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Archive for Worksheets

Worksheet Answer Comments

This one’s about what you’d expect from its 3-word name: it’s the ability to post comments on individual answers as entered for individual questions within a Worksheet assignment.  This is distinct from (and in addition to) being able to post a comment on an entire Worksheet in the usual way, and so at first glance may seem superfluous.

No one that I know of has actually asked for this feature, yet it’s one that I’m really excited to release.

Why should that be?

The power of this feature is subtle, and therefore easy to miss.  Yet when you understand what it makes possible for you as coach, one who’s offering a premium, high-touch experience, you might wonder how you ever got by without it.

Allow me to explain such a tall claim.

Three years ago I was in a fitness and weight loss coaching program for about 5 months (it was My Body Tutor, if you’re curious).  IT WORKED.  I started the program at 210lbs, and weighed in at 182 when I called it, back to the trim figure I enjoyed as a twenty-something and a thoroughly satisfied customer.

Two-and-a-half years later I consistently weigh in around 183, give or take a pound.  So for those of you keeping score, in that program I lost 28 pounds, and after all this time have gained back 1.  It is fair to say my results were both profound and lasting.

Here’s the point of my sharing this:

The magic of the program lied in the daily check-in: a form that us participants filled out every day to document meals, any snacking, exercise, and mindset.  Maybe a few other things, but that was the gist.

The super-duper magic of the program was that your coach would, EVERY DAY, post comments on every bit of that check-in form, even (especially?) those parts you left blank.

Make some great food choices?  You’d soon see written positive feedback congratulating you for it.  Didn’t so much as get in a 5 minute walk?  Coach would read as much, and the comment he made ensured that you knew that HE knew.

Coach was in your world, giving specific guidance on all the specific bits you were reporting.  After a week or so, you KNEW that if you filled in “pop tart” for that breakfast question you were gonna hear about it the next day, and because of it, the chump-looking-like-aversion (that we are all blessed/cursed with) would quickly be in your corner to help you NOT make such obvious missteps.

The daily feedback loop ritual, so long as you kept on track to participate in it, was a veritable good habits factory.

That tight feedback loop was enabled by coach being able to easily and effortlessly give you focused feedback on every little component.  Coach didn’t have to compose lengthy missives to cover the whole thing, wherein half the keystrokes were prefacing what she was talking about (“Okay, so for your breakfast what I see is…”).  It was just on-point feedback on everything, where what she was talking about was obvious from context.  The whole scheme of commenting on individual answers took the cognitive load of both writing and reading way down.

Voila, the case for being able to comment on each answer within a Worksheet.

And now you can in CoachAccountable.  Let’s see how it works!

» Continue reading “Worksheet Answer Comments”

Up Your Statistics Game With Form-Based Computed Values

Sue of The Wellness Community, a CoachAccountable Team Edition coach, dropped us a line with a complex document she uses for all her clients. It’s a holistic Wellness Assessment that’s intended to give her members an idea of their current overall wellness, as well as help her match new clients with the right coach.

Sue wonders:

Is there a way for CA to compute and report a wellness score from the answers submitted in a wellness assessment? I have created an assessment with seven sections, each measuring a different area of wellness. Each answer has a score and contributes to the total for a specific area with each area contributing to the total wellness score, being a maximum of 100.

Can I also create a metric that combines all these metrics into one to give a snap shot of their overall wellness in graph form?

We were happy to reply that YES, CoachAccountable does that. It’s called a Computed Value.

Form-based Worksheets give you the ability to create professional coaching Worksheets for your clients. Many coaches find they can stop using tools like Google Docs plus Google Forms and instead assign a neat, packaged CoachAccountable Worksheet, placed where clients can easily find, complete, and review it. You can take data from your form-based Worksheets and pipe them into Metrics, allowing clients to enter data only once into the Worksheet while the Metric auto-populates both data and comments if you like.

