Creating a Business Manual

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Creating a Business Manual

Postby tishialee on Fri Aug 03, 2007 8:50 pm

I have a client that wants me to create a business manual with all the instructions on how to do all the tasks I do. I'm all for it and I was really liking the idea of using Wiki to do it because Wiki is awesome (I have one client that uses Wiki for her business manual & it just ROCKS) but this client wants me to do it in Microsoft Word.

The thing I'm having issues with is that I want to seperate things into different categories - how to set up client appointments, how to do this & how to do that but in a Word document it's all going to run into one LOOOONG document.

Unlesss I create a business manual for each individual task I do.

Does anyone have any suggestions on a more efficient/easier way to do this?
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Postby Mel on Fri Aug 03, 2007 9:56 pm

Why not write it like an ebook and have each task be a separate chapter so to speak. You could even do a cover page for each chapter if you wanted so that could go in the TOC.

Then put a table of contents (TOC) on like page 2 (right after the main cover page) and make each one clickable so that the client can jump right to the part that they want to read.

If that doesn't make sense, email me and I'll show you want I mean. :wink:
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Postby soapin'Angela on Sat Aug 04, 2007 2:03 am

I have a client with a LOOONG manual, it's something like 45 pages or something but it's got everything in it. And they did it as Mel suggests, with chapters and a table of contents.

I'm not that great at using word so I don't know how they did it but when you go to the table of contents you can click on any listing and it takes you right to that section of the manual without having to scroll to find it.
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Postby Patrysha on Sat Aug 04, 2007 12:48 pm

When writing a book in word, I use the Master Document feature in Word.

Each chapter is a seperate file and can be used and updated seperately until the whole thing is ready to go together as a book. Each section is documented in the Master Document so it's easy to go there, pull up the file of the chapter I'm working on and having it all update in the MD.

If they want it in word, that's what I would do :-)
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Postby Mara B on Mon Aug 06, 2007 11:22 am

Is the client planning on keeping the manual so they can understand HOW you do what you do, or in case they need to get someone else to do some of the work you do? And, I would think they would have provided something like that to you at the beginning of your work so that you would complete things the way they wanted.
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Postby tishialee on Tue Aug 07, 2007 12:44 am

Mara it's a brand new client and we spoke about me creating the business manual when she was considering hiring me as her VA. I told her I didn't have a problem doing that. I suggested Wiki and she said she prefered using Word.

She hasn't ever had a business manual before so obviously she didn't have anything to send to me to begin with. It's a bit overwhelming right at the moment because I've got a gazillion and one emails and notes from her with things that I need to put in the manual. Once I start it, it will be less overwhelming and much easier for me to do some of the day to day tasks that I am having to flip through all my notes/emails to find login information, etc.

The reason behind the manual was (1) for my benefit like I just mentioned above, (2) for if I'm sick or on vacation I can have someone cover my work because all the step-by-step instructions will be there in the manual and (3) so that she can have it on hand for reference.
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Postby tishialee on Tue Aug 07, 2007 2:57 pm

What is the master document feature in Word and where do I find it? I'm looking through Word and I'm finding lots of things that I never knew before (LOL) but I haven't found the master document feature.
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Postby Patrysha on Tue Aug 07, 2007 4:09 pm

Short on time, so can't do a full tutorial. Easiest way to learn is to go to help and then click on Microsoft Word Help and then search for Master Document - that will show you all the information on Master Documents and creating sub-documents ;-)

It's been a while since I've done it - last time was in November when I was working on my last novel...which ultimately gathers dust on the hardrive...sigh
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Postby tishialee on Tue Aug 07, 2007 6:42 pm

Master document is something I don't have time to mess around with right now so I just started creating headings & did a table of contents like Mel explained to me (thanks Mel) and it's going great.

It's make my life so much easier having everything all in once place instead of going through a pile of papers & a gazillion emails looking for login info for this or instructions for that.

Thanks for all the help ladies :-)
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Postby Mel on Tue Aug 07, 2007 10:03 pm

Glad it's working Tishia. Having everything in one place does make life easier. I have a 3-ring binder for my logins and instructions but I also keep a copy on my computer so links are clickable and I can copy/paste when needed. It saves time and frustration because I don't have to try to type everything accurately each time.
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Wiki for Biz Manual

Postby ZedBiz on Wed Aug 08, 2007 12:21 am

Hey Tisha,

Could you give an example of using a wiki for a business manual, and which wiki software you used?

Thanks
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Postby tishialee on Fri Aug 10, 2007 12:05 am

Hi Jack,

I've never personally used Wiki to create a manul but another one of my clients made us a business manual & she used Wiki (just the free version she said) for it.

I love it! With the Wiki manual it is all online so instead of having to send documents back & forth with instructions/login information, etc we simply access the manual with our URL that Wiki gave us when she created the manual. It's pretty cool.
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