The CoachAccountable Blog

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

Archive for Community Collaboration

Delightful Collaboration VIII – Setting Location and Description for Appointments

Here is a great example of where CoachAccountable gets better through me being exposed to a style of doing things other than my own.

The calendar feed of appointments is a lovely thing, allowing both coaches and clients to have appointments [set within CoachAccountable] appear right within their usual calendars (like Google Calendars, iCal, and Outlook).

Beyond the what and when, calendar software aficionados know that it’s handy to have location and descriptive information about a calendar event be right there as well.

For my sake when it comes to coaching appointments there’s nothing to it: “where” is invariably on the phone, and there are no access or dial-in details to speak of, or really anything else–I call them and that’s that.

Liz HeimanBut last Thursday I had a great call with Liz Heiman of Percio Strategies.  We went over a bevy of great questions of how to setup and do this or that within CA, and Liz made a great case for how useful it would be to have location and description information about an appointment appear right along side appointments within people’s calendars: vital for coordination of meeting locations and a great boon to timely attendance to have dial in information right there for attendees. » Continue reading “Delightful Collaboration VIII – Setting Location and Description for Appointments”

Unit-Based Courses for Self-Paced Programs

Courses are great.  They allow you to create a coaching program as a progression of items that are to delivered over a days, weeks or month, where the items include videos, readings, worksheets, action items, and more.  They are super flexible, allowing you to set in motion a slow drip of materials to as many clients as you like with just a few clicks, precisely according to the schedule you define–you can have the system send an intro message on Day 1 at 8am, an audio lesson on Day 2 at 9am and a review worksheet 20 minutes later, and so on.

You can even make it so that completing one item triggers the release of the next, such as completing Day 9’s Worksheet triggers a “well done” message, or watching Day 2’s audio lesson triggers the assignment of a follow up Action.   You can make a rich, interactive experience for your program participants as they go through the timeline of your course.

But what if your Course is better suited as a time-independent delivery?  You might have a bunch of material wherein completing one section naturally invites flowing into the next.  There might be no reason to not let someone who’s cruising through the materials and assignments simply move through more quickly.  Similarly, when someone takes a two week vacation it might well be much better to not let assignments and messages pile up while they are away.

» Continue reading “Unit-Based Courses for Self-Paced Programs”

Delightful Collaboration VII – Course Whiteboards

Sometimes a would-be user of CoachAccountable just knows what they’re looking for.

This past Wednesday I got an email from Jason of Merchant Capital Partners, a company which offers loans and training programs to help entrepreneurs build sustainably profitable businesses.  He and his colleague Robert that got right to the point:

Hello,

We are evaluating your platform for use with our customers… would it be possible to hop on a call and talk through some of our questions and what a possible partnership would look like?  We’re looking to make a decision quickly so the sooner the better.

Please reply with some times that you are available.

The following day we spent nearly 2 hours on the phone and connected via screen share, them showing the ins-and-outs of the program they’re aiming to deliver at scale, and me taking it in and in turn advising how to best deliver it via CA.

» Continue reading “Delightful Collaboration VII – Course Whiteboards”

Zapier Integration Now in Beta

I’d never heard of Zapier until someone asked if CA integrated with it.  There is a veritable sea of other apps I might make CA integrate with, quite impractical to do them all and certainly not to be done in response to only one request, and so I tucked the idea away for the time being.

And then eventually I got another request.  And then another.  And then several more.

By about the third person to ask I gave it a good look and very much liked the premise: integrating with Zapier, it turns out, is not so much integrating with one app, but rather is a gateway to near-effortless integrations with a whole ecosystem of other apps.

Zapier LogoZapier makes it possible for your average person (specifically, NON-programmers) to make two different apps to talk to one another in order to accomplish certain tasks of automation, and with no programming necessary.  These include tasks of the form “when X happens over here, make it do Y over there”, like for example “When someone schedules an appointment with me from my WuFoo form, add it as an event to my Google Calendar.”

With the CoachAccountable API, CA is ripe for being one of the apps that can be integrated with others via Zapier.  I hadn’t yet made it a priority as of this past week, until just the other day I got another request for it, this time via chat from one Louise Beattie of Working a Better Life.

“Hey, since I’ve got you here, would you mind telling me specifically what you would use it for?” I asked.  She said she’d like to have it so that clients she added to CoachAccountable would be automatically added to her mailing list within ActiveCampaign.

Hmmm… “Are you going to be online for a little while?  I’d be happy to cook that up for you if you’d be willing to be my guinea pig on this, and let me know how it was working for you.”  I explained more or less how I myself wasn’t a Zapier user and so somewhat flying blind about the whole thing.  She was game.

So it was then that I spent some time putting the finishing touches on some toying around I’d done earlier, motivated by being able to serve a real and specifically requested use case.  Fun!

Even in this super early phase, this totally works, and is one of many MANY possible tasks that could be setup.

Even in this super early phase, this totally works, and is one of many MANY possible tasks that could be setup.

Louise was offline by the time I had things ready to go (being 7 hours ahead of me in the UK I suppose I might’ve suspected that) but the next day I’d got confirmation that the setup was a working success.

CoachAccountable as a Zapier app is now in invite-only mode.  Again, flying blind as I am (and more to the point, not myself chomping at the bit with specific integration needs), I’m leaving it up to users of both Zapier & CoachAccountable to guide in what would be useful, and the functionality of what can be easily setup via Zapier will grow and evolve in accordance with requests.

For example, two weeks ago another coach said this:

I’d love to have some rules fire when a new coaching client is added. Like connecting on LinkedIn, Facebook, maybe tie it in to a service that ships a card or brownies.

Automated brownie sending to new clients–nice!  I take it as proof positive that there’s a lot of room for creative ideas in this space.

If you’re a Zapier user and would like to link your CoachAccountable account to it for whatever purposes of automation with other systems you use, drop me a line and I’ll be happy to learn what you’d like it to be able to do, as well as invite you to the private beta.

My thanks to Louise for being the well-timed push that got me finally really rolling on this front!