Propared Update Video
On August 29th we pushed out a BIG update to Propared. We made this quick video for all current users to assist with getting oriented to the new program!
A few things to note before we get started:
- The bulk of the updates made in this update, center around performance improvements, code cleanup, and consistency across the program. This has set us up to make future improvements faster, and take advantage of advances made in web technology!
- You'll notice that the layout in general has only changed slightly, so the things you're looking for will most likely still be found in the same places you went for them before.
- Very few features have been removed, and where they were, it is because they were a bit redundant, or we are working on better versions of them in the near future. Your projects, past and current, are still all right where they should be.
With that said. Let's dive in! We'll start by taking a look at the global changes that you'll find on just about every screen across Propared.
You'll see that we've moved the main navigation to the left side of the screen and made it expandable so you can see the actual names of the screens. Some screens have a secondary navigation available as well.
The Paperwork Screen has been replaced by a new screen called "Reports" and there is now a Portfolio Settings screen.
Let's click over into the Team Screen to see an example of a typical screen.
At the top of the screen you'll see the name of the screen, followed by a Project Selector Dropdown on many of the screens. This is where you can select which project or on some screens the projects to focus on. You can swap between projects simply by selecting a different project. You can also search for a project at the top and reset your search. You may also see a Draft tag next to a project name. This is a new name for Inactive Projects.
In some screens you may see a series of tabs across the top such as here in the Team: People, Organizations and Locations. This is a second layer of navigation within a screen which we added to help break up information into more useful chunks.
Below that is the new Filter bar similar to our public webpages! These may look familiar because they are the same as we use on our Public Webpages. Filtering is instantaneous and you can always reset the filters by clicking on the Reset Filters button. The filter bar will offer you relevant options for each screen as well as a Recent Changes Filter, which allows you to see only items that have been changed within the last 24 hrs, 7 days or 30 days.
On the far right is the new Group By dropdown. This allows you to group the content by a variety of different headings. You can collapse groups and select all items within a group. You reset the grouping back to the default by clicking on the reset button.
Now looking at the main table. You will see that when you hover over a line an edit icon shows up on the right hand side. This means that if you click anywhere on the row when that icon is visible you will open the detail side panel for that object. We have removed the need to click the pencil icon to enter edit mode. Now you can simply edit a field and Propared will save it automatically. Clicking outside of the sidebar will close it.
All action buttons are now at the top right of the screen. The New 'object' button is in the same place as it always was, but there is now a more dropdown that holds all of the additional options that are available. For example, to remove a contact from the team, simply select the checkbox to the left of the name and select "Remove". You can also select multiple rows by clicking multiple boxes or all rows by clicking on the box in the header row. Clicking on one rows checkbox, holding shift and clicking on another one still works as well. Once you've selected multiple rows you can Bulk Edit by clicking "Edit" or Bulk Delete by clicking "Delete". Bulk editing now displays a modal. When bulk editing, select the check box next to the element you want to edit and make the change.
The Contacts Screen
The main change is that we have broken these 3 types of contacts up into three different tabs. We did this because we want to allow for slightly different information to be associated with different types of contact records.
We have made a slight update to Places and Spaces to make them easier to work with.
Places is now called Locations. As before each Location can have spaces within them. For example: The Center for Theatre and Dance is the Location, and has Spaces Theatre A, Theatre B, Ballroom A and the Center for Theatre & dance Main Complex.
Throughout Propared you will no longer select Locations in the dropdown menus, just Spaces. We did this to help simplify the selection process. For any existing locations, we've created a space for you of the same name that you can select.
For example: When you create a new Location (such as Performing Arts Center) a Space of the same name will be created so you can still use the location name to identify a larger building or area but still be able to select smaller spaces within it as well.
You will also notice that we've removed a few sections from Contacts because the features were either redundant or we are in the process of replacing them with something better:
- We removed Contact Calendar Feeds which has been replaced by the ability to create Contact-specific Production Books. This new way of doing it improves functionality as it includes both the calendar feed and the production book webpage.
- We have also removed the Contact Availability availability section. This method of tracking availability was not working very well for many users as it created another place outside of the timeline for tracking schedule information. You can replace this functionality by creating a project called "Conflicts" and tracking all conflicts there.
