Hey there. Welcome to this session of the “How to Make Guides” project where I am creating an instruction manual for users to make their own guides (and other projects!). In the previous session, I overhauled step 3 of phase 2, splitting it into two large steps. In this session, I plan to add an instruction about adding titles for your sessions in Appendix A and upgrading the Issue Log from a basic table in WordPress to an advanced table using a plugin.
The latter task item is less project-focused and more about my specific workflow and I feel weird writing about it here. However, this may be an important example about those little things that pop up that don’t directly impact your project but you have (or want) to address.
Updating Appendix A
The task is to include “adding titles” to the “Conducting A Session” section of Appendix A. Step one of the section is to “Set Up Your Document” so it seems like a fitting place to add this update.
Here is the current verbiage:
Step One: Set Up Your Document
You need three sections for your session: a Goal, Notes, and Action Items.
If you are using paper and pencil, the Goal can be presented at the top of the first page and the notes will start underneath. A separate piece of paper should be used for logging Action Items.
When using a digital format, again start with the Goal at the top then add a section for logging Action Items. Write your notes in the space between the Goal and Action Items (the Action Items section will keep moving down your document as you type).
I guess the solution is to treat the title as a section in the document. Something like:
Step One: Set Up Your Document
You need four sections for your session: a Title, Goal, Notes, and Action Items.
If you are using paper and pencil, the Title can be written at the top. Choose something unique, perhaps using the date. The Goal can be presented at the top of the first page (under the title) and the Notes will start underneath. A separate piece of paper should be used for logging Action Items.
When using a digital format, again start with a unique Title and place the Goal at the top then add a section for logging Action Items. Write your Notes in the space between the Goal and Action Items (the Action Items section will keep moving down your document as you type).
I think that’s concise. I’ll update the draft with this new text. Done and done.
Upgrading the Issue Log
The goal of this task is to upgrade the Issue Log to an advanced table. What does this mean? Currently I’m using the standard tables that come with WordPress to log issues and it’s fine for displaying static data but since I’m constantly editing it I need something a little more user-friendly.
There is a plugin I use for other robust tables that I’d like to use but the problem is WordPress does not allow users to nest shortcodes. The reason this is an issue is that the Issue Log is currently in an accordion panel which utilizes shortcodes. So I can’t place a table shortcode within an accordion shortcode.
So what are my options? I could pull the Issue Log out of the accordion. That might be the simplest option with minimal disturbance. The Issue Log is at the end of the dossier anyway so it’s not like it would be offensively disruptive to the layout.
I could also make it its own page but that would defeat the purpose. I’m just going to stick with the previous option.
To tackle this, I’ll have to create a new table in the advanced plugin, enter the data, then place the shortcode for that table on the page. After, I’ll delete the original table from the dossier. I’ll do all that now.
And that’s complete. No new issues and I can wrap up this session now. In the next session I will finally get back to adding to the draft: the Launching Your Product section.
Should be a blast. See you there!