Create a Reference Guide

Instructions for using our Reference Guide template.

Andrew Sutton avatar
Written by Andrew Sutton
Updated over a week ago

A Reference Guide is usually defined as a condensed version of instructions that employees can use to follow a process.

This type of document is very useful as it provides a quick overview of processes that tend to be long or could have a certain degree of complexity.


  1. What is the Objective: What is the purpose of creating a reference guide and who is your audience. An objective will ensure the alignment of the purpose

  2. Identify Steps: Make sure to include all steps, and start editing. A good idea is to perform the tasks yourself with a critical eye to narrow down instructions but always have in mind clarity and simplicity

  3. Be Graphic: Once steps are ready, ask yourself a question: Can they be enhanced with graphics? Drawings, snapshots, etc. are a good option to make a step more understandable.

  4. Final Test: Is your reference guide easy to follow? Do steps still make sense? Make a final review and a final edit if needed. It is always a good idea to have someone else with no knowledge of the process test it for you to get honest feedback.

A few more considerations when creating your reference guides:

  • Simplicity is key

  • Be concise and brief with the information

  • Lay out the information in a logical way

A great way to start is to check out our Reference Guide Template located in the Manual section of your Dashboard under "Create your Own".

Customize the template based on your needs following the guidelines below:

  • Update the Title of the reference guide and the Purpose, explaining which activity or what system or equipment you're providing instructions for.

  • Under Procedure Overview provide a description of the the process you are making reference to. Be as detailed as possible and add any related or support documents as required.

  • Add the necessary Tasks following the considerations shared above in this article to make your Reference Guide as clear as possible.

  • Now a team member can run an instance of this reference guide every time they need to do it or when required by the direct supervisor to ensure a process is followed through. Enter your name under the Activity Step and hit start to activate this document.

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