Advanced workflow options
Advanced workflow options
Following on from our other workflow articles, this article looks at some of the more advanced things you can do with workflows in Light Blue.
A workflow is a list of tasks and messages that are based around a key date. They’re really useful for reminding you of things that you need to do for a particular shoot, and for sending templated messages that can help you to organize the job and make sure that your client doesn’t forget to show up.
Basing workflows around different key dates
A workflow can be based around one of a number of different dates within a shoot record.
To add a workflow based around the date of a shoot, you can click on the “add workflow” button next to the shoot date.
If you want to add a workload based around the date that your client first got in touch with you, you can click on the icon next to the enquiry date.
You can set defaults for your shoot and enquiry workflows in the Preferences window… and you can choose different defaults for each of your shoot types, which allows you to handle each type of job differently.
When you change the status of a shoot from “enquiry” to “confirmed”, a couple of things will happen.
Firstly, if you still have any outstanding tasks from your enquiry workflow that haven’t been completed, Light Blue will ask you if you want to keep them or remove them. After all, you may not want a reminder to follow up an enquiry that has already confirmed!
Secondly, when a shoot has been confirmed, Light Blue will ask you if you want to add your default shoot workflow based around the date of the shoot. You can also add a confirmed workflow at this point, which allows you to schedule things like sending out a contract or booking form to your client.
As well as adding workflows based around the date of the shoot, the date of the enquiry, or the date that the client confirmed the booking, it’s also possible to add workflows around any other date that you wish.
You can do this by going to the Activity tab of the shoot, clicking on the plus button, and choosing the “add workflow.” option Here you’ll be able to choose which workflow you want to add, and the date around which you want to base it.
Workflows based around appointments & meetings
You can also add workflows to appointments (such as meetings or viewing sessions), which allows you to schedule tasks or reminders around the date of the appointment.
You can set a default workflow for each of your appointment types in the Preferences window. When you create a new appointment, you’ll be asked if you want to add its default workflow when you close the appointment dialog.
Workflow messages linked to shoot & contact records
Workflows can also include emails and text messages. These workflow messages use email or text message templates that you’ve set up in Light Blue. These templates can include mail-merge tags that you can use to personalize them by including information from Light Blue, such as your clients’ names, contact details, or shoot details.
You can only include workflow messages in workflows that are added to shoot or contact records. If you try to use a mail-merge tag that isn’t available in a workflow message, Light Blue will display a warning message like this one.
You can preview a workflow message by double-clicking on it in the Activity panel. If you want to edit it, you can un-tick the “Preview Mail-Merge Tags” checkbox.
Light Blue always uses the most up-to-date information from the shoot or contact record when sending your workflow messages, so if your client has updated their phone number or email address, or the time of the shoot has changed, then Light Blue will use the right information to populate the message.
You can see all of your scheduled emails and text messages in the Outbox.