First of all, we have a lot of respect for FileMaker and how easy it made it for many, many people to create database applications. It really was ahead of it’s time in 1985. Because it was so easy to use and worked on Macs, many Hollywood companies had call sheet applications developed on it…as early as 1998. That’s the same year that Sex and the City premiered. Good times.
CallPlease was developed with the help of some of those same FileMaker developers. It was also developed to replace that FileMaker application. No more servers in the closet. No more screens that look like state-of-the-art for a time when no one would ever have thought of shooting a real film digitally.
All that said, we recognize that many of our friends in the Entertainment Industry still are using these applications and, although they long for the increased security, integrations, and mobile apps of CallPlease, they are reluctant to change their ways. Why fix what ain’t broke?
To make CallPlease behave more like your FileMaker application (although there are many variants of FileMaker), it will help to do a few things and understand a few things about how CallPlease was meant to be an upgrade and provide more productivity.
- The Call Actions in CallPlease are completely customizable and can enable any workflow – even something as simple as just IN and OUT. Call Action customization is covered in another post, but the menu can be found under the Pencil icon ().
- The tabs at the top of the screen are not currently customizable, but you can ignore the labels and make them mean whatever you like. Usually, FM users will treat the Newly Received tab as IN and the Need to Call tab as OUT, but it truly is your choice. More on this below.
- You can turn off most of the Call Actions so there are only the simplest of choices. The toggle switch next to the CallAction will switch it between Active and Inactive ()
- If you get an error while creating any of your Call Actions that reads something like “That actions already exists,” just add a space after the name. It’s a bug. We’re working on it.
- There are three categories of Call Actions, each being available in different places in the interface. The point of having three categories of actions is to let you easily provide more detail about the context of the call or activity. The three contexts are:
- Add a Call Actions: These are only available in the Add A Call screen, the one that pops up when you hit the Plus button to add a call () both on the browser app and the mobile apps. This is where you will likely want an IN Call Action so you can mark in-coming calls accordingly. We give you a Need to Call action here, and it drops those call in the Need to Call tab.
- Executive/Shared Log Actions: These are available to Executives or members of Shared Call Logs on the call log screen ()or on the pop-up screen on the mobile app for after you place a call. You will likely want to have both an IN and an OUT Call Action here.
- Assistant Actions: If you want to create a limited set of Call Actions that Assistants can take on a call, this is where you do it. Once again, these are the actions available from the call log list ( )and on the mobile app if you are an Assistant.
CallPlease assumes that you will think about your work in terms of a workflow: work comes in, things happen around that work, the work is completed and we have a full record of everything that went down.
FileMaker Conversion Therapy
In CallPlease, we assumed you would, for instance:
- Take an incoming call
- Record who the caller was, the reason for their call and add the Call Action Call Received, Call Back. This reason is what makes it a single piece of work. There is a topic that will be discussed and resolved.
- The Exec would get the notification and see it as a Newly Received call.
- If the Exec takes action on the call (like Left Voice Mail), then the call really isn’t a newly received call anymore. This is an interaction in progress, hence the In Progress category.
- As you know, calls and email and other communications can go back and forth for a while. You might even have other topics to discuss with the same contact. Those could be handled as different calls – different pieces of work!
- Eventually, the matter is resolved or otherwise completed. The call is moved to Completed and then, after a customizable period of days, is moved to the Archive where it can be accessed anytime, but isn’t lingering on the desktop