If you’ve not used a wiki for documentation before, I would highly recommend you consider installing DokuWiki and giving it a try.  Rather than putting specifications, help desk notes or anything that requires versioning, updating and needs to be clearly understood by all members of your audience into a text document (or God forbid – Word!), think about using a wiki for this purpose.  Wikis are easy to update, track all changes, are highly searchable, and can have links placed for related topics in a snap.  Wikis also can be updated by the user themselves allowing more than just the author to control the wording and depth of the description.

Last week, Patagonia paid for me to spend a day training staff from VCCool how to use a new Joomla! based website I had built for them as part of an Enviro “Miracle” Grant from the company.  To make the presentation lasting and purposeful, I put all of the training information into a wiki I had installed.  Having used wikis for documentation and help guides within Patagonia for the past 6 years, I really couldn’t think of a better means of disseminating information.  Now the VCCool staff can update, improve and contribute their own voice to the guides for running their website and their organization.

There are several great wiki open source projects out there today, and I’ve tried quite a few of them.  For me, DokuWiki is the best of breed.  It runs without the need for a database, is fast and easily updated, has a clean, easy to read layout and is a well supported project.   Until something better comes along, this wiki is my primary tool for internal documentation and reference creation.

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