expedienceblog

Four Steps to Perfectly Organized Content

 
In an earlier series of posts we looked at how to make reusable content 'Copy-Paste ready' Now we can focus on organizing it in a way that will help us find the content we need easily, and make it easy for the other users of the content as well.

As mentioned in an earlier post, our goal is to use nothing beyond Microsoft Word—no additional software.

We will be storing our reusable content in a single Word document.  You may want to split your content into separate documents depending on the amount of content you have.  Everything we discuss in this post can be easily applied to additional ‘master’ documents.

We will be using 4 basic elements to organize our content:
 
  1. Main Categories
  2. Subcategories
  3. Names
  4. Descriptions
 
Every block of reusable content will be assigned each of these 4 elements.
The first thing to sort out is the overall structure of your main categories and subcategories.  

If you are basing your master document on a past proposal or questionnaire, you may be able to draw upon the typical structure of the proposal to guide the category structure.

If you have problems with designing the structure, start with subcategories and then group them into general categories later. (We will look at a number of examples in the next post.)
For instance, for an Asset Management library, I might have ‘Firm Narratives’  as a main category and the following list as subcategories under it:

Firm Narratives
  • Firm Contact Info
  • Firm Overview
  • History
  • Ownership  Incentives
  • Staff
Under the subcategories I might have the following names representing blocks of content:
Firm Narratives
  • Firm Contact Info
    • Contact Information
    • Worldwide Locations
  • Firm Overview
    • Investment Philosophy
    • Investment Process
  • History
    • Long History
    • Short History
  • Ownership  Incentives
    • Incentive Packages
    • Vacation Policy
  • Staff
    • Education
    • Experience
    • Key Investment Professionals
    • Non-investment Professionals
    • Team Tenure
    • Total Number
These main category, subcategory, and content name labels will be included in the master document, so we will need a way to differentiate them from the content itself.  

I am going to pick an obvious color scheme that won’t ever appear in the content so I won’t accidentally copy and paste one of the labels along with the content.  For instance:
Color Code Categories
Once I am happy with my color scheme I am going to going to create heading styles to match.  (See the earlier post to find out how easy that is.)

You can use built-in styles or custom heading styles, just make sure that the heading level matches the level of the label:
Main Category
Heading 1
16pt bold purple
Subcategory
Heading 2
14pt bold blue
Name
Heading 3
12pt bold green
Then add another Heading style for the content description.  This is optional but VERY useful as we will see later.  We will use this element to hold comments about the content, sample questions, key words, and anything else that will help us decide if this is the correct content for our needs.
Description
Heading 4
12pt italic orange
My Style Gallery will look something like this:
My organizational structure looks like this:
Sample Content Organizational Structure
Here is a segment of my Content Library document:
Segment of completed DIY Content Library
To review.  The four steps to organizing your content:

  1. Develop a list of main categories and subcategories for your content
  2. Give each piece of content a name
  3. Add a description to your content if you think it will be helpful later
  4. Apply distinctive Heading styles 1-4 to the four elements organizing elements

 

The Reasons Why You Need a Content Library
Sample Library Structures

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Monday, 18 December 2017

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