- Finally, we removed the Relationships section because it was not very useful in any other part of Propared. We are currently working on adding more useful associations between contacts in the near future. (data moved into Details Section).
The Projects Screen
You'll notice that the color pallet has been updated to ensure accessibility guidelines for color contrast but have been matched as closely as possible to your previous color choices.
Under Additional Details we have updated the State field to include Active and Draft Projects. Draft has replaced the previous Inactive status. As before with Inactive Projects, Draft projects are fully editable in the Propared App, but are not included in Production Books for sharing.
Previously from this dropdown you could also archive projects. We have changed this to a more deliberate function. If you want to archive a project, first select the checkbox next to the project and click Archive in the action menu. When you do this the project will now be accessible from the Archive Tab. You can unarchive a project at anytime by clicking the unarchive project button which will return it to a Draft state. If you want to delete a project, you can do so by selecting an archived project and going to the More dropdown.
Also in the detail panel you can now see a list of all of the Production Books this project is associated with and you can open them directly from this menu.
We also added new functionality to project cloning. To clone a project, go into the New Project dropdown select Clone from Existing and simply select the project you wish to clone. In addition to new dates, you can also specify a project short name, color, and project managers for the new project.
The Attachments Screen
Moving on to the attachments screen.
We added a URL Enabled toggle to each attachment. This way if you have an attachment that is showing in multiple production books you can disable it here, without having to remove it from every production book.
The Team Screen
Just like the Contacts Screen, The team screen is now divided into 3 tabs as well, for Project specific People, Organizations and Locations.
Previously, when you created a Role in the Team screen without knowing who was going to fill that Role, Propared simply said "unassigned". If you had multiple unassigned roles it was difficult to know which one was which! So, now, if there is no contact name assigned we show you the unique team member ID number. These were always here on the backend in the past, but now we are showing them to you instead of the generic "unassigned" label.
Previously, If you want to swap a contact out there was a specific swap contact button. Now you can simply select a team member, click into the Contact field and select a new name.
One last thing here, we've added ability to remove editing users(Administrators and Project Managers) from the team. Propared also no longer automatically adds all Admins and Project Managers to a project team when you create a new project.
The Timeline Screen
Notice that we now default to showing you all your projects. You can select one, multiple or all projects to view in the timeline. If you reset this filter Propared will default to showing all projects again.
In the top action menu you will see a Timezone dropdown. This is showing which timezone you are currently viewing the timeline in. If you want to view the timeline in a different timezone just click and select another option. This however does not actually change any times, simply your view!
Note that we've added powerful filter and grouping options here including a new Date Filter. Grouping will aggregate the duration of events making it great for seeing how many hours someone has worked.
We've also added the ability to bulk edit team members and locations in multiple projects simultaneously.
In addition, we've updated cloning and shifting with some exciting new features.
First, you can now clone events, clone events to other projects, and shift to new dates all in a single window.
We also added the ability to shift time-frame to a new starting date in addition to shifting forward or backward by units of time.
Previously there were multiple task types you could create in the Timeline. Tasks, Work Calls, Feeds and Bookings. This was sometimes confusing and forced you to make decisions too early. So we decided to change to only one type of task: An Event. In doing so, we incorporated the work calls and bookings, which we'll show you in a moment.
Let's look at an event. All that is required for an event is a project and a name. You'll notice that once both of those are input the event is automatically created in the table. Remember no need to save manually anymore. The all-day toggle will change the Time-frame selector to a calendar. You can select the date or date range you want. If you turn off the All-day toggle the Time-frame selector changes to a date and time selector.
Categories, Departments, Location, and Team fields work the same as before with the exception that when you click into each field, we show you your full list of options instead of requiring that you start typing first.
If you want to manage people on a more granular level previously you did that by making a workcall and adding bookings to it. This idea has now been incorporated into every event in the new section called Crew Management. Here you can add booking slots to this event. You can add a single booking or multiple slots through he bulk add option. If you want to bulk add, simple enter the Role and the number of slots to create.
If you are using the Crew Management section in your events you can go to the new Crew Management tab where you can view and manage ALL bookings from across all of your Projects. If you update a booking in the Crew Management page it will update in the associated event. You can also add a New Booking from the Crew Management screen. When you do this you'll be prompted to select a Project and an Event from the Timeline.
