New Feature: Messaging Module Draft Recipient List

The Messaging Module now includes a feature that allows call admins to view the list of recipients for a message before the message is sent!

screenshot of linkJust create your message like you always have. When you go to preview the message, you’ll see a link at the end of the "To" header (right) indicating how many messages will be sent. Click that link and a window will open with a list of the recipients and how many copies each will receive. (Recipients receive one copy per proposal, so someone with multiple proposals would receive more than one copy of the message.)

The link is also displayed for draft messages on the main Messaging Module page.

After a message has been sent, the link is replaced with a list of actual recipients and the delivery status for each one.

New Feature: Labels in the Messaging Module

Call admins can now use proposal labels when defining message recipients in the Messaging Module!

screenshot of labels option in Messaging ModuleWhen you create a message for proposals, you’ll notice the "To" section (right) now has a "Labels" option to the right of the status and recipients options. (Unlike the status and recipients options, the Labels option is optional and only displayed if your call actually has labels. Also, it’s only available for messages to proposals, not reviewers.)

To use the new labels option, just click it and select the label(s) you would like to include in your selection criteria. As before, the "Total emails to be sent" counter will immediately update to reflect the number of recipients that match your criteria.

If you select more than one label, it’s important to understand that a proposal will only be considered a match if the selected labels are a subset of the proposal’s labels. In other words, a proposal’s labels must contain all of the labels you provide. For example, if you want to send a message to all proposals labeled "a" and "b", a proposal labeled "a", "b", and "c" will be a match, but one labeled just "a" will not. Nor will one labeled "a" and "c".

As always, if you have any feedback—especially ideas for improvement—please don’t hesitate to let us know!

New Feature: Proposal Labels

Have you ever wanted to organize your call’s proposals using your own taxonomy? Well now you can, with labels!

Call admins can now create and apply custom labels to any proposal. They’re completely under your control. You decide what to call them and which proposals to assign them to. You can then use them to find proposals according to the labels they’ve been assigned.

And the best part? They’re included as a core module at no additional cost and with every call, new or existing!

For now, labels can only be used with the Tracker’s search function. They’ll soon be available in a lot more areas though, like the Messaging Module and Data-export Tool. We’ve also got plans to extend them to user profiles and to make them available to review chairs and reviewers. (We’ve also got plans to add tags to the system, but that’s an entirely different topic that I’ll cover in another post.)

To get started, pull up any call and click Settings -> General -> Labels in the navigation. From there, you can create new labels and edit and delete existing ones.

screenshot showing proposal labelsWhen you’re ready to apply labels to a proposal, just pull up the proposal in the Tracker, click the ellipsis button immediately below the proposal’s title (see screenshot detail, right), and select the labels you want to use.

There are two ways to find proposals using a label: From the Labels page or from the Tracker’s search feature.

  • From the Labels page:

    screenshot showing link in Labels pageEvery label listed on the Labels page shows how many proposals are associated with it (see screenshot detail, right). Clicking that text performs a search of all proposals that use the label.

  • From the Tracker’s search feature:

    To include a label in your search criteria, preface the label with "Label:". For example, to search for proposals labeled "Poster", use: Label: Poster. If the label has more than one word, surround it with quotes. For example, for "Poster candidate", use: Label: "Poster candidate". (Pro tip: Searches are not case sensitive, so using Label: Poster is exactly the same as Label: poster, label: Poster, or label: poster.)

    You can also include labels with other search terms. For example, to search for proposals labeled "Poster presentation" and containing the phrase "financial planning", use label: "poster presentation" financial planning. (Pro tip: Order doesn’t matter, so financial planning label: "poster presentation" would give you the exact same results.)

We’ll keep everyone posted on our progress adding labels and tags throughout the site. In the meantime, let us know what you think!

New-Message Feature Now Available in Archived Calls

Just a quick note to let everyone know that you can now send messages via the Messaging Module for calls that have been archived.

Previously this feature was disabled, but we had a request from an organization that wanted to send a notice about their upcoming call to everyone who submitted a proposal for their previous call. The previous call had been archived, so the only way they could send a message was to use the data-export tool to download the email addresses, which they could then use in a standard email client.

We agreed that was too many hoops to jump through for a pretty common practice, so we unlocked the New Message feature for archived calls. Now you can use the Messaging Module to contact authors or reviewers for any call, including those that have been archived!

Expanded Feature: Default Answers in Role Forms

Call admins can now use profile information for default answers in role forms!

Previously, the only two questions in a role form that could be auto-filled with information from a user’s profile were name and organization—both of which were hard-coded into the form. And with any other question you could only define static text for a default answer.

