What are templates?
JobWatch enables a wide variety of template documents and emails to be created and easily customised to your needs. This flexibility means that polished templates for repeat actions such as quotations, invoicing, and even marketing campaigns can be simply created, saved and then issued as required. Templates essentially streamline your workflow and save you time. Templates appear as an option at various points across the site when creating documents or sending messages which are likely to be repeat activities. This article will explain how to create templates, as well as demonstrating how they can be used in different areas of JobWatch. If you require any additional information or assistance on any part of this guide, please do not hesitate to get in touch with RoadCrew: +44(0) 113 457 1000 / email@example.com
What can templates do for you?
There are three main uses for templates in JobWatch: Emails, PDFs and SMS.
You can save a huge amount of time by creating a template(s) for emails that you regularly send out from BigChange. Example areas that might really benefit from the creation of a template include the following:
- Job confirmation: Include a ‘job confirmation’ link in your email, which allows your customers to confirm a scheduled job. Once they have confirmed the job using the link, your schedule will automatically update to reflect its new status, ie the red outline will change to a green outline on your Schedule → Display → Daily [tab]). This is also useful when viewing your schedule in List view, as it allows you to filter by a customer’s activity stage, for example ‘confirmation unsent’ or ‘unconfirmed’.
- Batch email: There is a ‘More’/’Send all’ feature that allows you to send the same email in a single batch from your Schedule (List view) or Contact list. You can use a template to create a message that will be formatted with the same text and graphics for everyone but with specific sections personalised to the recipient by the use of keywords. This feature also allows you to use a template to send out a ‘marketing’ email to all/chosen contacts.
- Customer alerts: Use a template to create a personalised email that is sent via an automatic alert to your customers. For example, an alert can be set so that an email is sent to the customer when there is a status change on their job, eg, the engineer marked themselves as ‘on the way’. For more information on how to do this, there is a useful section on Alerts Templates in the Alerts article.
You can create a template for any basic job card or PDF document that you regularly send out or save from BigChange.
- Create a bespoke Job card: Rather than using the ‘standard jobcard’, create a customised jobcard template that can include any job details you want, as well as responses to worksheet questions that have been provided for a particular job.
- Financial documents: Create professional-looking, branded templates to send out your financial documents, for example quotations or invoices, that can include line items etc.
Templates can also be used to create messages to send out as text messages, however, when using this format please bear in mind that there is a limit of 160 characters per SMS. This is a universal standard, not a JobWatch one and if the character count exceeds 160 the system will automatically break down the message into additional texts. NB there is a cost of £0.05+VAT per SMS issued
Example Template Ideas
To help you understand some of the ways in which templates can be used, here is a selection of the different document types you can create:
|Create a template for…||What is this?|
|Job confirmation message||Create a template message for all or individual job types. These can be set up to automatically send your chosen message as a job confirmation email – extremely useful as you can use a keyword to include a ‘job confirmation link’.|
|Header and Footer||Create your perfect headers and footers and then save them as a ‘standard’ template. When you want to create a new template, simply press duplicate and the headers and footers will already be in place.|
|Job Card (for single or multiple jobs)||Create custom job cards, either standard for your business or for specific job types. Use keywords to add the elements of the job you would like to display and you can format it to replicate the look of your other documentation.|
|Third-party worksheets/workflow||You can create a document to be issued to third parties, eg a customer satisfaction survey.|
|Financial Document||Use templates to create a consistent look across all of your financial documents, eg invoice, quotation, etc. These can be set to automatically insert relevant information using keywords.|
|Alerts||When creating an alert you have the option of using the standard message or selecting your own template with the appropriate usage. Ensure that the template you create is appropriate for the format you intend to use, whether SMS, email or PDF, eg a brief SMS to a customer with an engineer’s eta.|
|Frequent emails||Where the same email is regularly issued to customers, eg issuing a job card upon job completion, you can create a template email that accompanies it. If you use this in conjunction with automatic document sending, this makes this a personalised, no-touch process.|
How to Create Templates
There are 2 options to choose from when creating a template, the template editor and the BigChange Microsoft Word Add-In. The former is perfect for simple templates, such as alerts or ones with only basic branding requirements or where a pdf would not be suitable. For more complex requirements and for amplified branding needs, the Word Add-In may be a more suitable choice but the resulting document is only available as a pdf. Once you have familiarised yourself with what both options can achieve, you will instinctively know which option is best for each template you create.
