You can manage your "To Do" list and remainders by creating and managing Next Steps. This section of your onboarding will cover:
- Creating Next Steps
- Editing Next Steps
- Deleting Next Steps
- Managing Next Steps
- Marking Next Steps as done
- Creating Automations
Create Next Steps
You can create Next Steps for a Contact, an Account, a Deal, or for any element within your Custom Apps. You can even create Next Steps for other members of your team.
Go to the desired app, and select the element for which you want to create the next step. Then under the 'Information' section, you will notice a few icons that you can click to create your Next Steps.
There are four types of Next Steps: Reminder, Call, Email and Meeting. Although it is important to mention that the types Call and Email are only available for the Contacts tab.
This Next Step is represented by the clock surrounded by an arrow icon. It is the first option right next to the little footprints.
To create a Reminder, just add in general information about it (1), such as description (which is a required field), due date and the team member you want to assign the Next Step to. On the left side of the creation window (2), you have the option to add a note or select Calendar, to schedule your reminder when you have some availability. Once you are done, click the 'Save' button.
This Next step type is only available in the 'out-of-the-box' Contacts tab and it is available under the phone icon. When you click on it, you have the option to click the phone number to start a call or click 'Add Next Step'.
To create a Call Next Step, just add in general information about it (1), such as description (which is a required field), due date and the team member you want to assign the Next Step to. On the left side of the creation window (2), you have the option to add a note or select Calendar, to schedule your reminder when you have some availability. Once you are done, click the 'Save' button.
Email Next step is only available in the 'out-of-the-box' Contacts tab and it is available under the email icon. When you click on it, you have the option to click the email address to send an email or click 'Add Next Step'.
To create an Email Next Step, just add in general information about it (1), such as description (which is a required field), due date and the team member you want to assign the Next Step to. Here you also have to select one of your existing 'email templates' and choose to send it automatically, by clicking on the 'Send automatically' checkbox. On the left side of the creation window (2), you have the option to add a note or select Calendar, to schedule your reminder when you have some availability. Once you are done, click the 'Save' button.
Note: If you would like to create a next step without using a template, we recommend that you create an empty email template that you can use it for these particular cases where you rather type your own. You can also modify any of your existing templates before sending the email to your contact.
This Next Step type is represented by the calendar icon and it will allow you to schedule meetings
To create a Meeting Next Step, you will be required to enter a description (since it is a required field), add in the guest as well as any teammates that you want to include into the meeting. Then you have the option to provide a location for the meeting which can be a physical address or the meeting link. Then just select the date/time and duration of your meeting, as well as the frequency in case you want to create a recurring meeting. On the left side of the creation window (2), you have the option to add a note or select Calendar, to schedule your reminder when you have some availability. Once you are done, click the 'Save' button.
IMPORTANT: Please note that if you create the Next Step for team members with 'Individual' access level they will not be able to see the Next Step if they are not the owner of the Contact, Account or Deal.
Your Next Step will be visible on the selected tab under the Next Step segment, or in the Next Steps tab.
Edit Next Steps
To edit Next Steps, go to the Next Steps app and click on the description of the Next Step you want to edit.
Here you will be able to change the description, due date, assigned to, and notes of the Next Step. Other options could be available according to the Next Step type. Please note that it will not be possible to change the Next Step's type.
Once you have finished with the edits, click the 'Save' button to update your Next Step.
Delete Next Steps
Go to the Next Steps tab and click on the description of the Next Step you want to delete. Click the 'Delete' button to remove the Next Step.
Manage Next Steps
Next Steps will show their status (1). The status can be 'Not Done', 'Done' and 'Overdue'. The Overdue status will be assigned to a Next Step automatically by FreeAgent CRM in case the Due date has expired (2). Once the Next Step is marked as 'Done' it will include the 'Completed Date' (3) on its details.
The color of the status, as well as that of the Next Steps icon, will change according to the status value. Those Next Steps that are 'Overdue' will show up in light crimson color for both the Next Steps icon and the due date.
If the Next Step is On time, then the Next Step icon will show up in light green, while the Next Step's due date on the Next Steps segment will be gray.
Mark Next Steps as "Done"
Each Next Step can be marked as Done in different locations, within the tab you created it from, on the Next Steps tab or from the Calendar.
From your Tabs
Go to the desired Tab, then click on the element with the Next Step you have completed. On the Next Steps segment, there are three vertical dots on the right side of the Next Step. Click on them to reveal the available options. Then click 'Done'.
In the following window, you will be able to add notes to the Next Step you are about to complete if necessary. Once you are done adding them, click the 'Done' button.
From the Next Steps app
Go to the Next Steps App, then click on the description of the Next Step you have completed.
This will take you to the 'Edit Next Step' window, where you will find the 'Mark Next Step as Done' (1) button. Click on it once you are done with the Next Step. This will add two additional fields to the Next Step: Completed Date and Time Completed (2), they will autofill with the information about the current day/time, but you can always change them as needed. You can also add a note on the right side. Once you are ready to complete the Next Step click the 'Save' button.
Completed Next Steps
This status change can be visible under the Next Steps tab. Here you can also see the date when the Next Step was completed.
This action cannot be undone. Once a Next Step is marked as 'Done' if you click on its description, you can see its notes.
FreeAgent CRM automation will allow you to get more done, as our Automation bot will take over those repetitive tasks.
To get started, start typing 'Automations' in the search or go to 'System Settings' and then click on automations. To create a new one click the 'Add New Automation' button.
Each automation needs a name (1). You can also select if you want to create your Automation for your Contacts, Accounts, and Deals (2).
Then you need to specify when the automation should be triggered (1). If 'On creation' is selected it means that as soon as you create a new Contact, Account or Deal the automation will occur. If 'On change of' is selected then as soon as a change in the selected field is detected, the automation will take place.
However, it is also possible to add more conditions to the automation (2). This means that on top of the 'on creation' or 'on change of' you can specify one or more rules and they can be either inclusive 'and' or exclusive 'or'.
If we want something to happen each time a new Contact is created, then the Object of the automation should be set to 'Contact' and the trigger to 'On creation'.
We also, want to make sure that this automation only occurs if the Contact has a 'Work Email' in the contact information and its status is set to 'Converted'. Which is why the first rule includes the 'AND', as both rules are needed. If we only wanted one or the other for the automation, then 'OR' should be selected.
Once you have set all your conditions, click on the 'Next' button to proceed.
Right after you will be prompted to create the Next Step for your automation. This will allow you to create what will happen when the conditions you set up before occur. To do this, just click the 'Add Next Step' button.
The Next Step you create will depend on your previous choices. If the automation is for a 'Contact', you can create Next Steps of 3 different types, Reminder, Phone Call, or Send Email. If you are creating automations for other apps, like 'Account' or 'Deal' there will be only one type available, Reminder.
If the Send Email is selected, then you will need to select a Template, and the date/time you would like the email to be sent.
If you mark the 'Send automatically' checkbox, then you need to select if you want to send the email from the Contact owner or select a specific member of the team. Once everything is specified, click the 'Save' button.
You can create as many Next Steps as you need for each Automation. After you finish creating each one, they will be listed in the 'New Actions' window. Once you have all your Next Steps click the 'Done' button.
All the Automations that you create will appear in the list once the creation process is complete.
The next time you perform an action on FreeAgent CRM that complies with the automation conditions, the Next steps that you have specified will be created automatically.
Returning to the example, if we create a new Prospect, whose status is 'converted' and include an email in their contact information, the next steps of 'send welcome email' and 'follow-up with new contact' will be created automatically.