Contact Overview Menu: Workflows

When you access a contact record in Redtail, you'll notice new menu items in your Left Menu Bar underneath Contacts (these menu items only appear when within a contact record): 


Here we'll take a look at Workflows. If you click that option from this menu, you'll see the Workflows area for the Contact: 


There are no Workflows attached to the contact above when we access this area. We'll go through the process of attaching one. To do so, click "Add Workflow". You'll then see two options: 


Here's the difference between the two:

  • Create new workflow — use this if you want to attach a new version of the Workflow Template to the contact.
  • Link existing workflow — use this option if you're choosing a Workflow that is already attached to another database contact. This might be applicable if the Workflow is already attached to the spouse of the contact. What you'll need to keep in mind is that if you choose this option, after selecting that existing Workflow and linking it, it will be in the exact same state for this contact record, i.e., if some of the Steps and Tasks are already completed, this will be reflected in this instance of the Workflow with this contact. Also, when completing a Task or Step on either record, it will be completed on both.

In most cases, you'll probably want to select "Create new workflow" here. You'd then see the below: 



In the Workflow Template box, you can select from your existing Workflow Templates. Or, you can select "Create With No Template", in which case you'll need to build the Workflow Process after you've created it.

In the Workflow Name box, you can name the Workflow whatever you would like. Our recommended practice is to simply add the client's name in front of or behind the Workflow Template name here. This will make recognizing them much easier when they are in a group, or when you are linking an existing workflow.

In the Owner box, select User or Team and then select the appropriate database user or database user team in the resulting box.

In the Category box, select from your available System or Custom categories.

In the Target Date box, set your desired date for the Workflow's completion. Check off "Excluding Weekends & Federal Holidays?" if you don't want target dates or task due dates falling on either of those.

Finally, you can provide a Description for the Workflow if you would like. Note: if you've chosen a Workflow Template from your database, its default Description, if any, will populate here. But, you can edit it for this instance of the Workflow should you need to. This won't affect the Template itself.

An example of what this might look like if we were attaching our "Important Information List 2017" Workflow Template to a record is below:



We can then click Create Workflow, and the workflow will show up in his record in the Contact Workflows area: 


Above your Workflows, in addition to the Add Workflow button that we covered above, you'll see several more options: 

  • Export — clicking this will open up the listed Workflows in Excel format.
  • Active — by default you will be viewing Active Workflows for the contact.
  • Complete — if you want to instead view the contact's Completed Workflows, you can click this.

The Actions Menu to the left of your Workflows offers several additional options: 


  • Edit Workflow — this allows you to change the Workflow's Name, Owner, Target Date and/or Description.
  • Complete Current Step - this allows you to complete the current step for the Workflow.
  • Workflow Diagram — this displays a diagram of your Workflow's Steps and potential Outcomes / Next Steps (for Steps that have Outcomes).
  • Unlink Workflow — this will remove the Workflow from the contact but leave it in place for any other contacts that it may be linked to. You would only select this option if the Workflow is attached to more than one contact and you only wanted to remove it from the contact within whose record you are currently working.
  • Send to Search - this will send any contacts attached to the Workflow to your Advanced Search page.
  • Save as Template — this will allow you to save the Workflow as a Workflow Template. This can be useful if 1) you created a new Workflow for the contact when adding it to their record or 2) you substantially modified an existing Template that you attached to them that you want to reuse with other contacts.
  • Timeline — displays a history of changes to the Workflow Template itself.
  • Summary Notes — displays any Notes added to Steps when you complete them.
  • Workflow Checklist Report — downloads a pdf that you can print and check off Workflow Steps as they are completed.
  • Delete Workflow — deletes the Workflow from the contact record. Use this option for removal if the Workflow is only attached to the contact record with which you are currently working. 

 Now, let's take a look at what you might see when you click the Workflow's name in this area: 


For this particular Workflow for Henry Jones, we might see the below (keep in mind that what you will actually see is based upon your individualized Workflow Templates): 


Along the top you'll see the Target Date for the Workflow, Linked Contacts, a number (which is a hyperlink) indicating how many Step Notes have been added to the Workflow, the Current Step awaiting completion, and the percentage complete for the entire Workflow Process.

Next, you'll see the name that you've given the Workflow, its Description, and Workflow Options and New Step buttons.

Hovering your cursor over any of the Task Names will display descriptions for the task (if applicable) in a popup.

Clicking the Workflow Options button will display the below options which you can take with the workflow (descriptions for each of these are above):


Since you're working from a Workflow Template, there may be some circumstances where you need to add new steps for certain clients or in certain situations. Clicking the New Step button will allow you to do so, without affecting your original template.

Next, you'll see the Workflow broken down into Steps and Tasks (visible when you click on a Step Name to expand): 


Before considering the numbered items above, let's discuss the layout in general.

There is one Step in this Workflow Process: Gather the Following Info. There are seven Tasks involved for this Step — but, you can have as many Steps or as many Tasks as is necessary to define your processes.

Each Step lists when it is due (in relation to the Target Date you set for the overall Workflow). Note: you set the Due Date for individual Steps in relation to Workflow Due Dates when setting up your Workflow Templates. If you need to edit these after attaching them to a contact, you can do so. We'll get to that a little later in this post. The Step that is currently awaiting completion will also have a "Complete Step" link when you've reached the point in the process to complete them. 

Each Task lists the Task Name, to whom it is assigned, it's Due Date and its Status. The Completed column for each Task will display "Complete" as a hyperlink (which allows you to mark the Task complete) or be blank, meaning you haven't reached that part of the Workflow yet. Note that if you want to complete an entire Step (if you've already completed all of its Tasks), you can click "Complete Step"  at the end of the Step's row. This will complete all associated Tasks.

Now, let's look at the numbered items in the screenshot above:

1. If you click directly on the vertical arrows for a Workflow Step, you'll find that you can drag and drop Steps to reorder the Workflow Process.

2. Each Step has an Actions icon, which, if clicked, appears as below: 

  • New Task allows you to add more Tasks for a particular Step.
  • Edit Step allows you to edit the Step Name and/or its due date in relation to the Due Date for the overall Workflow, as well as to provide a description for the Step. You can also make a Mail Merge a part of the Step here, if applicable.
  • Edit/View Step Comments - add, edit or view comments for the Step
  • Add Outcome allows you to input possible outcomes for the Step and set Next Steps for those outcomes. When you go to Complete the Tasks(s) that will complete the Step, you'll then have to choose between the Outcomes that you have added, which will in turn set your Workflow at the Step designated for that Outcome.
  • View Outcomes shows you how many possible Outcomes have been added for the Step and their associated Next Step.

3. Tasks also have an Actions icon, with the following options: 


  • Edit Task allows you to edit the Task Name, to whom it is assigned, it's Due Date and its Description.
  • Reassign-Due also allows you to reassign the Task or change its Due Date.
  • Delete Task allows you to delete the task from this instance of the Workflow.

4. The Complete link numbered "4" above shows you what you will see in the Completed column for the currently Active Step in the Workflow. If you haven't assigned any possible Outcomes for the Step, clicking that will complete the Step and make the next Step available for completion. If the Step does have possible Outcomes, you'll have to choose the Outcome after clicking Complete.  

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