How to Create a Template Using the Editor
A Step-by-step guide (Steps 1-5)
Step 1: Once you have logged in to the site, navigate to the Administration section (My Account -> Administration). A link to ‘Templates’ is given at the bottom of the ‘Quick Links’ section, but you can also find ‘Templates’ by clicking on the ‘Account’ side menu and choosing ‘Templates’:
Step 2: You now have the option to: (1) Create a brand new Template by clicking Add; (2) Search for an existing Template category by clicking Usage, eg Financial document; (3) Search for a specific word/name to use or adapt an earlier template:
Step 3: Clicking ‘Add’ will bring up a pop-up menu entitled Edit template. Populate it by adding:
- A Name for your template, e.g. “Job confirmation email”.
- Decide whether the template will be created here in the BigChange editor or in the BigChange Word Add-in and then imported.
- A default PDF name will be created but here you have the option to change the file name using free text and keywords.
- An Email subject.
- The Body of the email. See below for points for options/instructions on how to format the content.
You will also have other options to further customise the look of your template:
- Orientation – Portrait/Landscape
- Margins –When creating or editing templates, you can specify what size you would like the margins to be. This means that when you print/PDF a document using a template, the sizes of the margins are set by you. By default, margins are all set at 1.25cm. To edit this, simply open an existing template (or create a new one) and below the ‘Name’ box, you will see boxes allowing you to specify the size of the top, bottom, left and right margins. For further information, you may find it useful to read this article.
- Headers and Footers – these are explained in detail below
- Table – An easy way to insert a basic table.
- Horizontal line – Click here or press Ctrl+enter to insert a horizontal line into your template.
- Insert page break – Easily insert a page break using this button.
- Link – Clicking this button will bring up a small pop-up, where you can choose what text and what URL you want for a link within your template.
- Picture – You can add pictures/images into your template using this button; you will be asked to type in the URL of the image and then click ‘Insert Image’. To find your
- Code view – This allows you to view (& edit) the template’s HTML code. More on this below.
- Save – Don’t forget to click save before exiting the template pop-up!
NB You can also set the image width by using Keywords: When adding a Worksheet question involving a photo, which allows you to amend the width of the image in cm. The height will be configured automatically, to maintain the image ratio. Navigate: My account → Administration → [Quick links menu] General account Settings → [side menu] Templates → Select Add/Edit → Insert Keyword → [tab] Jobs → [sub menu] Worksheet question
Once you are satisfied with your template, click to Save.
Step 4: The ‘Usage’ tab.
In order for your newly created template to appear in the list of available templates across the site, you must have attributed a usage to it in the ‘Usage’ tab, ie, you need to tell the system what the template will be used for: jobcard, confirmation email, etc. Select the Template you just created from the list view and press ‘Edit‘ to reopen it. Click on the ‘Usage’ tab in the top right corner of the template’s pop-up and ‘+Add’ as many usages as are required for the template. The full list of options is shown below:
When adding certain usage types, such as Jobcards or Financial documents, you will be asked for additional detail to allow for more granular control. For example, you might want to send different job confirmation messages to a customer depending on what type of job is being performed.
Step 5: Finally, click Save. Your template will now be available across the site, wherever the applied usage is appropriate.
Creating a Template using the BigChange Microsoft Word Add-in
For information on downloading and setting up, please read the full BigChange Microsoft Add-In article.
The BigChange Microsoft Word Add-in allows you to take full advantage of Word’s comprehensive suite of editing features, eg watermarks, embedded images, tables and combine them with the benefits of JobWatch. The Add-in allows you to simply insert BigChange Keywords directly into any document in Word and then import the document into JobWatch. Your new document will behave as though it were created in JobWatch, with all the mail-merge type benefits you are used to having. However, please be aware that it will be imported for use as a PDF and is therefore unsuitable for emails or SMS usage.
