Your job calendar is the most critical aspect of managing your business, and it is the biggest module in RB. In addition to being a comprehensive depo calendar, RB’s job calendar has desirable features, like the ability to search for jobs by their location, multiple calendar views, and in-app Zoom meeting scheduling. Other highlights:
- Case-level information shared to jobs
RB9 is a case-based system. You can schedule depos as individual jobs or as part of a case. All jobs linked to the same case automatically share common information, such as the parties to the case and services they requested.
- Location database
Select job locations your reporters visit regularly from a database instead of re-keying location information each time. Automatically include driving directions in reporter worksheets. Also search for jobs by location name, city, or state.
- Comprehensive job information
Schedule a job with the bare minimum of information (ordering client, date, and time). Or include as many layers of details as you have: scheduling client, notes about the client and job, witness information, associated case, job location information, your sales rep, job/case parties, specialties required, tasks requested, files provided by the client like notices, and more. Even set yourself reminders about things you need to do or follow up on in regards to the job.
- Pre-assign jobs to resources, assign at the last minute, or anytime inbetween
You can assign reporters and other resources as soon as you receive a job request, assign them after a client has confirmed a job for the next day, or send out an email/text message blast to available resources for a last-minute job.
- Give each resource their own prioritized To-Do list of outstanding tasks
The Send Overdue Tasks Report lists overdue tasks chronologically by due date, and includes basic information like the job, client, and task due.
- Calendar-level management tools
Generate reports on daily calendar settings and cancellations, jobs scheduled for a specified date range, your best and worst clients based on calendar settings/cancellations, how busy your reporters and other resources are, what work is still outstanding, and who is working on what jobs.
Email clients their job calendars so they can keep track of upcoming jobs.
- Flexible multi-job scheduling
...using a wizard with options for multiple specific dates, every day within a range of dates, or specific days of the week within a date range for repeating events.
RB9 is case based
If your client gives you work related to a case, set up the case in RB and tie jobs to it so they automatically share case information. Cases can be set up prior to any related jobs being scheduled, or they can be set up on the fly when a case-related job is scheduled.
Jobs can be created at the same time a case is set up, and they can be added later. Jobs can be added one at a time or in bulk. If needed, you can also cancel multiple jobs tied to a single case at once.
Information can be added to a case or updated at any time. Information entered in a case, such as the parties involved and the services each requests, automatically fills into the relevant fields in jobs linked to that case. Case repository files and notes logs are not shared with their linked jobs.
When adding parties to a case, you can enter multiple contacts at the same firm at once. When a case party’s information changes or they request additional services, you can update the party in the case and have their information updated in all existing jobs on the case they are party to.
View job listings as you want
View your calendar as you prefer: filtered list of jobs, monthly calendar, or week by week.
Jobs are color coded based on their status so you can see the status of any job at a glance. Create your own job statuses (RB comes with a set of defaults to get you started), plus designate which color each status has.
Multiple search criteria are available in all 3 calendar views so you can zero in on specific jobs. Search criteria includes parameters like job parties, job location, witness name, and sales rep. List view provides the most search options for finding jobs and you can customize how the list looks:
- Re-arrange columns so the most important information is first.
- Stick columns to the left side of the grid so they do not scroll when your jobs list is wider than your screen.
- Stretch/shrink columns to fit the information.
- Hide columns you don’t need to see.
- Choose which column(s) to sort results by.
- Sort info by ascending or descending order in any column(s).
- Group jobs by one or more parameters. For example, group jobs by Job Status, then date to find your calendar priorities quicker. Add more grouping categories to the listings, remove any grouping category, and re-arrange the grouping order.
Schedule Zoom meetings in RB
If your job is going to be a virtual meeting via Zoom — or a hybrid meeting with some people attending in-person and some via Zoom — you can schedule it in RB. You can set up RB preferences so most of your Zoom information and preferences will automatically appear, and you won’t have to enter it each time. You can override these defaults in individual jobs as needed.
You can control all Zoom meeting options from within RB, like video on or off initially for host and/or participants, plus a few RB-only options:
- If you have multiple Zoom users in your company, you can select which RB user’s email account will be used for a Zoom meeting.
- You choose whether the host’s sign-in URL will appear in the assigned resource’s notes or your internal scheduling notes for the job.
- You choose whether the participants’ sign-in URL will appear in the job’s confirmation notes or the job location URL field.
When you save, the meeting URLs generated by Zoom appears where selected. Meeting ID and passcode generated by Zoom appear in the job’s Notes field, along with dialup numbers for the meeting.
When setting a job, RB provides alerts and guides:
- When scheduling Zoom meetings, if the host has a scheduling conflict between an existing Zoom meeting and the one you are scheduling, RB will alert you so you can resolve the conflict.
- If a client’s invoices are past due, you can have RB pop up an alert with the total overdue amount and days past due, so you can address it immediately.
If you reschedule or cancel the job, RB will prompt you to notify the ordering party and any assigned resources. When rescheduling, the Zoom info (like ID and passcode) will remain the same for the new job. If it is canceled, the Zoom meeting is automatically deleted by RB.
In RB, when you schedule a job, you include any services requested — reporting, interpreting, video, conference room, etc. — as tasks in the job, not as separate jobs. That way, if the job is canceled, all of the tasks are canceled too, and nothing gets overlooked.
Set back order as a task instead of a status
The task concept helps with other aspects of job scheduling and management. For example, in RB, all tasks have their own Order Date, including back orders of depo transcripts. So recording a back order’s request date doesn’t affect other tasks on the same job and you don’t have to go to the trouble of making a new job for a back order. Each task also has its own Due Date, Notified Date, Acknowledged Date, and Cancelled Date.
