Monday, 17 September 2012

14 great new improvements to Insightly

We've introduced a lot of improvements and new features to Insightly this month, inspired by both customer feedback and from our own staff suggestions while using the product, so hopefully you find something in the list that you wanted or requested. Here is the list, and below that is a more in-depth description of each feature:
  • A rich text editor for notes, comments and task descriptions
  • No limit to the size of saved notes and comments (previously was 4000 characters max).
  • The ability to edit the date of a note
  • A new notes view to see full notes and their comments in the note list
  • The ability to share your custom filters with other users of your Insightly
  • The ability to change the display order of custom fields
  • Twitter profiles for Organizations
  • The ability to link to folders in Google Docs / Google Drive (rather than just files)
  • Send emails directly to opportunities and projects in Insightly
  • Ability to set the start and end date of an activity set when applied
  • Forward and Reverse activities supported in activity sets
  • Assign activity set tasks to a team instead of a user
  • Activity sets can now include events, not just tasks
  • New Bulk Editing system

Improvements to Notes and Comments

We've added a rich text editor to notes, comments and task details so you can add bold, italics, and underlined text, and bulleted and numbered lists. You can now also paste in HTML from web pages and preserve formatting too.

We've also added a new field so you can set the date of the note, which helps when you are entering notes about events that occurred in the past, and you wish to preserve the chronological order in Insightly.

We also added a new view for the display of notes in Insightly that shows the full contents of each note and any comments associated with them in the list, saving you from having to click through to individual notes to read them.

And the final improvement to notes and comments is the removal of the 4000 character limit, so you can type or paste in huge notes and have them saved and searchable immediately.


Share Custom Filters with other Users

When you create a custom filter under contacts, organizations, opportunities or projects - you now have the option to share that filter with other users in your Insightly. All other users will be able to see and apply the filter, but only you or administrators will be bale to delete the filter.


Change the Display Order of Custom Fields

Administrators of Insightly can now change the order in which custom fields appear in both add and edit forms. You can drag and drop fields to change the order using the handles to the left of the field name as shown below in red.


Twitter profiles for Organizations

When we introduced social profiles to contacts in Insightly in June they were a big success, with over 60,000 social profiles being linked to contacts to date. We also had quite a few requests for the ability to add Twitter profiles for organizations too, so we've included that feature in the latest updates, as shown below.


Linking to Folders in Google Docs / Google Drive

We've had the ability to link Google Docs to contacts, organizations, opportunities and projects in Insightly for a long time. We now include the ability to link a Google Doc or Google Drive folder to any one of these items too - so if you keep all your docs related to a specific client in one folder, you can choose to link the whole folder to the organization in Insightly.

Send emails directly to Opportunities and Projects

One oft requested feature is the ability to send emails from your email client to Insightly, and have them automatically attach to a specific opportunity or project. You can now do this via a special email address we've crafted for each user and each opportunity and project. Sending an email to that email address will automatically link it to you, the specific opportunity or project, and to other contacts addressed in the email. You can see your special email address under each opportunity and project in the 'Link Email Address' field, as shown below in red.

Enhancements to Activity Sets

We've greatly enhanced activity sets in Insightly in this release. Activity Sets are templates for a group of tasks or events that can be applied to contacts, organizations, opportunities or projects in Insightly to automate processes within your business. You can also attach activity sets to individual stages in a pipeline too.

A.  Assign Activity Set Tasks to a Team

You can now assign tasks in an activity set to a team of users, and any member of that team can complete the task.

B.  Events now included in Activity Sets

Activity Sets are not just for tasks anymore. You can now add events to an activity set, and choose to set the start date for an event a number of days after the start date or before the end date of an activity set.

C.  Choose Activity Set Start and End Dates (and reverse activity set support)

We now let you choose the start date for an activity set when you apply it. So if you want the tasks in an activity set to start in two weeks but you want to apply the activity set to a project now (say you're adding the project to Insightly now) you can now choose the start date for the activity set and all tasks in the set will be staggered from that start date.

We're now also allowing you to set the due date for tasks a number of days before a specific end date for an activity set too (sometimes called reverse activity sets). 

A good way to illustrate the usefulness of this feature is with an example. Say you're a hotshot lawyer and you have an upcoming court case in three months, and you know that you need to have the briefing completed five business days before you're due in court, and the client deposition preparation all done three days before the big court date. You can setup an activity set with a task due 5 days before the end date, and another task due 3 days before the end date. Then you can add that activity set to your court case project and set the end date for the activity set to your court appearance date, and Insightly will take care of the rest with the tasks being automatically created and due the correct number of days before your big debut in court.

New Bulk Editing Feature

Our last big feature in this release is a new bulk editing tool for contacts and organizations. We've consolidated and simplified some of the editing features onto one page, and included a few new capabilities to make working with multiple records at once much easier. You can now add tags, remove tags, add links or change the permissions on a number of highlighted items more easily.

We're now also including the ability to change or find and replace the text of almost any field in a group of selected items too. To use the new bulk edit system first highlight a number of record that you wish to work with. Then just click the 'Bulk Edit' link that appears in the top of the list to go to the bulk edit screen. Finally made the changes you wish, then when you click the 'Save Changes' button, those changes will be applied to all the items you first highlighted.


If you have any questions about these features or any others in Insightly, email our friendly support team at support@insight.ly.