Now, form-based Worksheets can do even more. The newest type of field, computed value, allows you to input formulas that include other form fields on your Worksheet. That means you can automatically calculate averages, sums, and so on, and of course pipe these into Metrics as well.

Let’s take a look at one in action.

» Continue reading “Up Your Statistics Game With Form-Based Computed Values”

Media Embeds in Worksheets and Elsewhere

It can be nice to offer your client assignments that are in essence self-contained lessons, where in learning materials are presented right in line with the questions or tasks to work through.  Say, for example, you want them to watch a video on the coaching platform and, as they do, answer some questions about that video.

This scenario calls for a Worksheet Template with embedded media.  Let’s take a look at how this works inside the CoachAccountable coaching management platform.

» Continue reading “Media Embeds in Worksheets and Elsewhere”

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.

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Master Class: Form-based Worksheets

Here’s a screen cast walk through of using Form-based Worksheets within CoachAccountable, including:

  • The difference between form-based Worksheets and regular ones.
  • How to create form-based Worksheets.
  • The work flow of assigning your Worksheets to clients and their experience of completing them.
  • Incorporating Worksheets as regular pre-assignments for your appointments.
  • Piping Worksheet answers into Metrics.
  • Using Courses to deliver recurring worksheet assignments.

At 32 minutes long it goes in depth, and because it goes at a leisurely pace is very easy to follow.


Piping Worksheet Answers into Actions?

Hot on the heels of releasing the ability to have Worksheet answers populate Metrics, I got a question from Laura Watson of Venture Coaching, which asked if a similar thing could be added to support setting up Actions:

I am building a project planning worksheet for my clients. We use this on a quarterly basis to plan personal and professional projects together. The worksheet includes an area for creating action steps.

On the worksheet I’m creating in CA, I will have my clients fill in their action steps using the simple text field. I’m wondering if, at some point, it would be possible to have these action step fields linked to actual actions so we don’t have to enter the data twice.

To that I replied:

Good question, and it’s in many ways a good idea.  On first consideration however the answer is PROBABLY not ever.  The reason is that Actions within CoachAccountable are so much more than just what would be filled out in the single line: in addition to the “what”, CA also tracks the “by when”, reminders, and optionally which project the action falls under.

Since the complete data entry process for a given action is so much more complex, I doubt I’ll support having worksheet inputs pipe into Actions (to wit, setting up Worksheets to pipe into Metrics with a comment is complex enough to get right when creating a worksheet template! :)

Still, perhaps at some point I’ll allow simple action creation with just the what and by when, perhaps a date picker type of input to be put into the form-based worksheets.  It’s good food for thought!

She thanked me for the reply, and liked the idea using the worksheet for the “what” part and having clients fill out the rest in the Actions tab.

With a little more time to mull on it, I added the following in reply:

Since writing you another thought does occur to me: you MIGHT consider an alternate approach in which you in your worksheet prompt your clients to more literally make their action plan, rather than type in a few one-liners that don’t have the same sort of supported reality.  After all, Actions are living things with due dates and alerts, and optionally (ideally) have project-based organization with progress meters which satisfyingly fill up as things are marked off.  By contrast, it’s an uphill battle to get clients to go back and read an already completed worksheet.

So you could skip the double-data entry, by preferring instead that your clients make actual Action plans to just typing into a worksheet.  It won’t be that much an interruption as it’s guaranteed they’ll be logged in already, and 3 Action Projects will be perfect to organize the 3 Benchmarks.  Extra bonus?  A worksheet once submitted CAN’T be edited unless you send it back their way, but Actions can be added to and/or modified at any time as a quarter progresses. :)

I was honored to get back a simple reply:

Great ideas, thanks for this!

And I was honored not just because I was able to be helpful and not just because I avoided putting another new feature on my to-do list (both super cool, don’t get me wrong).  But rather because here was an established way of doing things, and there exists within CA a way to do it better if only by being willing to restructure a little.

