Workset organization and their settings are an important part of Revit project. If used correctly you can rip great benefits from it, however they are far too often misused. Below is my “2 cents” on several things that I think are pretty important when dealing with Revit Worksets and Worksharing.
1) Using Worksets to control your visibility graphics for your production views. Please, DON’T DO THAT! That is just not what they are for. They are there to split your elements in a certain logical way so that when your project eventually becomes super heavy – you can “unload” them from the document to release memory so you can do work without waiting for your views to regenerate.
You just cannot rely on Worksets to set your visibility graphics because you don’t have much control over what shows up on them. Even if you think you do, when you have more then 2 people working on a project (let alone 5-6) Worksets will become a mess and would need a constant (at least once-a-week “cleaning” to put things where they belong). Bottom line is Worksets are the arbitrary human-controlled way to organize elements in your Revit document therefore shouldn’t be relied on when setting up your graphics – there are far more reliable things like Categories and other element properties such as Type Names that can be accesses via View Filters.
2) The Workset dialog global Visibility Setting. It has to be set once, and shouldn’t be messed with anymore. You should decide on how the elements that will belong to this Workset are going to be used and set this checkbox accordingly to that. For example if you are creating a Workset to keep all you design Masses on – most likely you only want that stuff to show up in a couple of 3D Views where you going to do your design work. In that case create a Masses Workset and uncheck “Visible in all views” property – this way when you create new views (especially your production views) these design masses won’t show up there by default. On the other hand if you need a Workset for your interior partitions – most likely you will want to see them in the majority of your views, so leave the “Visible in all views” property checked. I have seen a few times when people want to hide/show something all together, instead of turning Workset on/off via view visibility graphics they open the Workset Dialog and uncheck/check “Visible in all views” property. Sure, it will do the trick, but when you forget and synchronize – all of the sudden all the project visibility settings get altered and other team members working in other views start seeing elements that are not meant to be there, or even worse stop seeing elements and assume that they were deleted.
3) Workset cleanup chores! Making sure that your model stays organized – is easier said than done. Earlier I mentioned “once-a-week Workset cleaning” and it is important! I try to develop a habit to do this sort of model cleanup every Monday. I was under impression that once team members get more experience with Revit there will be less and less need for these “cleanup” sessions and that the model will become more organized and that everyone will miraculously start creating elements on Worksets that they belong to. But that didn’t really happen. So recently I thought of an idea that might work for everyone to become a bit more cautious – establish the “Workset cleanup chores” for each project team! Imagine if every Monday each of the team members has to go through a hassle of doing this cleanup? Regardless of your role on the project (Project Manager, Designer whatever…), as long as you are working with the model – you have to do it when your turn comes! What difference would it make, huh? I bet that after doing that at least once everyone would become much more cautious about element creation!