Document Management System Best Practices

Document management systems offer a powerful way to manage the files, and processes around these files, that support organizations. Document management systems provide a place to store and to collaborate on these files so that organizations don’t need to worry about lost data, poor access to that data, or other issues that slow down decision making.

What makes a great document management system? Let’s look at key best practices around document management. Ready to get started? Contact us and we’d be happy to help.

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Document Management Systems Best Practices

KnowledgeTree helps large organizations efficiently create, organize, discover, and manage documents. Secure, browser-based access to KnowledgeTree is delivered via a highly-scalable cloud infrastructure. The platform is simple to roll-out, use, and control. And it provides enterprise-grade functionality that the largest organizations demand.


KnowledgeTree Launchpad provides value in 5 key functional areas:

Create content efficiently with powerful collaboration and workflow tools

Organize content based on your organization’s unique structure

Discover content quickly with robust search and browsing tools

Manage content security and lifecycle to get the right content into the right hands

Govern your instance with powerful management tools

Document challenges account for 21% of productivity loss

Create New Content

Your business documents are often spread over dozens of repositories. That can make it a nightmare for a team to find the files they need to get work done. Even worse, if documents are stored on individuals’’ computers they can be especially difficult to access. Collaboration becomes nearly impossible.


A more effective approach is to centralize your documents in a single location. Powerful document management systems enable teams to provide a flexible, user-friendly environment to store, work on, and share content. With one place to go, more team members know where to go to find content. And they’re much more likely to want to centralize their own content when they see the security and support they get from an enterprise-class document management system.


One of the reasons why users store content on their computers or use alternatives is due to an access and ease-of-use challenge. Take a salesperson as an example. If she has a mission-critical presentation, they don’t want their access to it to be restricted in such a way that they can’t access it when they need it.


Strong document management systems allow users to access their content easily via the browser including on mobile devices. A good document management system won’t require users to have a Virtual Private Network (VPN) or download extra software. Instead, they should be able to quickly get the content they need from the easiest place possible — their browser.


KnowledgeTree offers a complete suite of tools that can accelerate content delivery by up to 30%. Content creation teams can efficiently collaborate on the development and review of materials. And powerful management tools help content stay fresh and managed.

Adding Content to a Document Management System

With KnowledgeTree it’s simple to add materials to the repository. Users can simply drag and drop content to their browser. Content is automatically uploaded into the correct folder and is immediately discoverable and shareable by colleagues.


Users can also bulk upload content, adding dozens or even thousands of content pieces at once. Teams can “zip” large sets of content, including their folder structures. When uploaded to KnowledgeTree, the document and folder hierarchies are instantly recreated and metadata can be applied against your content in bulk.


Each individual folder has its own unique email address. By emailing an attachment to the address, KnowledgeTree will add content to the correct folder. Making it simple to add content into your repository anytime and from anywhere.

Manage Content Versions in a Document Management System

When content needs to be updated, content creators can control multiple versions of their content. A check-in and check-out function locks down content as it is updated by content managers. Then, when a new version is uploaded, KnowledgeTree will log the update as a “Major” or “Minor” update, incrementing the version number accordingly.


Managers can view and revert to prior versions of their content with a simple click directly from the interface. That makes it easy to access older content. Managers can also archive content so that is stored if needed, but is not available to regular users.

Project Management with Documents

The creation of content is a project, so it needs to managed correctly. KnowledgeTree provides project management tools to help teams make building content easy. Users can group source files, drafts, and other content into a project. They can assign tasks to project members and set milestones for their projects.


By centralizing files and tasks for a particular content initiative, teams can accelerate the creation of content.

Document Alerts

Over time content will need to be updated or reviewed. KnowledgeTree alerts can be set up to notify users or teams of users on a specific date or after a set period of time. Alerts can be customized to provide tailored text to guide the recipients on what they need to do next. For instance, you might add an alert for “Please review legal language” on a contract and set a notification to alert the Legal team in 1 year.

Content Feed

As content is created and updated it’s often important to know what changes have been made. KnowledgeTree’s content feed provides a stream of updates about your content. Users can see a chronologically ordered list of document comments and actions.


For instance, a reviewer may approve a draft version of the content. That approval will appear in the content’s feed. And if a reader of the content has an opinion about the material, they can add it to the feed for others to see and potentially act on.

Organize Your Document Management System

When your organization has thousands or many, many thousands of documents, it can be exceptionally difficult to find them using traditional folder-based methods. A more powerful approach is to rely on rich metadata to organize your content and make them easier to find.


Metadata can include a range of descriptions, depending on how you run your business. It could include general text descriptions, picklists of values, dates, tags, and many other elements that let your team add and organize materials.


When dealing with large volumes of documents it’s important to be able to apply metadata against your content in bulk. That means being able to select many documents to be managed and labeled appropriately. And then applying metadata in bulk.


KnowledgeTree makes it easy for the largest organizations to efficiently organize their content. Our customizable metadata and folder-based approaches help teams structure content based on how they do business. That makes it easy for content consumers to quickly find materials that they need.

Sales reps spend 18 minutes on average to find each document

Organize Documents with Folders

An intuitive way for users to relate to content is through folders. Users can create deep hierarchies of folders and subfolders to structure their content management. Users can efficiently navigate the folder structure by clicking through — or by using the KnowledgeTree file tool to efficiently traverse folders.