For example, you could use a ready-made Word invoice template and include JobWatch Keywords such as ‘Contact Name’ and ‘Reference Number’. To do this, open an Invoice template in Word and select Insert from the ribbon. You will now see the BigChange Add-in:
Click on the Add-in and choose Insert Keyword or Formula:
Now move your cursor to the desired location within the template, (1) click to position or highlight it if there is existing text and (2) select the desired Keyword from the menu:
The Keyword will now have appeared within the text as:
Please note that whilst you can apply formatting to them, ie change the text colour or font, you cannot change the text of Keywords. Attempting to do so will cause the template to malfunction. After you have added all the desired Keywords, it will look something like this:
Next, validate the Template to ensure that there are no errors:
Now save your document, as usual. When this is imported into JobWatch and a Financial Document is generated, it will automatically pull through the correct information from your CRM.
Uploading the Document To Use as a Template
When logged into BigChange as an Administrator, navigate: My Account → Administration → [quick links] Templates → Add and give the Template a name.
- Click on ‘template type’ and select ‘Word Document’. You will now be prompted to attach your Word document, either by dragging and dropping, or clicking on the button and selecting the file in your file manager.
- Once the file has been uploaded, save and close.
- Re-open the Template and add the correct usage from the Usage tab on the top right. In this example, we created an invoice and so will select:
- Financial Document
- Any type
Note the format will be PDF by default:
This process can be repeated for JobCards as well as Financial documents. When an invoice is raised using this template, the finished document will look like this:
Adding Headers and Footers
In most instances, you will wish to personalise your emails by the addition of your own details and/or logos. To add either a Header or Footer, press Click to edit:
You can now add text, tables, images etc as required. For example, in the Header below, a logo has been added – this can be done by copy and pasting the image URL via pictures:
If you are unsure of your logo URL, you can find it by navigating My account → Administration → Account settings →[section] Account details.
Once you have added everything you would like in this section of your Template, click Save and close. Now reopen the template and attribute a Usage(s) to it so that it is easily applied and discoverable: 1) Usage -> +Add -> 2) Default format eg email -> 3) Type eg Financial document -> complete the additional fields which will pop up, depending on your selection -> Save -> Close:
You can now preview your Template to check that you are happy with it by selecting it in the list view and clicking on Preview:
This will download a copy that will appear on your screen and can then simply be clicked on to open:
Please note, the location of download varies depending upon the browser you are using.
If you save this as a basic template and then click duplicate each time you create a new template, the header and footer will always be populated without having to repeat this process!
Using Your Templates
Setting a Default Template for Financial Documents
Once you’ve created your customised designs for financial documents, you need to set them up as your default preferences. Navigate: My account > Administration > [side menu] Financial > Financial documents & sales opportunities. Note that this section has recently been amended, with options here now showing ‘Automatic Reference’ and ‘Edit’.
Clicking on ‘Edit’ will open a popup allowing you to view more details through tab settings, including the option to choose a default template for this document type, from your list.
Keywords are the building blocks of the Template system and are similar to the “Merge Fields” in the Mail Merge feature found in Microsoft Word. Keywords are in effect a placeholder for content that is dynamic and constantly changing. For example, when writing a letter, you may start off with “Dear Mr Smith”. However, the “Mr Smith” portion of the text will change with every letter you send. Here we would instead use the Keywords for “Title” and “Last Name” – This will pull through the information so that the Title of a person will change to match the recipient, as will the Last Name.
Inserting ‘keywords’ into your templates allows you to automatically create personalised messages or documents, without having to manually insert individual information.They allow you to create branded, custom messages or documents, with custom fields being automatically filled.From a template’s pop-up, when editing the ‘body’ box, you have the option to click on ‘Insert keyword’; this will bring up a keyword pop-up and allow you to select a keyword to insert:
Contacts & Notes tab:
- Here you can choose to include key information about your customer (or parent contact) and any related notes. For example, you could use the keyword ‘First name’ to set-up your message so that it begins with “Dear first name“, where ‘first name’ will be populated with the recipient’s name saved in the CRM when sent.
- Choose from these keywords to include details of the job (who, when, how long for etc) or stock movements relating to the job.
- These keywords relate to any financial element, including contract information or sales opportunities.
