Strategic advice requested from the Gurus.... docs, entities, permissions

Hi. I had participated in the new references thread and this very much aligns with it. I would greatly appreciate some advice regarding the best way for me to accomplish the following (and see how I tried to make it work below).

  1. I am trying to make SOPs in document form (or just rich text entity form e.g. smart folder) that have entities available to some departments but not others via permissions.
  2. The SOPs have different steps that apply to different departments, teams, and potentially based on other factors (e.g. if something exists or not).

I created three spaces: Main, Testing, and Global.

I have one browser open with my account, which has access to all spaces. I created another account that is meant to represent a department-specific user. It only has access to the Main space.

I have attached one image that shows the main user with access to all spaces. The entries (in both list form and sentence form) are from Main as well as Testing and Global. As you can see this account sees everything.

  • OMT label is in Global
  • RT label is Main
  • G is in Testing

It comes out differently than I might have expected. However, I am not knowledgeable to know whether this is even the right way to try. The labels for the items show to the people who don’t have access, while the entities themselves don’t show. Also, everything is underlined. The underline is by design and good, though perhaps the way I envision creating a Doc makes it a little unwieldy.

I’m wondering if someone can tell me a better way to try to accomplish this, though I think the label showing and the entity not showing might reflect a bug?

The second image is from the user who only has access to the Main space.

In your example images, the ‘Main’ user sees only information from entities in dbs they have access to. For dbs that they don’t have access to, they see that an entity is mentioned, but see no information about it.
So overall, I think what you’re seeing is ‘correct’.

But the question is whether/why it does not match what you would expect.
What do you think would be ideal behaviour if one user authors a document and refers to items in that document, but these items are in a database which another user who reads the document cannot access?

Assuming an SOP is intended to describe a process that will be repeated, I imagine it should refer to tasks in the abstract, rather than mentioning a task with a deadline/status/owner etc.
Otherwise, when reading an SOP, users will see things like

In order to complete this procedure
- Do this In progress
- Another task Done

i.e. the ‘tasks’ in the SOP are the specific executions of things to be done, rather than generic “This is what this stage of the SOP requires you to do”

I suspect you’d be better suited to create ‘Task templates’ which are tied to the SOP, and when a User wants to follow the SOP, they will create ‘Tasks’ from the ‘Task templates’

Does that make sense?

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Hi Chris, thanks so much for your feedback. I’ve recently started bringing team members over and a they’re all more skilled than me, so I can only hope we grow better.

Let me caveat my response by mentioning that (1) I’m recovering from a traumatic brain injury (2) I was recently diagnosed with adult ADHD (possibly as a result of the tbi), and (3) I’m a CEO, though at heart I love product.

There is something uniquely special about Fibery that I will share with you guys when I find the words for it, but they largely boil down to the visual manner in which I can communicate, collaborate, and not only manage, but also participate in what were once black-boxed endeavors like workflows, schematics, and architecture.

This tool has clicked for me in a near magical way and so while all of my employees are already standardized on an existing suite of tools, I simply had to go with this, my management team agreed, they’re migrating over, and boom - all of a sudden my cordoned-off comms and collaboration - usually chaotically spread across disparate system as perfectly described y your CEO in the first few minutes of a video - well they all make sense.

I’m certain that an enormous part of that concept is engaging in “project management” but doing so from a Doc-based perspective.

If you think about it, that must also be the reason why Notion became so powerful, but it’s an abacus vs your super computer.

So consider a document. One that has views, images, entities, and the like. It should flow - both in terms of the creative process and the reading process - like Google Docs but on steroids.

When you do things like show icons for referenced entities and don’t show the data in the entity, it just breaks that flow in every way possible.

Further, I don’t see the utility of having teams or people who do not have access-to or permissions-for a given entity - seeing that there’s an entity there - but out of their own reach. It’s not just awkward from a workflow perspective, but it’s psychologically bad business as well.

Also, I want to further comment about what I’d mentioned previously about transclusions (or similar concepts). When I followed-up after, I clarified that editing from anywhere is far less important than seeing the data from anywhere, but being able to edit one source as opposed to multiple, disconnected sources.

Thus far, that is a challenge (IMO) that a company (like mine) would have migrating to Fibery. Because what can be accomplished easily in other tools then becomes a cumbersome manual endeavor that is very difficult to manage. Luckily, Fibery is worth it. But I wouldn’t downplay the importance of it. Have a good weekend. :slight_smile:

You know what Chris, I realize that it’s less about the transclusion concept - because that can be emulated in Fibery - and more about the inability to create an entity that has line breaks and paragraph marks.

For instance, they way we have worked, collaboratively, is that at either a page-level or a block-level we all check things off as read (this is just one example). So you have a daily update, an H2 and 5 or 10 bullet points under it - sometimes I do this multiple times in a day- and you just transclude the block or create an entity out of the block (or would hope to at least), rather than going through and including 5 or 10 individual entities or 5 or 10 individual links to other pages.

I fully understand that you could put these entities in a table. But going back to the beginning, your integration with Docs makes for an extremely intuitive user experience. We have been collaborating in Google Docs, Coda, and Clickup (and me in Obsidian) in various instances (with Google Docs being the most used but the least powerful) and we have done so as documents with numbered lists, paragraphs, etc.
Sure we use tables when it calls for them, but we are not forced to use tables all the time.

Is allowing an entity with lined breaks/paragraph marks that hard? I see that the very question spawns another… how to include entities within entities… as a start if you could handle the line breaks and paragraph marks it would be great. Is that very hard? I’m guessing it may be but it’s over my head so I’m curious.

Do you mean line breaks and paragraphs in the entity name?
Unfortunately, this isn’t possible.

Well, I mean line break (blank lines) in the actual entity.

For example, I know that I can highlight the sentence below and either create a new entity or link to an existing entity.

The quick brown fox jumped over the fence.

But what if I would like to turn a block, or two paragraphs, or similar into an entity, e.g.

Foxes and Fences [heading]

While the quick brown fox jumped over the fence, the neighbors were watching. [paragraph 1]

One of them ran after the fox. [paragraph 2]

I can’t do that I’m wondering if there’s a workaround or if this is something that you could implement at a later date?

When you create a new entity from highlighted text, the text you have highlighted becomes the entity name (it becomes a #mention) and no it’s not possible to have line breaks in a name.
And to be clear, although changing the text of a #mention changes the name of the entity, the #mention of an entity is not the entity itself - for example, deleting the mention will not delete the entity.

But you can highlight a block of text (that includes multiple paragraphs) and link to an existing entity (whose name, whatever it might be, will remain unchanged). This is a ‘linked highlight’.
However, there are limitations to what can be included in a highlight block, so certain combinations of formatting/embedded items will prevent you from creating a linked highlight.

Okay, that’s very helpful. I appreciate it.