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Best Practice: Implement a Successful Publishing Workflow

Written by Corey Ganser
Former Product Manager at MindTouch
This page applies to:MindTouch Responsive


When your company uses MindTouch, it is crucial that you empower all users to create and share knowledge. Leveraging this publishing workflow best practice, will allow you to:

  • Encourage contribution of original content.
  • Monitor activity across your MindTouch site and identify new articles that are ready to be published.
  • Leverage KCS (Knowledge-Centered Services) standards for easy content creation and sharing.

Set up your workflow

To get started with this workflow, identify the users who will be authoring content and their role. MindTouch recommends to set up a workflow around the following three roles for the content creation and curation process:

Draft Contributors
Users who draft original or edit existing content to ensure that customers and other users have access to the most complete and updated information. 

Users who are tasked with creating original content or with making adjustments to current docs to support the needs of customers and other users.

Users who review and edit the content created by authors for grammar, spelling, style guidelines, and adding screenshots and links to similar support article. The editor is also the role responsible for publishing content.

Set draft permissions

The above users can be set up through groups within MindTouch and by leveraging permissions. To keep this simple, we will just show how to leverage permissions. You have a lot of possibilities leveraging the robust permissions and group management within MindTouch. To align with KCS best practices, you will want to permission the Drafts section with the Semi-Private permissions. This will allow your employees to share articles with customers by sending them the direct link, but it will not surface within search or within navigation. To apply permissions to the Drafts section, follow these steps:

  1. From the MindTouch toolbar, select Options > Restrict access
  2. Select the Semi-Private radio button.
  3. Under User/Group Permissions ensure to grant access to all your authors who are to create content in this section. The easiest way to do this is to set up a group of all of your authors and then to grant the whole group access to Drafts. Review how to create groups here.
  4. Also grant permission to your Publisher(s) who should have the Editor role. You can decide to again set up a group for Publishers or to add them individually.   

Create custom classifications to track your workflow

Assign tasks to your identified workflow roles is imperative to a successful collaboration. Consider setting up custom classification (Stage) to allow your users to track the status of an article (Draft, Review, Edit, Published, Update). A Draft Contributor for example might classify an article as Draft to signal a draft is being created. An Editor on the other hand would search for articles that are in Edit status to establish an editorial calendar and finally set an article's status to Published once it is published. But before you jump in and create custom classifications and tags, read up on our best practice on instituting the most effective draft authoring workflow

Create a draft

  1. Go to the homepage of your MindTouch site and click on New on the MindTouch toolbar.
  2. Select the type of page you want to create and click Create. (Ensure the Create draft radio button is selected.)
  3. If necessary, click Show all x available templates to display your full list of page templates.

  1. Choose a title for your page and click Save
  2. At the top of the page, click Page Settings and change the Article type as appropriate:

Subscribe to notifications

An Editor can easily subscribe to the Drafts space to receive notifications when changes are made to an article. Just click the star to the right of an article to subscribe to that page or section and select the desired level of subscription.

While receiving notifications about changes to an article provides users with the opportunity to be aware of any changes, users may become overwhelmed with notifications if a lot of changes occur. If you or any of your users are planning to make significant changes to a lot of content and you don't want your inbox to drown in email notifications, you may want to temporarily disable all notifications (see below).

Disable or enable site notifications

If you have administrative privileges, you can temporarily or permanently disable notifications for your entire site:

  1. From the MindTouch toolbar, select Site tools > Control panel.
  2. Under System Settings, click Configuration.
  3. Under Site Options, check or uncheck the Disable page notifications checkbox.

Unsubscribe from notifications

If you want to disable notifications for a particular page, click on your profile on the MindTouch toolbar and select My subscriptions :

View pages in a specific status of your workflow

To view pages in a specific status, access the Page Classification Manager and filter by the desired state. Once results are populated, you are able to export a list of the articles in currently in the selected status.

Publish a draft

Ready to publish your content? Perform the following steps:

  1. Save all changes if you are still in Edit mode.
  2. Click View draft in the right-hand corner of the page.

  1. Review one last time for errors and formatting.
  2. Click Publish.
  3. From the MindTouch toolbar, select Options > Move to move the page to its desired location within your site hierarchy. 

  1. Change the article's Page Settings to Semi-Public.
  2. Restrict editing access to the Publisher only, to ensure an efficient documentation control. 

Create a draft from live documentation

As highlighted in the last section, published, live content is is only editable by the Publisher. To ensure a truly collaborative environment, you still want to enable your employees to contribute and make adjustments to content. If you are an Authors or Draft Contributors with adequate permissions, you are able to create drafts as follwos:

  1. From the MindTouch toolbar, select Edit.
  2. Click Create draft

  1. Make any necessary changes.
  2. Click Save when done.
  3. Change the article's status to Draft in Page Settings to alert the Editor(s) of pending changes.
  4. The Editor will review the changes and publish the draft.