Still getting used to our subject, topic, and step hierarchy? Getting familiar with this structure will help you create awesomely clear and organized Trainual Subjects for your team.
Step 1: Outline your topics
Before you can create any content within a new subject, you need to create the topics the content will live in. A topic is basically a subfolder of related content inside the subject. You can have as many topics as you need.
Yeah, that’s great, but how do I use topics effectively?
Strategy: Create topics the way you would prepare discussion items for a presentation.
Let’s say you are going to give a live presentation to your team about a specific payroll process in your business. You’ve gathered your accounting and human resources departments together, and you’re standing in front of the room. You wouldn’t directly jump into what button to click for the first step, right?
You’d probably start with some kind of an introduction with some pleasantries and a few details to set up what you’ll be doing and why.
Then you would probably provide an overview of the “big ideas” you will be discussing:
THESE “big ideas” would be great topics in Trainual. Think of them like chapter titles in a book. You didn’t get into any deep specifics. You just grouped the big ideas together so you could get into details during that part of the presentation.
Here’s what that might look like in Trainual:
Notice that the “big ideas” became the topics in the subject. We even included an Introduction topic at the beginning to include the details to set up the content (more on that in a moment).
Outline all the topics you’ll need for your subject first. That will set you up perfectly for what comes next.
Step 2: Outline your steps
With your Topics identified and created, you can click the arrow next to your first topic and begin listing the steps within it. It’s usually easiest to think about this chronologically. What’s the first thing you’ll cover in the topic? What’s the second thing? What comes after that? List each as its own step.
When you’re done, it might look something like this:
Step 3: Add content to your steps
Now that you’ve outlined your subject in an organized way, the final step is simply to add the content inside the super clear Steps you’ve created.
💪 Coach’s Tip: Use the Loom integration to record yourself as you talk through a process or policy. It helps you document much faster! Learn more by clicking here.
Make less awesome subjects more awesome
Do you have any existing subjects that aren’t so nicely organized? The good news is that it’s super easy to restructure them so that they make more sense and are easier for your team to use.
Here’s a common example: The 1-Topic “fire hose” subject 😱
This often happens when you create a new subject and just brain-dump everything you can think of into one topic. It’s not a bad strategy for getting a process out of your head, but leaving it like this can be problematic.
Why? Strictly from the end user’s perspective, that’s a LOT of content to go through in one topic! It’s also not immediately clear if all the steps are directly related to each other or not, or if there’s an intended sequence. Is this a whole process? Or are there multiple processes here?
A little bit of reorganization will clear a lot of that up!
Step 1: Identify potential topic groups
Review all the steps and determine if there are some that go together naturally. Then, create new topics for each of the groups. Repeat this until you have all the topics you need.
Step 2: Reorganize the content
Then, expand each topic and drag the right steps into the appropriate topics.
All of the content in the steps will stay where it is, so no worries about losing any of your work! Once you create a step, it is like a card in a deck of cards. You can shuffle it around as much as you want, but the “card” stays the same.
Whether you are creating a subject from scratch or trying to restructure your content so it’s easier to use, you now have a simple strategy to do both.
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