The new version of BlueFolder includes many exciting new features and enhancements to improve ease-of-use and productivity.
Many of the features are the same or very similar to what you're used to. But there are some key changes that you'll need to adjust to. This document outlines what is different in this upgrade.
Throughout this document, we will use the term "BlueFolder Classic" to refer to the older BlueFolder version that you are upgrading from.
- Your account will retain the same features and pricing plan that you currently have.
- There are some new features that, depending on your legacy price plan, may not be activated for your account. Should you wish to take advantage of features from a different price plan, you can contact us to upgrade your account. Click here to view current price plans.
- Your account data will be retained.
- All usernames and password for the users in your account will remain the same.
- Your account URL will not change. Once your account is upgraded, you will automatically be directed to the new version of BlueFolder when you login.
- API Users: click here to review the API upgrade guide that explains the necessary code changes you will need to make.
Summary of Changes
- Assigning/Scheduling work orders (more details below)
- Simpler structure for work order comments (more details below)
- Renamed work order "Category" field to "Type"
- Work order "Priority" field is now limited to four values
- Work order tasks have been removed - use assignments instead
- Reminders have been removed
- API 2.0 must be used instead of API 1.0 (view API upgrade guide)
- Updated user interface
- Recurring Jobs - automatically create work orders on a specified schedule
- 2-way Email Notifications - replies to email notifications from users and customers can be accepted back into BlueFolder as comments on a work order
- Work Order Improvements
- New Work Order design
- Customizable Colors for Work Order Status
- Automatic Status Changes for Work Orders
- Work order "Account Manager" field
- Work order "Related To" fields
- Send printed documents as PDF attachments (release notes)
- Public/private custom fields (release notes)
- Improved customer notifications (release notes)
- Bulk changes to work orders
- Linked work orders
- Work order list view-mode provides the option to show more information on the list than before
- Expanded customization options for built-in fields on customer records (release notes)
- "Locations List" in the "Customers" tab provides easy access to search all customer locations
- Redesigned customer portal (release notes)
- New "Equipment" tab (moved from the "Customers" tab)
- Attachments for equipment items
- Equipment now visible in the customer portal and the mobile web app
- QuickBooks Online integration improvements (release notes)
- Upload multiple file attachments in a single step
- User profile photos
- iCal notifications can update an existing calendar event
- "Item List" moved from "Settings" to "Work Orders" tab
- "Tax Codes" moved from "Settings" to "Billing" tab
- Webhooks/Callbacks - automatically send data from BlueFolder to external systems when a work order is closed, deleted, or has a status change.
- New API functions are available for creating, editing, and retrieving equipment records.
- For a complete list of what's new, check out our release notes
Assigning/Scheduling Work Orders
Assigning and/or scheduling a work order in BlueFolder Classic could be a bit confusing at times. You could assign someone (or multiple people) directly to a work order. You could also schedule that same work order by creating an appointment and then assigning that appointment to a completely different person (or multiple people, again). What's worse is that those assignees aren't kept in sync, so if you change the assignee(s) on the appointment, the assignee(s) on the work order would no longer match. And to top it off, the work order list provided no insight into who was scheduled for a work order and only showed the first assignee. Trying to explain how it worked is even a bit confusing.
While that system provided a lot of flexibility, it also complicated things for the vast majority of our customers. In fact, our statistics show that about 95% of all work orders are assigned to and scheduled for the same person! All that complexity simply got in the way 95% of the time.
The new version of BlueFolder uses a simpler method for assigning and scheduling work. To assign and/or schedule a work order with the new BlueFolder, you simply create an "Assignment" - that's the only way to do it. No more appointments linked to work orders, and no more "Assigned To" field on the work order. The benefits of the simplified method are that there is no more confusion about "how" someone is assigned to a work order - if they're assigned to it, it's because there is an assignment with their name on it - simple as that.
To accommodate both scheduled and unscheduled work, there are 2 types of Assignments in the new BlueFolder:
- Unscheduled Assignments (the default) - similar to using the work order's "Assigned To" field in BlueFolder Classic.
