The CoachAccountable Blog

What's new with the CA platform, tutorials on using it, and customer spotlights.

Archive for August, 2016

Happy Birthday, CA–It’s been 4 Years Now!

You know I can probably fit like 2 or 3 more on there.

You know I can probably fit like 2 or 3 more on there.  Re-gifting might be a sin, but re-caking?  Totally fine.

Oh jeez, someone ordered the wrong sash for Mr. CoachAccountable, it was supposed to say "Happy Birthday". Oddly he doesn't seem to mind.

Oh jeez, someone ordered the wrong sash for Mr. CoachAccountable, it was supposed to say “Happy Birthday”. Oddly he doesn’t seem to mind.

CoachAccountable’s fourth year of existence since the 2.0 release got off to a groovy start with the release of CA Mobile, the appy experience of CoachAccountable for coaches and clients but without the hassle of having to find and download anything from an app store.

Then in January CoachAccountable got a named shout out in the Acknowledgements section at the end of the New York Times best seller book Always Hungry, for which CoachAccountable served as the platform for the pilot program upon which the book is based.

Tambre Leighn and company chose CoachAccountable as the delivery and community platform for their cancer survivors program, Well Beyond This. That CA Groups serve as a support group medium for participants makes this a project for which I am deeply honored to be a part of.

Along the way there has been the usual bevvy of enhancements and expansions to the system, including Course Whiteboards, Unit-Based Courses, Worksheet Image Prompts, and Form-Based Session Notes.

Beyond that it’s been busy times as the platform continues to grow and evolve to serve ever larger organizations and programs, so much so that my days as a one-man shop have come to an end.  The need for assistance to keep up has prompted me to create the new Director of Customer Support and Hand Holding position.  I’ll be introducing him in this space very soon.

Year 5 promises to be the biggest leap forward for CoachAccountable yet.  As usual I have much more up my sleeve to better the platform in order to better forward and serve the industry and the many talented coaches working to produce great results.

My many heartfelt thanks to coaches and organizations who continue to try out CA and find it a win for their work, here’s to another year of great coaching!

Form-Based Worksheet Image Prompts

Form-Based Worksheets (and indeed now Sessions!) allow you to create a form for your clients to fill out, comprised of text boxes, radio buttons and so forth.  But sometimes in a Worksheet assignment it would be nice if your clients could provide an image or two as an answer to a question.

This is now possible with CoachAccountable Form-Based Worksheets, thanks to the newly added support for Image Prompts that are available when creating a form.  Let’s take a look at how this works.

Like when adding a form input of any other variety, an Image Prompt is added by clicking the “Add form item” button on the WYSIWYG toolbar:

That little guy, forth in from the right.

That little guy, forth in from the right.

Pick the new “Image prompt” option in the drop down menu and you’ll find a similar (but slightly different) set of options:

Just pick this type of input and you're off. Note you can allow your clients to provide more than 1 image as their answer to a given question.

Just pick this type of input and you’re off. Note you can allow your clients to provide more than 1 image as their answer to a given question through the “Max images” setting.

In the Worksheet, an Image prompt is rendered as a clickable button with whatever caption you set:

All other things being equal, it was probably a bad meal if you feel vengeful afterwards.

Wait, vengeful?

When working on a Worksheet with an Image prompt item, clicking the button brings up the gallery browser, allowing your client to upload an image as needed and then ultimately choose an image for their answer:

Whew, fancy breakfast!

Whew, fancy breakfast!

As your clients fill out the Worksheet their images are popped right in:

I wonder if he really ate that? Totally looks like stock photography to me.

I wonder if he really ate that? Totally looks like stock photography to me.

What’s really nice about this is how well it plays with filling out a Worksheet on a smartphone with CA Mobile: when uploading a new image to the gallery (for subsequent choosing for the Worksheet) most devices give you the option to snap a photo right then and there, and upload THAT with just a few taps.  As such, completing a photo journal-like Worksheet is really quick and easy.

Image Prompts in Form-Based Worksheets add a new dimension to the kinds of assignments you can setup for your clients, letting pictorial input join the usual keyboard and click-based input.  If that would make a fitting aspect to the assignments you give as part of your coaching, go give them a try!  It’s as simple as creating a Worksheet Template that includes one or more Image Prompts.

Form-Based Session Notes

Form-Based Worksheets are a lovely thing: they let you create worksheets for your clients to fill out that have text areas to type in, check boxes to check off, drop down menus to make selections in and so on.  This is all a variation on the theme of regular Worksheets, which work like free form documents that can be edited freely as if working on a Word doc (the kind of setup wherein you type a question and hit Enter a few times to make space for your clients to type in their answer).

Session Notes by contrast have always been just the free form variety, allowing coach to define a template as a convenient starting point but then type freely in and around that template when filling out notes for a session with a specific client.

But it turns out that sometimes it’s nice to have Session Notes be similarly structured, providing a concrete set of points to cover, questions to ask (and answers to record), and whatever other form elements to check off/fill out.  This is especially so in a team setting, wherein a coach might be expected to more rigorously follow a standardized formula of how to conduct a session and capture the essential notes & information from it.

To that end CoachAccountable now offers Form-Based Session Notes.  Setting up a Form-based Session Template works just like setting up a Form-Based Worksheet.  In the template builder WYSYIWYG editor you’ll now see the “Insert form item” button:

I've remixed the classic pre-loaded Session Template and added a few extra rating items.

I’ve remixed the classic pre-loaded Session Template and added a few extra rating items.

When you’ve got a Form-Based Session defined (i.e. a Session Template which contains one or more form items) filling it out for one of your clients works just like filling out a Form-Based Worksheet, including any validation rules that have been set for the template:

The validation rules make a nice way to ensure you (or your team coaches) do complete work in filling out the notes for a session.

The validation rules make a nice way to ensure you (or your team coaches) do complete work in filling out the notes for a session.

Everything else about Form-Based Sessions works like their Worksheet counterparts: when you email the session notes to your clients they’ll rendered all pretty with your specific answers highlighted in blue, and you can use Fom-Based Session answers to pipe into Metrics in the exact same way as Worksheet answers do.

All in all this is a nice, seamless alternative to taking free-form Session Notes, which for some organizations (and even some personal styles) will be a real win.  If you like how Form-Based Worksheets work to allow your clients to fill things out in a structured way, give these a try for your Session Notes.

CoachAccountable Director of Customer Support and Hand Holding

This past Saturday at about 11:15am I posted a listing for CoachAccountable’s first hire on weworkremotely.com.  Within 48 hours it garnered well over 100 applications, the overwhelming majority of which were incredibly thoughtful and demonstrated serious expertise and ability.

To provide a little behind-the-scenes glimpse into what I’m out to create in the CoachAccountable team, here is exactly what I posted: » Continue reading “CoachAccountable Director of Customer Support and Hand Holding”