More generally speaking, it occurs to me that any established part of your coaching style is worth revisiting to see if it can’t be tailored to how CoachAccountable works.  Not for CoachAccountable’s sake, because who cares, right?  But for the sake of making your coaching better in ways that would not otherwise be possible.

Sometimes that takes shifting out of an established way of doing things, disrupting inertia in favor of giving your clients a better experience.  Don’t hesitate to ask if you could use a little guidance in how to bring your style of coaching to life with the tools of CA–with a little creativity there are some real wins to be had.

Piping Worksheet Answers Into Metrics

In the two previous posts we’ve covered the basics of using Worksheets within CoachAccountable, and how to wield their Form-Based variant.

Now let’s look to the next level of power in using Worksheets: setting them up to have your clients’ answers feed into their Metrics.

This is a bit abstract, so let’s consider a concrete example to see how this is useful.

A quick warning before we dive in: the ideas to follow are the stuff of putting a lot of features of CoachAccountable together to make elaborate, sophisticated setups to serve your coaching clients.  It is cool stuff, but requires a certain familiarity with some of the basic building blocks of the system, like Actions, Courses and Metrics.  If you’re familiar with these things already then you’re set, and might be delighted to learn of the fancy, integrated and automated setups that are possible.  If you’re NOT familiar, you might want to learn those basics first (though reading on here may serve as good motivation for that learning!).

Right then, let’s dive in.

» Continue reading “Piping Worksheet Answers Into Metrics”

Using Form-Based Worksheets

The basic style of Worksheets within CoachAccountable is as a Word doc that is freely editable, both by coach creating the worksheet, and client filling it out.

But with Form-Based Worksheets, coach can create Worksheets with the free style editability of a Word doc BUT with form elements interspersed, which in turn are specifically what a client is meant to fill out.

“Form elements” refers to check boxes, radio buttons, drop down menus, text boxes, signature areas, image prompts, and computed values.

Let’s see how this works.

» Continue reading “Using Form-Based Worksheets”

Using Worksheets – The Basics

Worksheets are CoachAccountable’s way of letting you create, manage, and organize written assignments for your clients.  Similar to Microsoft Word or Google Docs, they allow you to create a series of questions in free-style fashion with blank spaces for your clients to fill in (OR in form-based fashion with text boxes, radio buttons, etc. – more on that HERE, but here we’ll just cover the basics, as the title of the post implies).

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.

» Continue reading “Using Worksheets – The Basics”

Appointment Worksheets

Yesterday I got an email from Bryan Gilliom of Level 5 Coaching Group, a fellow who was goodly enough to reply to my “welcome, how’s it going?” email that gets sent to all coaches shortly after they grab an account1.  In addition to giving a really nice account of what he was looking for, he let me know his wish list so far for the system.  The first on this list was this:

1) To improve my own efficiency I want to be able to send worksheets based on an appointment.  So it seems like I am going to have to remember each session to schedule a “Check in” worksheet and reminder, and I will have to schedule a pre-meeting worksheet.  This seems like repetitive work that would be better done by defining triggers tied to the appointment.

In this I love both his forwardness to ask and clarity of reasoning behind it.  (Incidentally, the second item on his wish list was essentially a request for the forthcoming Team Edition.)

To his first request I replied:

Tying a worksheet to an appointment type is a really good idea, one which I’ve toyed with in the past and am just about sold on as being worth adding.  As you might imagine my to-do list is quite flush with good ideas but I reckon I may add this sometime in the near-ish future.

Then I realized I was just a few days off from a trip to Vegas for MicroConf, and thus it wasn’t a good day for doing any major architectural wrangling for Team Edition.  Instead, a quick project was a perfect way to spend the day.  So I did just that.  And now, as of this morning, coaches can tie worksheet assignments automatically to their appointment types.  Let’s take a look.

» Continue reading “Appointment Worksheets”

  1. The computer sends this email for me automatically, but the intention is quite sincere!