Now, the question-settings dialog has an additional Default Answer option for all text questions, including name and organization. You can still provide specific text to auto-fill the answer, but now you also have the option to select a data element from the user’s profile.

autofill settingIn the example to the right, the email address from a user’s profile will be used to auto-fill the question whenever someone is added to a proposal.

Currently, the following profile information is available:

  • name (first, last, and full)
  • organization
  • email address
  • phone number
  • address (street, city, state, zip, country, and full)

We’re hoping to expand the list, so if you’re a call admin and would like to have access to other information in user profiles just let us know!

BTW, when you create a new role, name and organization are still included by default as the first and second questions, with full name and organization as their default answers. Now, however, they’re fully customizable like all other questions, meaning you can move them to other positions in the form, change their default values, make them optional, etc.

Most importantly, if we just allowed profile information to be filled in automatically whenever someone adds someone else to a proposal, that would potentially give any user access to the profile information of any other user. To get around that, we’ve added a second component to give users control over whether their profile information is available. autofill privacy settingAll accounts now have a setting to enable or disable access to their profile information for the autofill feature (left). The default for all accounts is to not autofill information, so if you would like to take advantage of this new feature, just go into the Privacy Settings area of your Account Settings and check the box to turn it on!

New Feature: Proposal Histories

At the heart of ProposalSpace is the ability for teams to work on proposals and to manage calls. That collaborative environment, however, has sometimes made it difficult to track down exactly who made a change or took a particular action.

So we added proposal histories.

Now, every change to a proposal is logged. Log entries include the action taken, who took it, when it was taken, and if applicable, what the value was before the change.

history screenshotIf you’re an author, you’ll see a History link under the proposal’s Table of Contents, directly above the Print link (see screenshot, left). If you’re an admin or review chair, you can access a proposal’s history via the Tracker. In either case, clicking the link will pop up a window with actions listed in chronological order. (Note that the actions displayed are based on a user’s role: authors see all changes to a proposal’s content along with key admin actions, while admins and review chairs see all changes and all admin actions.)

We hope you’ll find this new feature useful. If you have any ideas for improvement, we’d love to hear them!

Real-Time Support Now Available

chat iconStarting today, all call admins have access to real-time support via live chat!

Just look in the bottom, right-hand corner of any call-admin page for the icon to the left. If it’s orange, that means the chat feature is live. If it’s blue, live chat isn’t available, but you can leave a message and someone will get back to you asap.

The best part? There’s no extra charge, and it’s available with all calls—active or draft.

Of course, you can still email or call for support if you like, but why not get help right when you need it?

UPDATE (June 2019): We’ve disabled this feature for now. The software wasn’t living up to our expectations. We’ll hopefully have a replacement soon.

Displaying Multiple Comment Fields

Another quick note to announce a new feature…

You can now display more than one comment field to authors!

Previously, the Notification Settings page only allowed you to select one comment field for authors from the review form (using a drop-down list). Now, all of the comment fields from the review form are available for display (using checkboxes). Just check the box next to the comment field(s) you want to display and save your changes.

One other small change: Instead of the comments being displayed on their own page, they’re now included at the bottom of the proposal, making it easier for authors to reference their proposal while reading comments.

New Feature: Multiple File Uploads

If you’ve ever included a File Upload field in your submission or role form, you know that it only allowed authors to upload one file for each field. To allow multiple files, you had to include multiple File Upload fields in the form.

For example, if you had a “Supplemental Documents” question, you would either have to guess the maximum number of documents an author might want to upload and include that many questions on your form (i.e. "Supplemental Document 1", "Supplemental Document 2", …) or you would have to instruct authors to create and upload a single archive (.zip) file that included all the files.

ScreenshotNow, the form builder includes an option for File Upload fields to allow multiple files. All you need to do is check the "Allow Multiple" box (right).

Pro Tip: The "Allow Multiple" setting allows authors to upload as many files as they want for a single question. If you want to limit the number of files that can be uploaded, just include that number of File Upload fields to the form, leaving the "Allow Multiple" option unchecked for each one.

Updates to the Messaging Module

The Messaging Module has been tweaked slightly to make it a little more efficient.

Previously, if you used the module to send a message to individuals associated with proposals (as opposed to reviewers), it sent one message per person per proposal. (For example, if you sent a message to the primary contact and all presenters, and someone was both in two proposals, that person would receive just two emails, not four.)

Ideally, in cases where someone was associated with more than one proposal (and therefore received more than one email), the message would include at least one merge field to identify which proposal the message was for. If that didn’t happen, an individual could receive multiple identical messages, which could be confusing.

To help avoid this issue, the module now checks to see if there are any merge fields in the message. If there are, it continues to send out one message per person per proposal. If no merge fields are present, it only sends out one message per person, regardless of how many proposals that person might have. So using the example above, that person would receive just one email, not two.