- Scheduled Assignments - similar to creating an appointment for a work order in BlueFolder Classic.
When creating assignments, you can add an "assignment comment" that will be sent along with the email/text notification that is sent to the assignee. The assignment comment field is useful for quick notes that the technician needs to see related to their assignment. For example, you might want to tell the technician that he/she needs to enter the building through the back door of the customer's building.
Assignments in the new BlueFolder can be marked as "Complete", allowing you to track if your technicians are actually completing their work. If you're worried about slowing down your techs by requiring them to mark their assignments as complete, don't - assignments are automatically marked as complete by the system when the work order is closed. Assignment completion tracking is an optional feature that is only included in our Enterprise price plan.
When creating an assignment in the new BlueFolder, you can still assign multiple people. Our stats show that hardly anyone assigns multiple people to a job, but the flexibility is available if you need it. If you do assign multiple people and are using assignment completion tracking, please note that any one of the assignees for an assignment can mark it as complete. Some BlueFolder Classic customers used multiple assignees as a way to allow additional people in their organization to receive email notification when certain work order events occurred. This is no longer necessary due to the new "Related To" list (described later) that allows you to link a work order to anyone else who is related to the job and needs to receive notifications about it.
Finally, with this new design, we're able to satisfy a popular feature request that many of our BlueFolder Classic customers asked for. From the work order list, you can now see all assignees who are assigned to a job AND you can see when it's scheduled. This is a big time-saver for many service businesses as it provides quick at-a-glance access to the key assignment information without having to open up each work order.
Assignments can also be completed directly from the work order list (including the list that shows in the Dashboard tab), making it VERY fast and easy for techs to complete their work. Assignment completion takes place in a popup window, so techs don't even have to leave the list as they're completing their work. While completing an assignment, the tech can change the status and add labor hours right from the same form.
You can even automate work order status changes when assignments are created and/or completed! This is another major time-saver. For example, you could adjust your settings to auto-change the status to "Assigned" when an assignment is created, and auto-change to "Closed" when the assignment is completed.
Other Changes to Work Orders
- The "Category" field has been renamed to "Type".
- The customizable "Priority" field now has a fixed list length of 4. In other words, you can only have a maximum of 4 priorities for work orders. The default priorities are "Critical", "High", "Normal", and "Low".
- There is now an "Account Manager" field that can be used to identify the salesperson associated with the work order.
- The new "Related To" list allows you to associate a work order with specific people within your company. Users listed in a work order's "Related To" list can receive email/text notifications about that work order. They can also easily filter lists to see only work orders they are related to. You can also visit the "Settings" tab to specify users who should automatically be added to the "Related To" list for all new work orders.
- BlueFolder Classic had a comment structure that supported both public and private comments simultaneously. Our stats show that it's extremely rare for someone to add public and private comments at the same time. So, the new BlueFolder supports a simpler structure that contains a single comment box, with a checkbox indicating whether the comment should be public. The bottom line is, if you need to enter both a public AND private comment, you'll now have to add 2 separate comments.
- Work Order Tasks have been eliminated. After analyzing the usage of tasks in BlueFolder Classic, we determined that, for most users, the new Assignments feature in the new BlueFolder will be a suitable replacement.
- Notification Preferences - The notification preferences for new work orders received via email and customer portal have been moved from the personal profile to the "Email Dropbox" and "Customer Portal" settings (respectively). From the new location, your account administrator can easily specify all users who should be notified without having to edit each user's preferences.
- API Breaking Changes - the new BlueFolder has a new API. It is mostly the same as the BlueFolder Classic API, but there are breaking changes that were necessary to be compatible with all the changes to the application. The new API is version 2.0. If you use the BlueFolder Classic API, you will need to update your code to support the new API as the previous version will not be supported once your account is migrated.
- No More Reminders - The Reminders feature that was displayed on the Personal Dashboard has been eliminated in the new BlueFolder. This was a seldom used feature that was poorly named. It was more like a personal to-do list than reminders.
- Billing Batch XML Format Changed - if you export your billing batches in the "XML" format, please note that the format has changed slightly to match field name changes as described in this document.