Your first question might be “what is docs.com?” and that’s fair. You may have heard of docs.microsoft.com, which is what it redirects to (or maybe you already figured that out by typing it in your own browser…).
Over the course of the last year (?) Microsoft has made a very notable push to consolidate their public-facing documentation all to the docs.microsoft.com site–and I love it! These are the top reasons I’m a big fan.
Part of good reference documentation is that it isn’t radically different from one product to the next–especially in the case of the Microsoft clouds of Azure, Business Applications, and Office 365 where the products are engineered to work with each other. Having consistency across these helps connect that experience. A few places this is evident includes:
It seems to me like there’s been a significant effort to make this site SEO-friendly (SEO-focused?). I get high-ranking hits of this documentation using the major search providers–which is great considering how fresh much of the content is.
Within the site, the outline (navigation) for each item includes search (if you’re trying to find something within this logical area, with the top-level search just a click away.
This same documentation used to be scattered around a bunch of product specific pages, TechNet articles, MSDN, product manuals, separate roadmap sites, “official” community sites (and probably more).
Now it doesn’t take heroic efforts to track this stuff down. Resources for end users, admins, IT pros, and developers are all here–which is especially great since so many people who would go looking for this don’t fall neatly into just one of those buckets. A huge amount of content is out there already, with some still pointing to old articles (that are being ported and retired).
Every page has the date stamp right at the top of the page, giving a quick heads up as to how fresh the content is or when it may have last been reviewed. In this same area it calls out the people who have contributed to writing the page as well, which for some reason just feels good to remember there are real human beings behind the updates 🙂
I also find it interesting that all of the documentation is written in Markdown and maintained on GitHub repositories. It’s very open to be able to see edit history, publishing over time, and all sorts of other stuff out there.
Joel and I revisit our discussion about productivity tools. This time we discuss:
Have you ever had a situation where a little delay makes the difference between an “important request” and “never mind…”? Joel and I talk about walking that fine line on using procrastination as a tool to see whether some tasks may not be worth acting on ASAP.
How do you figure out when you hit that point of diminishing returns? Joel and Matt cover a few real-world examples…
Wouldn’t it sound crazy to suggest that having kids makes you more productive? Neither Joel nor Matt recommend being re-productive solely for the purpose of becoming personally-productive, however they do have some interesting points of how kids shift the perspective on productivity.
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How do you prepare yourself to have a productive week? Matt asks Joel for feedback on his weekly planning routine and swap a few ideas to shake things up.
Processing email is a constant need, is it best to keep on top of it via your mobile phone? Joel and Matt talk about how they try to deal with this.
How do you get past those little barriers that keep you from doing the things you know you should do? Joel and Matt talk about how they try to deal with this.
Do you feel like you could get more out of your meetings? Joel Lindstrom and Matthew C. Anderson cover their top 3 tips for hosting productive meetings.
OneNote has been around for well over a decade…are you using it to its fullest? Joel Lindstrom picks Matthew C. Anderson’s brain on some ways to manage your OneNote notebooks.