- Find other useful keywords here, including inserting formula or sub-templates. The keyword “Formula” can be used for conditional branching. There are two types of formula available for use:
- A conditional formula (“Condition”): for example, if A > B then show C, else show D
- An operational formula (“Operation”): for example, A + B
A, B, C and D can be text, html, number or keywords (note that this means you can use “Formula” inside your formula; that is, you can embed a formula inside a formula). Example of things you can do:
- If invoice-total > 1000 and Payment terms * 1.5 < 50 then display quote-accept-link, else if note <> empty display note, else display an image.
- If invoice-total > 1000, show Invoice-total, else show nothing
- Be aware that inserting the keyword ‘user name’, ‘user email’ or ‘user signature’ is linked to the logged in web user who is sending/creating the document at that time, so whatever the user has saved under My Account -> Settings is what will be displayed in the final document. (i.e. you would not want to use the ‘user signature’ as a keyword for signing off a jobcard, instead use the ‘signature’ keyword for the job).
Saving and previewing:
- Once you have clicked save on your template, you may then want to preview it to double-check that it is formatted correctly. To do this, from the list view of templates, click on the template you wish to check and you will be given an option to “Preview”. This will download a PDF version of the template and will show you what it will look like as a final document.
Duplicate a template:
- If you need to create another template, but you want to copy some elements from an existing one (for example, you have already created the perfect header/footer, which you want to use again), to save you time, there is an option to click to “Duplicate” a template. Doing this will bring up a new template pop-up, pre-populated with the content from the existing template, that you can save with a new name and edit as required.
Lock a template:
- Lock a template to restrict editing: A template can be locked to prevent other users from easily or accidentally editing it. When clicking on a template, you will notice that there is a ‘Lock’ option. Clicking on ‘Lock’ will lock the template. This means that when a user clicks to ‘Edit’ it, they will be given the following message: ‘This template is locked and cannot be edited at this time.’ This added layer of security to your template will make other users consider carefully whether they really want to edit it, or not.
- To make the template editable again, the user who locked it can easily unlock the template by clicking on ‘Unlock’.
‘Edit’ a template:
- You may wish to edit a previously saved template at some point and this can be done easily. When viewing your list of templates, find the template you want to edit (you can use the search box at the top to find it quickly) and click on it to see the ‘Edit’ icon. This will open up the template’s pop-up and you can edit as required. Remember to click save once you’ve finished!
Using your template
Now you have created a template, you have the opportunity to use it across the site for a variety of tasks. We have included a couple of examples below to get you started: Example 1- An email template for sending out job confirmations to your customers
- Click to create a new template and in the body of the template, you need to write the email message you wish to be sent out to customers when confirming their job. This can include keywords for the job’s details (for example time, date and reference).
- To allow recipients to confirm their job, you will need to insert the keyword for job confirmation link. To do this, click the ‘Insert keyword’ button and under the ‘Jobs’ tab, scroll down and find ‘Confirmation link’.
- Once you have finalised the content of the template, you need to set the Usage; click on the Usage tab and click +Add. For the template to be available as a job confirmation email, you need to choose ‘Email’ as the default format and then select ‘Job confirmation’ as the type. The option to choose a job type will then appear; select ‘Any type’ or choose a particular job type and then click Save. This Usage will now appear on the list of usages.
- Now navigate to your Schedule and from the Daily View click on the job you wish to send a job confirmation email for. Click on the option ‘Send confirmation’ and an email pop-up will appear allowing you to customise the message. Above the text box, click on ‘Templates’ and select the template you have just created from the drop-down list. You will now see your template appear in the text box, and any keywords will be populated with up-to-date information, including the link for job confirmation. Your message is now ready to send.
- Your contact will receive the email and they can click on the job confirmation link to confirm their job/appointment. Once they have done this, the status of job will automatically update and you will see that the job’s outline on the schedule will change from red to green.
Example 2- A PDF template for creating a job card for a completed job.
- Create job card in the Microsoft Word Add-In: Please see the separate section above for a detailed explanation of how to do this.
- Validate and Import the JobCard and Add Usage to your template: Click on the Usage tab and ‘+Add’ appropriate usage; in this case, select ‘PDF’ as the default format and choose ‘Job card (single job)’ as the type. You should then select whichever job types this job card is associated with (i.e. which job types use the worksheet that you have inserted details about in this template?).
