The CoachAccountable Blog

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

Using Worksheets – The Basics

Worksheets are CoachAccountable’s way of letting you create, manage, and organize written assignments for your clients.  Similar to Word docs, they allow you to create a series of questions in free-style fashion with blank spaces for your clients to fill in.

Everyone seems to chuckle at the WTF check-in.

Everyone seems to chuckle at the WTF check-in.

Here’s a look into how they work, and how to use them to their fullest in your coaching programs.

Worksheet Templates

Our overview of using CoachAccountable Worksheets starts with a look at templates.  Templates are your collection of stock worksheets that are common to your style/methodology/programs.  Your account comes pre-loaded with 4 templates which serve as examples of how your might do your own.  You’re welcome to use those in your coaching, modify them to better suit your style, or delete them outright and create new ones from scratch.

Setup as many templates as you like.

Setup as many templates as you like.

Assigning a Worksheet

Once you’ve got templates ready you can add an assignment for your client with just a few clicks.  Visit your client’s page and go to the Notes tab.  The big +Worksheet button is the way to assign a worksheet to that client.

With this button we're up to 3 clicks.

Upon clicking the worksheet adder button you’re presented with a number of options.  First the system invites you to pick (from among your templates) which worksheet you’d like to assign.  You don’t strictly NEED to have any templates because you can always start with a blank worksheet, but having them is a leg up: a serious shortcut when the assignment you’re about to give is one of your regulars.

Pick one from your collection of templates, and it fills right in.

Pick one from your collection of templates, and it fills right in.

You’re not stuck assigning one of your template worksheets as-is: when you pick a template, its contents load right in for you to see and, if needed, edit to better fit the situation at hand with your client.  This is the best of both worlds: you’re able to give an assignment quickly from your established collection AND you can add or remove questions as warranted.

Tailoring a worksheet assignment like this (especially when it’s one that your client sees on a regular basis, like a weekly check-in) is a way to let your client experience that your coaching truly suits their specific needs.  When it feels like that (as opposed to going through some cookie-cutter process), your clients are apt to put in more thought and effort.

Worksheets have due dates/times associated with them which you can set.  If your client is in another timezone the system gives you a hint to ensure you set the right time.  You can also set one or more reminders to be sent to either you or your client, via email (or even SMS if you are in North America).

Negative one weeks before, what's that about?

Negative one weeks before, what’s that about?

A reminder for your client one day before the worksheet is due works well to have him or her reliably complete on time.  If it’s a longer-range assignment, due more than a week out, you might set a second reminder around the halfway mark to get your client thinking about it.  Reminders sent via email are especially nice because it puts your client one click away from hopping into their account with the worksheet loaded front-and-center, ready to be worked on.

Note the third reminder in the example collection above, where it says to remind the client -1 weeks before via email.  Using negative numbers is a little trick to tell CoachAccountable to send a reminder AFTER a worksheet’s due date has passed.  This is handy if you think it likely that a worksheet will go undone for so long, a way to have the system gently remind your client that “hey, this is overdue but it’s still due so please go complete it”.  But what if they’ve already completed it on time?  Not to worry: like all reminders, a negative reminder will NOT be sent for a worksheet if it has already been marked complete.

Finally you’re given the option to have CoachAccountable send your client a notification about the new assignment immediately.  The notification message is pre-loaded from your email message templates (customizable under My CA >> My System >> System Communications) for convenience, and can be personalized to suit the situation.

Click “Assign” and you’re done.  The worksheet will appear in the “Outstanding Worksheet Assignments” section under the Notes tab, there for you to see and your clients to work on.  As coach you can modify a outstanding assignment, including its due date and reminders.

Notifications

To help along the process of your clients actually getting their Worksheet assignments complete, CA offers a few notifications.  Under My CA >> My System >> Notifications you’ve got options:

Notifications can be sent automatically when interesting things happen.

Notifications can be sent automatically when interesting things happen.

Notifications of completed worksheets are especially nice because they put the content of the worksheet right in your inbox: no need to log in to see what your client filled out1.

Notifications of late worksheets keep assignments from falling through the cracks.  As coach it is nice to be alerted when a due date has slipped; it gives you the opportunity to check in with your client and see if you can offer any help to get them back on track.  In fact, text and email notifications about late worksheets can be replied to directly, which both passes the message back to your client AND captures it within the CoachAccountable client record.

The "Reply ABOVE THIS LINE" lets us know what we can do via email.

Here as in other emails sent by the system, the “Reply ABOVE THIS LINE” message tells us what we can do from the comfort of our inbox.  So we hit reply and type:

You of course will probably be much more tactful.

You of course will probably be much more tactful.

This message is emailed on to the client as well as captured within CoachAccountable:

The comment is delivered via email, and filed within CA.

After Completion

Once completed a Worksheet becomes part of the client record, living in both the Notes tab and the Stream tab (which is the running log of all things in the coaching relationship to date).  You and your client can easily print out a completed worksheet, or email it off to whomever.  If you as coach deem for whatever reason that it’s not complete, you can un-mark it so, and effectively send back to your client to work on further.

With that you have the whole flow of worksheet assignments for a typical, single client.  Worksheets can also be sent out automatically as standard prep work for appointments, can be included in Courses as part of the timeline of materials and assignments, and can be assigned to members of coaching Groups for the purpose of collecting and sharing individual responses.

Give them a try.  Worksheets are a wonderful way of getting your clients to really think through and put down thoughtful responses to the questions or exercises you lay out for them.  That work is the stuff of transitioning them from passive recipients of your coaching insights and wisdom to a place of actively thinking about and applying that wisdom.

In short, they make your coaching more real.

Note:

  1. Facebook makes you log in to see stuff and I hate it.  “Click here to see what so-and-so wrote on your wall!”  Really?  Would it kill ya to just put it right in this email?

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