a group to-do list, a wiki can handle just about anything.
So now you should be sold on the idea of using a wiki for your business, but you're probably wondering what you need to do to set one up. There are dozens of decent wiki platforms out there, but I personally like to use Google Sites. If you're more technical and you want to host the wiki on your own servers, I'd recommend MediaWiki (the same platform Wikipedia uses) or DokuWiki.
Here are a few things you should look for when deciding what software is right for you:
- Privacy/Security - Most wiki software let's you block access to the outside world so that you can store private information. Make sure you can create accounts for your team and that no one else will be able to view your wiki.
- File storage - You'll be entering most information directly into the wiki itself, but you will also probably need to upload and store existing files. Before deciding on software, make sure it can support your file upload needs.
- Different page formats - What will you be doing with your wiki? Do you need to-do lists? A calendar? Forms? Some people prefer only the most basic content editing features, but maybe you need something more sophisticated.
- Search - As I mentioned, there's no point in entering information if you won't be able to find it again. You should definitely test out the search capabilities before deciding which product to use.
Well that's it for now. My full tutorial on how to create a wiki on Google Sites will be ready in the next week or two (update: see that tutorial here), but hopefully you won't let that slow you down. Go out there and start a wiki for yourself.