- Save and Preview your Job Card: Back to the Templates tab, click Save. Find your new template from the list view and click ‘Preview’. This allows you to double-check you are happy with the final look (note keywords will not yet appear – they will be populated when using the template for a real job).
- Choose your template to create a job card for a job: From your schedule, click on a job that uses the job type/worksheets used for your template. From the job’s pop-up, click to view the ‘Job card’ and a new pop-up will appear allowing you to select your template from a drop-down list. A preview of your template should appear and you can then choose to either download (PDF), attach to the job or email a copy of the job card.
Using Formula Types for Templates
Formula types allow you to further customise the templates you are creating, for example using Format and Date Operation. Navigate: My account > Administration > [Quick links menu] Templates > [Button] Insert Keyword > [tab] Miscellaneous > [Section] Miscellaneous > Formula
Format allows you to decide the preferred format of a specific field. For example, you could create duplicate Templates using region-specific ways of expressing the date:
Date operation allows you to use any Keyword date field, eg Current date, Due date, Invoice date, to create a new date or time to display, depending on your selection from the available options:
For example, you could create a formula that displays a date 3 days prior to the Contract start date, by which time all agreed stock would be available in your warehouse:
When using Conditions in a formula, please note the following Key to the mathematical symbols:
- Set your font
Double-check the font/formatting in your template is correct by highlighting it all (ctrl+A) and resetting it. It may be necessary to highlight the keywords separately to reformat.
- ‘Standard template’
Create a template called ‘standard template’ with your perfect header/footer (e.g. your logo in the header and your contact details in the footer) – once this is saved, every time you need to create a new template with your branding, you can simply choose to duplicate this one and you will just have to update the ‘body’ section. This gives you consistent branding across all your messages and documents.
- How can I get a URL for a picture?
Flickr, or a similar site, will allow you to host an image and will give you a link location that you can use. The best way to retain an image for use is by adding it to the file library or uploading it to the attachment tab of a contact within your CRM:
Click on the image in the Attachments tab and it will open in a new window, providing you with the image’s URL.
- Send automatic alerts to customers for on-the-day reminders of their job
Use a template to set-up an alert that gets sent out to customers to remind them of the job/appointment that day (do this by using the status change from a resource to job ‘accepted’, which is generally done by an engineer first thing in the morning).
- Online payment link in Keywords
Please note that only customers with a linked Judo account will have this option as a keyword.
Template Limitations in the BigChange Editor
There are certain limitations that apply to the internal editor template creator, which are not applicable when using the Word Add-In.
- Complex Spreadsheets
It is possible to create basic tables within the Template module, however formatting of lines, merging cells and cell fills is not possible.
- Large Text Documents
JobWatch can be used to create documents that contain large quantities of text, however, it has not been designed as a Word processor. Formatting of bullet points, columns, fonts numbering styles are limited.
- Nesting Templates/Sub-templates
The online editor has the functionality to add subtemplates so that the content repeats. The exact number of subtemplates that can be used within the system depends on the contents, however, templates with particularly high numbers may take time, or fail to render. If this occurs we recommend that the number of subtemplates is reduced, or the route of using a bespoke report is explored.
- When a Bespoke Report is Required
Many customers of BigChange use the standard JobCard and Financial document offerings as these have a clean layout and provide for all of the variables which they require. However, some customers have had customised corporate branding applied to all documents which are produced. These may include custom-made layouts, fonts, graphics and colours which are difficult to reproduce using the template feature. In almost all such cases, for the benefit of these customers, our Professional Services Team can quote and replicate any existing documents, providing a professional finish, perfect for those more complex layouts.
Microsoft Word Add-In
Keywords for PDF File Names
Setting an Image Size in Templates
Setting a Default Template for Financial Documents
Introduction to the Microsoft Word Add-In: Recording of Live Tutorial
Templates (Basic Level): Recording of Live Tutorial
Templates (Intermediate Level): Recording of Live Tutorial
Customised Templates: Recording of Live Tutorial
Group Job Templates & Contact Group Templates