I’m guessing your gut reaction to the phrase “team documentation” falls somewhere between a light shudder and an anxiety attack.
It’s not about the documentation at all.
It’s about the tools you’ve chosen to manage it (or lack thereof).
Thorough and well-organized team documentation is the single most powerful way to create an independent, efficient team.
So, why do we dread it?
My best guess is that it’s because it’s hard to do it right.
It may seem easier to let each team member do their own thing and figure stuff out as it comes up rather than refer to documents, but it turns out that this is actually really detrimental to progress.
When we allow our teams to work like this, we all end up doing the same work 10 times over.
With the collaborative compiling of information, notes and resources, the job gets done quicker, better and smarter.
For example, if one team member spends hours puzzling out a solution to a recurring problem, you shouldn’t let that solution disappear—it should be recorded in your team’s documentation for future reference.
Otherwise, the next five team members who bump into this problem will have to spend time rediscovering the solution.
This is where Slite comes in.
Put simply, Slite helps your team act like a team by encouraging collaboration through easy-to-use, visually-pleasing features that will improve your team’s organization and productivity.
If it sounds too good to be true, read on to find out.
What Is Slite?
Slite is essentially an online database where your team can put any and every piece of information that helps them get their work done.
Whether you’re working on marketing, product development, ideation, or content creation, Slite is the place where your team will put its notes, documents, content, ideas, links, articles and other documentation to keep it together in one searchable application.
By moving out of a simple document editor into the space of organization, tags, notes, interactive material, structure, comments and integrations, Slite turns itself into the one tool where your team will constantly return for collaboration and information.
Slite Review: Real-Time Team Documentation Done Simply
Now that you have a basic understanding of Slite’s goals and methods, let’s take a deeper look at some of the ways it accomplishes this through its features.
Channels and Collections
Channels are the largest organizational level on Slite and are how you will separate things like projects, teams, types of information, or any other high-level organization that you see fit.
Beneath channels, you can organize information into collections within each of your channels. A perfect example of this is putting a To Do collection of documents, each note with different team members tagged, in the Marketing channel.
The best part about the organization on Slite is that it is completely customizable. I organize things differently that you, so why should our tools shoehorn us into the same organizational methods?
Within collections are notes, which are the actual documents in Slite. This is where you’ll add your content. It’s editable in real-time, and inline comments can be added within the content.
While collections and channels remain mostly constant, notes are often created for notifications, editing documents, collaboration between members and other important dynamic and collaborative interactions.
By using the many organizational features of notes, like bookmarks, tags, internal and external links and pins, you can easily keep track of the notes that pertain to you and assign other notes to your team members.
Edit in Real Time
Another very important feature of Slite that encourages constant collaboration is the ability to edit documents in real time.
By combining real time editing with other features like comments and tags, you can easily interact with other team members and work together to edit any documents that you are working on.
This includes any of the types of documentation that you might be working on within Slite, like to-do lists, check boxes, tables, content, code, etc.
One application that I particularly like about the real time editing feature is how it lends itself to leaving Slite open throughout the day and using it as a type of communication board as well as a documentation tool.
It’s very easy to leave running in the background and address things as they come up in real time.
We all know that there is no tool out there that can do everything that you need, so integrations are something that I think any successful tool should have.
Currently, you can integrate your Slack with your Slite, which gives you the powerful features of Slack in the organizational system that Slite provides.
One great use of this integration is using Slack’s features of communication and collaboration within the Slite framework, which simply adds an extra dimension to your work flow within Slite.
You can also import your content from Google into Slite, which facilitates moving a current knowledge base into Slite without having to recreate everything.
Tag Team Members and Track Progress
We’ve briefly touched on this in other parts of this review, but I cannot overstate how much I like the feature of being able to tag other members. I think this is an absolute must and it provides so much in the way of teamwork and communication.
This can be applied at any level of the Slite framework, meaning that you can tag another team member within a note, comment, or a bullet of a bullet list.
By using the tag feature, you can notify team members of what they need to do and maintain your organization throughout the work process.
You can also easily keep track of progress from within the Slite app by monitoring edits and creation. Slite is constantly reporting any changes made in the knowledge base, so it’s very easy to monitor progress and keep everything moving forward.
Another incredibly important feature of Slite is the preprogrammed templates. By using these templates and creating your own, you can save time and energy by selecting from templates rather than constantly recreating common notes.
This is a huge timesaver, especially if you find yourself using identical or similar documents on a regular basis.
How to Use Slite Effectively
Hopefully, you’ve seen how effective Slite can be for your team, but it’s important to make a few notes about how to maximize its potential.
If you use Slite haphazardly without creating a plan, it will most likely become another failed attempt at a team knowledge base.
First, make sure that your entire team is frequently using Slite and that they are constantly updating documentation as needed.
You know better than anyone else how much your internal information changes, so make sure that you keep track of it by actually updating Slite regularly.
Otherwise, it’s just a collection of old, useless information.
Second, organize your Slite and the information within based on role. There’s no need to make marketing teams read product development workflows, so keep everything tidy by keeping it separate and organized according to role and project.
Third, collaborate. I’ve used that word a lot in this article because it’s so important. Slite is a collaborative tool for teams that work together.
If there are weak links, it falls to pieces, so make sure that you are collaborating, editing, tagging, commenting, flagging and doing absolutely anything else you can do within Slite to make the most of its features.
If you would like to learn more on how to use Slite effectively, you can check out their “Use Cases” page where you can find personalized advice on how to use Slite based on your needs (sales, marketing, product, HR, development, etc.)
Slite can be used for free for with access to creating 50 notes/month, which isn’t that many for a team.
For the unlimited version, Slite costs $6.67/user/month billed annually. This version gives you unlimited notes, 10GB storage/user and many other important features like larger attachments, unlimited revision history and others.
If you are not yet sure if Slite would be a good fit, check out their product comparisons to find out more about where they stand out. Current available comparisons are for Google Docs, Dropbox Paper, Confluence and Evernote users.
Working in Slite could be the difference between failed attempts at documentation and a thriving, living internal knowledge base, so I think it’s worth the try.
Yassir Sahnoun is a content strategist, writer and co-founder of WriteWorldwide. He helps SaaS businesses with content strategy and SEO. You can learn more about Yassir at YassirSahnoun.com.