The new crew management section also will notify you when there are booking conflicts for people. These can be viewed by clicking on the Conflict Icon next to the Persons Name.
You can now also bulk edit booking contacts which was not possible in the previous version of Propared.
Finally, we have removed calendar feed functionality from the Timeline. Maintaining this feature was causing a lot of challenges, and it was not as useful as it could be due to the inability to sync automatically. We will be improving this by introducing an integration with Zapier in the future which will provide a better way to import and sync events. For now, we've converted all existing feed tasks into events for you.
The Production Books Screen
Now, let’s look at the changes made to the Production Books screen! You can now group your Production Books by Project to help with organizing large numbers of production books.
Let's open the details panel. Headers can be collapsed to make it a little easier to focus.
When you click into the Projects field you'll notice a new drop-down that allows you to select and de-select multiple options via checkboxes. This will allow to do neat things like select all projects EXCEPT for specific ones. You'll see this new structure in all of the production book fields.
Next, you will see the settings for the Schedule page of the Production Book. We have some neat updates here. One of the major ones is that you can now see how many events match your filtered settings. This will dynamically update as you make changes to the filters and can help ensure you are seeing what you expect. Also, we now allow you to select Locations, Team Members, Departments and categories that are not currently part of your projects! This will allow you to setup Production Books earlier in the process before your timeline or team is completely built out.
The "Include Crew" toggle allows you to add Crew Bookings from the Crew Management to your schedules. This shows up as a new column in the list view and as a new section in the details for the Month and Day views.
You will notice 2 new screens Team Page and Locations Page. These are 100% new for you and are replacing the Contact List Paperwork type! Each of these pages can be enabled or disabled.
The Team Page allows you to add a Contact List of People and Organizations. Select team members you'd like to add by using groups which will dynamically update as new team members are added to them. You can also select which columns to show.
The Locations Page displays locations, addresses, and spaces for any locations you select.
The addition of these two new pages integrates the Contact Lists into the Production Book flow. If you only want to send out a contact list without any schedule information you can simply enable the Team Page and disable the Schedule, Locations, and Attachments pages.
We've also made some updates to emailing production books.
First off, you now have the ability to add a custom subject to your emails.
Because production books are now so much more than just schedules, we've updated the design of emails so that the text of the schedule is no longer embedded in the email. Instead, your viewers will see your custom message and a button to click on to view the production book.
We have done a pretty big overhaul of the previous paperwork screen, which we now call reports
With the previously mentioned updates, Schedules, Contact Lists, and Call Sheets can now be created using Production books. As such, this functionality is being retired from the paperwork screen, and we are renaming this screen to "Reports". You will still be able to see read-only versions of your old paperwork here.
We have added a text field next to each team member in the "In Attendance" section so that you can take notes about each person.
Reports are now viewed and shared just like Production Books using a unique, auto-updating URL. When you email a report, your viewers will have see the button to click on to view the report.
This new way of creating reports is setting us up to be able to aggregate Department Notes from across Reports in the future. Which we're very excited about.
To make the admin tools easier to find, we've added a Settings screen which incorporates Access, Preferences, and Subscription Information. This is also where we will be adding a Tag Management screen in the very near future.
In the Access Tab, you can now see the number of Administrators and Project Managers used out of the total number available by your subscription.
The Preferences section is where you will manage your overall portfolio preferences. More will be added here soon including company logo uploads and the ability to choose the start day of the week for your calendars.
Currently, you'll see the ability to choose a default timezone for all projects created in your portfolio. This setting can be overridden in each project.
While you are here, please ensure that your Default Timezone is set correctly to the timezone you most work in. This is a new feature and Propared may not detect the correct timezone in the sandbox account. During the rollout to the live environment, you shouldn't have to deal with this.
User Profile Modal
Finally, we've added a User Profile modal in the upper right menu where you can edit your user profile information, see what portfolios and projects you have access to, and update your personal preferences.
We're extremely excited about this major update to Propared, and we hope you are too. Please don't hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions, comments, thoughts, or ideas as we continue to move forward together.