Give clients the reporters they want
When assigning resources to tasks — whether within a job, from a list/calendar of tasks, or when quickly assigning using drag and drop — RB will show you the ordering client’s preferred resources first so you can assign them to the job. You an also keep a list of resources that the client does not want on their jobs and RB will block you from assigning them to the client’s jobs.
And any warnings about a resource that you entered into their record appear when you try to assign them to a task so you can take them into account before assigning the resource.
View tasks 2 ways
Like jobs, you have options for viewing task calendars. You can view tasks in a list or a monthly calendar. Like the jobs’ list view, the list view of tasks has more search options and you can rearrange the list grid, such as the order of the columns and how the listings are sorted, to your preference.
Separate start times for a job and its tasks
If you have a job with tasks that will start at different times than the job you can give the tasks their own start and end times.
Cancel a task, not the whole job
For complicated jobs, such as one that requires reporting, interpreting, and video, if the client cancels one aspect — they don’t need interpreting, but the rest of the job is a go — you cancel only the one task; it doesn’t affect the rest of the job.
Likewise if you want to cancel the assigned resource but not the task, you can remove the resource and keep the task in the job to reassign.
Keep a paper trail of canceled tasks
Canceling a task adds the assigned resource back to your available resources list for new assignments. In addition, it keeps track of when tasks were canceled. This will be helpful in cases where there is a cost incurred in late cancellations, such as a hotel’s conference room: You will have a paper trail to back up any cancellation fees charged to your client.
Tasks vs. linked jobs
You also have the option to create linked jobs. For example, if you are scheduling a videotaped deposition, you can create two separate jobs on the calendar and link them. This allows you to cancel one job without canceling the other, and to bill video charges on a separate invoice by an outside vendor. RB notifies you when a linked depo is canceled that there is a linked video job.
Individual to-do lists for resources
The Send Overdue Tasks Report gives each resource their own prioritized To-Do list of outstanding tasks. The report lists overdue tasks chronologically by due date, and includes basic information like the job, client, and task due. You can save time by emailing the reports in batches, instead of one at a time.
Calendar’s faster, easier workflows
Workflows are streamlined in this latest version of RB. You can quickly access important areas of RB, and incorporate RB easily into your company’s workflow. So important everyday processes, like job scheduling, are faster.
Fast job entry
Instead of remembering shortcut keystrokes or dealing with drop-down menus, you click the New button at the top of your calendar to start a job. One click and you are there.
In addition, the New Job window opens with a fly-out panel for selecting the ordering firm. Not a single click required to get to the first thing you will probably know when contacted about a job. Enter a few keystrokes to find the firm or add a new firm right there in the job.
If the client you selected has excessively overdue invoices, you can have a warning pop up that displays the overdue amount, so you can address it immediately. You set the parameters: whether you will receive a popup, what amount triggers the popup, and how many days overdue payment has to be.
If you have multiple similar jobs to schedule, e.g., a series of depos for the same case, use the job wizard to quickly set up daily or weekly jobs within a date range or for specific dates.
If a new job is similar to a previously scheduled job, instead of starting a new job you can click a button to copy the existing job so you only have to update the info that changed (like the date) for the new job.
Contact’s info accessible from within jobs
After selecting the firm ordering the job, you select the ordering contact from a drop-down or add a new contact on the fly, all in the same New Job window. If you have a new contact, you don’t type names into jobs. You add the contact to your RB database directly from within the job instead. That way your contact information is always up to date.
In RB, you can select both scheduling contacts (people who call in a job, often a secretary or legal assistant) and ordering contacts (person who will appear at the depo or who is ordering services, usually a lawyer) from the Contacts database. This way, if you need to contact the scheduling contact to confirm the job or if you have questions, you can easily access their contact information from within the job.
Easy job entry
After who is ordering a job, the most important aspect is when the job occurs. After entering the date and times from drop-downs, you can save the job.
When you save a new job, RB automatically adds additional fields organized into panes in the job window, and scrolls you to the Parties pane, with the ordering client already added. You can add other parties and requested services at this point, or scroll to other panes to enter tasks and specialties required, upload files, or make notes.
RB guides you through workflows, but you choose what and when you input information and send communications. For example, when assigning a resource to a task, RB will ask if you want to notify the resource when you save the assignment. You can send the notice from within the task right then, or choose to do it any time later, such as if you prefer to send a batch of assignments all at once. (You also get the same options when canceling tasks.)
And when sending communications from within RB, such as assignment notifications, you can send your canned messages, or customize them on the fly with additional instructions, comments, and files.
Error-proof job cancellations
Job cancellation is a typical streamlined RB function: You handle all of the steps involved — changing status, making notes, confirming with clients, canceling and alerting affected resources, even rescheduling the job if needed — within one window. RB also prompts you so you won’t overlook an important step.
We made it hard to overlook information or input errors when entering jobs. For example, firm warnings and calendar notes appear onscreen in jobs, so you see immediately if a client has unique requirements, such as a reporter they do not want on their jobs.
Want to learn more about RB’s Calendar?
You can find out more about the Calendar module in ReporterBase 101, which contains lessons about every module, function, plug-in, and concept in RB.
ReporterBase 101 comes in 2 versions: weekly email lessons and a website, the RB9 Primer, where all the lessons appear. You can sign up to have an RB lesson delivered to your inbox each week. And you can also look up anything on the website, where lessons are grouped by module or concept.