Use Folder Templates

When a user creates a new folder they often need to create the same set of sub-folders over and over again. For instance, if a new proposal folder is created you may always need to have “Contracts”, “Resources”, “Proposal Templates”, and other subfolders always added to the parent folder.


KnowledgeTree lets you create folder templates that can be applied when you create a new folder. The templated subfolders will be automatically generated for the new folder. That saves time and improves consistency across your content.

Metadata for Rich Content Organization

Content often needs to be organized in more sophisticated ways than just folders. Users may wish to organize materials by content type or specific descriptors that matter to your organization.


Managers can add metadata fields like text fields, date fields, dropdown picklists, and more. These fields can be grouped and made standard for different document types. They can also be set to be mandatory, requiring a content creator to complete the metadata fields as content is created.


When content is loaded in bulk into KnowledgeTree you can apply metadata to your content en masse. So even as you add thousands of content pieces you can associate metadata with your content.

Tags for Lightweight Organization

Tags are simple tools for organizing content. You can create and reuse tags simply by typing in text into the tag tool. Tags can be applied across content, regardless of which folder it is stored in. They make a convenient way for creators and consumers of content to search for content — or to simply click on a tag and be taken to a list of content with that matching tag.

Discover Documents

Consumers of content need to efficiently find and access the content they need. KnowledgeTree makes content discovery easy with powerful, flexible tools to browse or search for the materials they need.


Full Text Search

Users can quickly search on their content, looking beyond simple “file name” searches to locate exactly the content needed. KnowledgeTree’s search looks into file name, tags, metadata, and even the content itself. The technology searches within Office, PDF, and the actual content of other files as well to help users locate what they need.


Advanced Search

Sometimes it’s not enough to search the content’s text. Users need advanced searches to narrow results to just what they need. With KnowledgeTree’s advanced search, users can uncover content based on attributes like:

Who created it

When it was created

Associated metadata

What stage it is in in an approval workflow

The file size and type

Whether the content is finalized or not, etc


Advanced searches can be built with Boolean logic to further refine search results. And these advanced searches can be saved and shared so that other team members can quickly launch even highly customized queries.


Browse by Folder or Tag

Browsing for content is a common way for KnowledgeTree users to navigate. It’s easy for team members to navigate through folder hierarchies to find the content they’d like. Using KnowledgeTree’s content navigator they can also hop from one folder to another even faster.


Folders appear in search results as well, so users can search for content, discover individual pieces, or folders, and then proceed to a folder to browse for their content.


Identify Popular Content

When a user comes across content they find useful, they want to help their colleagues use and succeed with it to. KnowledgeTree makes it easy to “like” content that they think is useful. Colleagues can see which content was liked and by how much, helping them to use materials that are valued by peers.


KnowledgeTree scores content by its use and these likes. Content is ranked on a dashboard, giving users a convenient place to discover content that their colleagues use. And to congratulate content creators for building “in demand” content.


Share Content Efficiently

When a user discovers the material they need, the next step might be to download or share that content with a prospect or external party. Users have multiple options to efficiently share content with their colleagues:

Download the latest version of content with a simple click

Share content via email with external parties

Share content via link

Share content with a link that expires after 24 hours


Managers can monitor the sharing of content and understand which individuals and teams are accessing content, which content is being accessed, and other reports about content performance.

77% of organizations want to be able to access documents remotely

Manage Content

Large organizations need tools to manage their users and the content in your repository. KnowledgeTree offers a robust platform that lets managers finely control their environment, with rich reports, team management, and security tools to stay in command.


Group Management

Large organizations are subdivided into different teams who consume and create content in different ways. KnowledgeTree lets you create and assign different profiles to different users. Organizing team members into groups makes it easy to coordinate alerts, tasks, projects, and permissions.


Control Permissions

KnowledgeTree helps keep your content secure. Managers and content owners can lock-down their content so only authorized people can access it. Folders and their content aren’t visible to teams without the correct permissions. Managers can even control finely grained permissions like whether groups and users can add content, change security, and view content.


Administrators also have global security capabilities to keep your repository secure. For instance, administrators can enforce password standards to ensure that high quality security is in place.


Manage Users with LDAP and SSO

Administrators can control individual users and their access rights. They can also make the process simple by using our LDAP and SSO support to perform mass user management.


Administrators can audit and monitor user logins and usage to stay in control of even the largest teams. Plus, SSO support makes it easy to have phased roll-outs of large organizations.


Manage Even the Largest Business Units

KnowledgeTree includes the concept of “Control Units”. This allows administrators to assign control to “sub-admins” for particular business units. These sub-admins can manage their own teams and organizations without granting administrative access to the entire system. This functionality is particularly useful for large organizations with many divisions.


Archive Content

When content needs to be removed from users you can easily archive content, storing it away so that only authorized users can access the materials. Administrators can also expunge content, removing deleted files from the repository.



KnowledgeTree offers a rich set of reporting functions that let managers uncover content usage by team, user, folder, and document. This lets teams audit content usage and determine which content could be archived or updated.


Offline Backup

KnowledgeTree is built on AWS’s robust, highly scalable infrastructure. That means your content is readily accessible when you need it. Regular backups ensure that your data is safe and accessible. Plus, you can back-up your data offline to your own infrastructure on-demand — keeping you in control of your company’s critical information.

88% of missed opportunities were because sales couldn’t find or leverage internal resources

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