The first thing you are going to want to do in the Forums app is create the overall structure of your discussion areas. You can create categories, forums, and any number of sub-forums or sub-categories.
Try not to create too many sections especially on new communities. It can make your site look empty and not very inviting. You can always add more later as your community grows!
Visit Forums in the AdminCP and you will see the list of existing categories and forums. From here you can easily drag-and-drop to reorder or create new categories and forums.
When you click Create a Forum you are presented with some different options for the types of items you can create. You are able to create categories as a container, discussion forums, question and answer forums (just like a discussion but with a different layout), or a redirect that simply links somewhere else.
When you create your forums you will be presented with a wide variety of settings and options. All these options are explained in the AdminCP. Here we will touch on a few options that are important or have some unique applications.
The options under the permissions section allow you to refine when members can and cannot see the content of a forum. Particularly important to note is the Custom No Permissions Error input box. Content entered here is displayed to the user rather than the default error message. One application of this feature is to create a sort of "teaser" section of your discussion area. You might set permissions so a guests can see the forum but if they try to read topics within it will display an error encouraging them to register on your community.
As with many features in the Suite, you can often be creative in how you use them.
Explore the other settings and options for the Forums section in the AdminCP to learn all the great options available to you.