Shoot Workflows allow you the ability to define a series of tasks that are necessary for you to fulfill a job for a client. When a workflow is attached to a shoot you get reminders under the Task manager when the tasks within the workflow become due. Workflows basically help you stay organized and on track to seeing a shoot through to completion.
You can build different Shoot Workflows for the different Shoot Types you offer, such as Engagements, Weddings, Portraits or Commercial shoots. Each one of these shoot types can have their own series of defined tasks. You can also have multiple workflows for each shoot type. For example, maybe you have a Long Wedding Workflow and a Short Wedding Workflow. In short, you can create as many different workflows as necessary.
To build a shoot workflow, start by going here:
Settings > Workflow > Shoot Workflows
Click the New Workflow button to get started building.
Add in a Name to differentiate this Workflow from the others you will make.
The first main section will allow you to Schedule Correspondence that needs to go out on a specific date, relative to the Booking date or Shoot date. If you like to send an email thanking the client for booking one day after the Booking date or any other Email or Questionnaire that always will be sent at a particular time relative to one of those dates, you will want to build that in here. To do so, simply click the Add Correspondence button, and choose one of your email or questionnaire templates. Then specify when it should automatically be sent.
You will then start building your list of Milestones. These Milestones are general sections of the Shoot (Pre-Shoot, Post-Production, Post Booking, etc). Milestones are basically groups of related tasks. These tasks represent the individual items that need to be done throughout the shoot. They can be as simple as just a few short reminders or as complicated as a complete checklist of all areas of the Shoot. It is completely up to the way you do business and what you feel you or your employees will benefit by being reminded of.
One thing we do recommend, however, is that anything pertaining to a separate sub-shoot (like an engagement session) or to a specific Product (like Tasks for album ordering) be left out of the main Shoot Workflow and, instead, built into a separate Shoot or Product Workflow. This will allow you to make full use of the powerful automatic emailing of the Workflows and will allow ShootQ to avoid Tasks that don't pertain to the shoot in question.
Each Milestone can be edited by clicking on it and using the editing fields to the right. There are three separate aspects of the Milestone that you can edit. The first of these is the Settings section. This is where you will Name the Milestone, write a description of the milestone if necessary (for internal use only), add individual Tasks to it and Categorize to those Tasks. Categories are filterable under the Tasks tab. For example, you can search for all of your tasks categorized as "Inventory". You can also add multiple categories to a task.
Some studios need the ability to assign certain tasks to specific individuals. For example, maybe you have one person who handles all of your post-production tasks. You can create a category out of that person's name and then attach it specific tasks. Then, under the task manger, their "name" category will be sortable.
The second aspect of the Milestone is the Events section. This is an optional part of a Milestone that you may choose to utilize if you have an Email or Questionnaire that is related to the Tasks in that Milestone. For instance, in the example below we have a Milestone that relates to posting images online. Once the Tasks in this milestone have been completed, it will be time to alert the client that they can view their images. So we have created an Event that will send the notification email automatically once all of the Tasks in that Milestone have been checked off by you or a member of your staff. You can add as many Events to a milestone as necessary.
The final aspect of the Milestone is the Due Date. This is where you can assign a date that you would ideally like to have the tasks within the milestone completed done for every Shoot. Due dates for milestones can be set in relation to either the Shoot Date or Booking Date. You can also set them to be due after the previous milestone due.
Setting a due date is often a difficult thing for studios to do, especially if you feel like you've been juggling plates with all of your responsibilities up until now. The best way to approach this is to make some realistic decisions about when you would like to complete a certain stage of the shoot, making sure to give yourself a little cushion just in case something comes up. Remember, these dates are for your internal organization and can always be adjusted as needed, on a shoot by shoot basis. That said, however, you may find that using the Workflow system will bring a whole new level of peace to your business and help to organize your time on a daily basis so that you are more efficient and productive, leaving you with a little time for yourself, finally!
If you decide you would like to do some rearranging to your Milestones, you can simply click on them and drag and drop them to a new location. It's important to note that changing the order of the milestones will not change their due dates.
If you make any changes to any aspect of a workflow - Name, Scheduled Correspondence, Milestones, etc - always make sure you click the Save Changes button.
If you ever update a workflow, the changes will not affect a workflow that is attached to a current shoot; they will only affect future shoots.
Once you have your Workflow looking the way you want it and it's saved, you can start applying them to Shoots.