The popular saying ‘work smarter, not harder‘ refers to the key skills every individual should possess in the post-COVID era. Indeed, ‘work smart’ became a synonym for ‘productivity’, ‘efficiency’, and even ‘must-have’ in terms of organizing business processes. For this reason, a number of smart solutions for enhancing and automating business workflows are constantly appearing on the market.
However, the bigger the number of productivity tools for different tasks, the more complicated it is to choose and combine them within one workflow. A perfect solution should encompass all the necessary workflow automation tools within one system and provide fast and simple integration with external services. Which tasks and processes influence your workflow productivity in the first place, and how to upgrade them?
In this blog, we’ll go over the main elements that an efficient document workflow must have, and provide hassle-free tips that you can use to make your workflows smarter in minutes.
1. Set up notifications and reminders
Meetings, work events, tasks, deadlines – a modern business person has to keep all of these in mind. Certain software solutions provide notifications about events created within their platform. However, the most frequently occurring issues are those that involve documents.
These may include (but are not limited to):
- when a document was filled out
- whether all a document’s recipients have completed their part and in the proper order
- whether all the parties involved are notified about a document’s completion
To help avoid the issues mentioned above, airSlate has created automatic notifications and reminders that are fast and easy to set up, even for regular users.
For example, let’s consider the airSlate reminder Bot that automatically informs recipients to complete a document. Imagine that you’re sending a highly important document to be completed and you need to ensure that the recipient doesn’t skip it or forget to fill it out. This is where reminder Bots come to the rescue.
Later in this blog, you’ll find more information about airSlate Bots and how they help users enhance productivity at work.
airSlate allows you to set up reminders for document completion with details such as sending a reminder on a schedule or delay, including an interval between reminders, time zone setup, the final time and date after for which the reminders will no longer be sent, and more.
The same goes for notifications. For example, you need to be instantly notified when the document you’ve sent has been completed. airSlate enables you to set up such notifications within minutes using its no-code Bots. As a result, once a document is completed, you will immediately receive an email notification including the completed document attached.
Automatic notifications and reminders ensure that you won’t forget important tasks, eliminate the associated with them, and save time. Both reminders and notifications belong to the airSlate no-code Bots that we’ll review further in this blog.
2. Create workflow diagrams in less than 15 minutes
Mastering the art of workflow diagrams creation is surely one of the way to work smarter, not harder for team managers and leads. How much time do you usually spend creating a comprehensive workflow that involves every document and party, order of document completion, access permissions, etc.? Can you imagine this process only taking a couple of minutes? With the airSlate Flow Creator, this is a reality.
Without any programming or other technical expertise, a regular user can:
- visualize their document-based workflow from start to finish
- ensure proper access permissions to each document and even separate fields within documents
- configure proper document routing between every party involved, including conditional routing (if you need to move documents to different recipients, e.g., based on data they fill in).
To create a workflow diagram in the airSlate Flow Creator, you simply need to drag and drop the Steps of your workflow.
Then assign documents and access permissions to these Steps, add recipients, and (if needed) set conditions for these Steps.
And that’s all! Within a few minutes, you have a comprehensive, professional-looking workflow diagram with clear and understandable elements that streamline and simplify the workflow execution process.
3. Work smarter, not harder: Use a Flow library
As a rule, each industry or department has a certain list of the most common workflows they use on a consistent basis. For instance:
- healthcare industry uses document workflows, such as patient intake or discharge forms
- educational institutions implement student registration, course application workflows, and assessment forms
- finance departments use daily budget approval and invoice workflows
- HR departments process dozens (or even hundreds) of employee surveys, onboarding forms, vacation requests, job applications, etc.
- legal departments work with terms of service templates, privacy and confidentiality policies, partnership agreements, etc.
For this reason, airSlate created the library of pre-made workflow templates. Every template has been organized into categories according to a specific industry or department.
To find the necessary workflow, you just need to select a category and pick a template from the list. Alternatively, you can enter the keywords of the necessary workflow in the search field.
Each workflow template contains:
- a list of the necessary documents (which you can edit, delete, or add new ones)
- a workflow diagram with the most typical Steps (parties involved) for this process
- no-code Bots for automating the most typical tasks for a specific workflow
These comprehensive airSlate workflow templates enable users to create fully-automated document-based business processes within minutes.
4. Customize your email notifications
Email notifications are a recurring part of most automated workflows. As a rule, they are identical, regardless of the recipient. To create fully customized email notifications for each workflow participant, human involvement is required.
airSlate has a solution for this issue. Each notification within an airSlate automated workflow — a short message or a long email — can be easily customized and automatically pre-filled with the necessary data depending on the recipient.
With airSlate’s automatic email notifications, you can:
- Edit the text of the message in full
- Insert, delete, or replace customizable information for each email (to do this, use data variables from the document, Flow name, recipient information, etc.)
