Optimal Methods for Storing SharePoint Document Templates

Optimal Methods for Storing SharePoint Document Templates

At first, one might think that the method used to handle document content in SharePoint is not significant as long as the documents are easily accessible. However, it’s important to note that the approach taken to manage document content can have a significant impact on how SharePoint is developed as a document management system. It can either limit or enhance the possibilities of document management.

Bring together the location of document templates.

The first step towards unifying the location of document templates is to review the plan of your document management system and identify all the different documents that are either stored or generated in your SharePoint sites. This will help you determine the type of templates that will be required.

As a general guideline, templates should only contain shared content and formatting without any critical information related to customers or services.

An ideal template serves as a blueprint for new documents, indicating where all the necessary data, such as customer details, product descriptions, or price lists, should be inserted. To accomplish this, the content should be divided into smaller files, which can then be merged to create new documents. I will provide more details on this in the next step.

To keep templates in a unified location, we recommend storing them in a single SharePoint library if you generate documents in SharePoint using content types. You can then assign the appropriate template to the relevant content type for use in the required library. This approach offers several advantages over using the default content type template or uploading a custom one.

  • You can guarantee that the latest version of the template is always used.
  • You can easily search and migrate templates.
  • You can easily move them around and govern editing permissions from one central location, making it more efficient to manage who works with the templates.

It’s worth noting that a single library location for your SharePoint farm may not always be feasible. In such cases, we suggest creating and managing a separate folder for all “system” documents for your site collection, at a minimum. This approach ensures that your templates are still well-organized and easily accessible.

Content should be divided into smaller files.

Templates and content distribution are inextricably linked issues since dispersed content must be incorporated into templates sometimes, or everything falls apart. When I mention “content dispersion,” I mean that all reusable content should have its distinct storage location.

Consider the following scenario:

We must prepare proposals for our customers, and the final document will differ depending on their demands and what we propose. We may take several techniques here, and let’s look at two of them.

Method No. 1

We can strive to develop all potential variations of the final proposal so that when we need it, we can choose one that is ready, fill in the customer information, and submit it.

It appears straightforward, and once implemented, it requires almost no effort, yet it is fraught with complications. The most significant of these is the work needed to keep things up to date. Multiple proposals may contain material on a given product; if it changes, all of the documents must be revised independently, which, let’s face it, rarely happens. It is only updated when necessary.

Another major worry at this phase is scalability. If a new product is released, many specific proposal types may need to be developed simultaneously, dramatically increasing the number of “Templates.” That can never be a good thing. Nobody will know which of them is the correct document at some point.

Method No. 2

Rather than having ready-made documents for every occasion, we recommend creating them on the fly. I already mentioned the template material briefly. Specifically, templates should only contain text common to all conceivable final product variations. Assume my proposal has the following chapters: A title page with corporate and customer information, an introduction to whatever is being proposed, actual details about the proposal, and a conclusion” such as client testimonials or price lists, depending on the situation.

The essential term here is “depending” – if we examine attentively, we can see that every aspect of the proposal differs. At this moment, what is the mutual content? It is only the title page in my instance. That’s exactly what my template looks like: a title page with a header and footer and some placeholders for customer information and proposal specifics. Everything else is stored in other libraries in separate files.

This method has several advantages over method one:

  • It drastically decreases the number of papers that must be managed.
  • Every piece of information is only found in a single area, requiring just a single change to keep a topic current.
  • It drastically decreases the number of papers that must be managed.

How exactly does it work?

As you can expect, we are more eager to employ the second option. In the actual world, however, a collaborative solution that makes the best of all available knowledge must be found. Everything would look like this at this point:

Call on Alcero consultants to help you implement technology-based cooperation in your organization or get it on track.

Take your collaboration to the next level.