As a result, you can create automatic notification emails with relevant information for multiple recipients within minutes or even seconds.
5. Add no-code Bots
We’ve already said a few words about airSlate Bots in this blog. Now let’s get familiar with these no-code Bots and their purpose in more detail.
airSlate Bots are software robots that perform actions based on pre-set ‘if-this-then-that’ conditions and act when a document is opened or after it has been edited.
With airSlate Bots, you can automate numerous daily, repetitive tasks that don’t require human involvement. airSlate offers the following Bot categories:
- Automation Bots (to send automatic notifications and reminders, rename documents, etc.)
- Data Movement Bots (to transfer data between documents)
- Permission Bots (to control access to documents, manage eSignature display, etc.)
- IntegrationBots (to link airSlate workflows with external systems and use both of them simultaneously, making the most of the two solutions)
Below you’ll find more information about the systems and services airSlate integrates with.
It needs mentioning that another critical aspect of airSlate Bots is their no-code nature. Any user, regardless of their technical background, can configure an airSlate Bot within minutes.
Follow these 5 steps to set up any airSlate Bot:
- Select the Bot you need from the list
- Connect your automated workflow to an external system account (if it’s an integration Bot)
- Configure the necessary settings depending on the Bot type (link fields for data exports, add notification recipients, customize email messages, etc.)
- Set conditions to trigger the Bot to act (e.g., the Bot acts once a specific field in a document is completed)
- Check the Advanced settings and change them if needed (how often the Bot acts, what should happen if the Bot fails, etc.)
That’s all! The Bot will be automatically triggered once the conditions are met. As a result, you eliminate human-related errors and can rededicate the hours you save towards more important and creative tasks.
6. Set up integrations
Currently, most departments use multiple software tools to get work done. Email and messaging services, CRM systems, cloud and file hosting services, etc. — manually switching between them takes a lot of time and diminishes productivity.
With airSlate, integrating with third-party services with fully-automated document workflows takes minutes, and you can start using both solutions simultaneously right away.
The majority of airSlate integrations can be set up with the help of no-code Bots. Their configuration doesn’t require any special technical skills.
Once configured, you can automatically create and update CRM records, pre-fill and export data between documents and systems, save completed documents to cloud storage, send notifications and reminders, and more. For instance, airSlate for Salesforce helps sales teams streamline multiple sales processes – creating and updating Salesforce records, exporting data from Salesforce to Google Sheets, and more.
The list of airSlate integrations includes:
- CRM (and ERP) systems: HubSpot, Insightly, MS Dynamics 365, NetSuite, Pipedrive, Salesforce, ServiceNow, SugarCRM, Zendesk, and Zoho.
- Databases: MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, and PostgreSQL.
- File hosting, content management, and email services: AWS S3, Box, Citrix ShareFile, Dropbox, Egnyte, Gmail, Google Drive, Mailchimp, OneDrive, and SharePoint.
- Social networks and messaging services: Slack, MS Teams, Telegram, and Twitter.
- Workplace productivity and work management solutions: Basecamp, Formstack, Jira, Smartsheet, and Trello.
- Spreadsheet programs: Google Sheets and Office 365 Excel.
- E-commerce platforms: Magento and Shopify.
- Other integrations: ActiveCampaign, AirTable, Cisco WebEx, DocuSign, Google Calendar, Outlook, Procore, QuickBooks, and SendGrid.
We at airSlate, constantly update the list of airSlate integrations with new software tools on a regular basis.
7. Focus on team collaboration and increase employee morale
Productivity at work doesn’t depend so much on separate employees but on how they collaborate in teams and departments. It goes without saying that high employee morale contributes to successful team collaboration and ensures that teammates can work smarter together.
When it comes to collaboration on specific tasks, the main points to consider are:
- Who to add to the team collaboration process
- Which responsibilities to assign to each team member
- How to set access permissions for each team member
With this in mind, airSlate has created a Team management feature within its workflow automation platform.
airSlate provides you with an array of options for managing your team:
- Add new team members to your Workspace.
- Assign different user roles to team members; each role grants specific access permissions (e.g., a Guest can only view and fill out the documents assigned to them, while the Supervisor role has access to the entire team management toolkit).
- Create and manage groups for convenient collaboration on specific workflows.
- Block or remove team members from a Workspace.
A centralized and configurable Workspace is the key to effective collaboration for you and your team members. Enhanced communication helps complete tasks within their deadlines and reduces time spent on troubleshooting. Team management within an airSlate Workspace allows for simplified collaboration on workflows while providing a pleasant experience for you and your team.
To sum up, whether you’re working for a small or big company, in IT, sales, or any other industry, these tips can come in handy. As a result of working smarter, not harder, you will save time and human resources, eliminate errors, and enhance team collaboration. Fortunately, with airSlate, there’s no need to divide yourself or your team between several solutions to ensure productive and efficient workflow management.