After you’ve added all of your activities, you want to set up activity templates, that is, groups of activities that typically go together for a particular type of job. For example, a water loss job typically has these activities: emergency service, monitoring, equipment pickup, and carpet cleaning/reinstallation. Rather than adding these activities individually each time you add a water loss job, you would create a Water Loss activity template, that is, a group that includes each of these activities. That way, rather than having to add each activity individually to each job, you can add the whole group at once. (When you apply the group to a job, you indicate which activities apply to that job; the template is only a pattern that lets you customize if needed when you apply it.) This saves work and also makes sure you don’t forget to add any activity that’s a standard part of the job.
You can set up as many templates as you need for the various types of jobs that you do.
Getting to the Activities Templates
- Click on the Chronicle icon in the upper left corner of Chronicle and click Main System Setup . If Main System Setup isn’t in listed under Management Tools; see Adding Main System Setup to Your Tools List.
- In the list of tabs on the left, click Departments Tab and select the department you wish to work with.
- Click on the Activities tab and select the template you wish to view from the Activities Template box. Activity Templates is what we call groups of activities that can be applied together to a job.
Adding an Activity Template
- Click on the New Template button to add a new activity template.
Chronicle lists every activity for your current department.
- Enter a name for the activity template. If you’re only defining one template for the department, give the template the same name as the department. If you’re creating several templates for a department, make sure the name is different enough from your other template names so all users will be clear on which group they should pick.
- Check the box next to each activity to include.
- If needed, change the information in any column:
Subactivity: Subactivities are optional, but if you want to pick one, click that column.
To use a subactivity that you haven’t defined, click User Defined at the bottom of the list; it lets you enter an additional subactivity.
To include an activity multiple times in your template with different subactivities:Click the line below where you want insert the extra activities, and then click Add New Line. A blank line appears, with a list of activities dropped down. Click the activity you want, and then change the subactivity as needed.
For example, suppose you’ve defined the activity Drywall with the subactivities Hang and Tape. You’d find Drywall in the list, and change the subactivity to Hang. Then you’d click Add New Line, click Drywall for the activity, and chooseTape for the subactivity.
Start as Status: When the activity is initially added to a job, indicate here whether the activity should start as Active (that is, something that is ready to be done immediately) or Pending (that is, something that can’t be done until other parts of the job are complete).
Days to Complete: Indicate the number of days this activity typically takes to complete from the time the activity becomes active. Chronicle uses this to propose an anticipated completion date for the activity; for each job, you can adjust the amount of time as needed.
- When done, click the OK button to save the group.
- Select a template as the default template. Chronicle will always add the default template when adding a department to the job file. Before it is added to the job file, you have the option of choosing a different template if you need it instead.
- Check to automatically apply this template when the dept is added.
When you check this, not only will the activities of the template always be added to a job but users will not be able to unselect any activities at the time of adding.
Changing an Activity Template
As you click through the list of templates you can see the activities in that template at the bottom of the screen. To edit activities in the selected template, use the buttons above the activity list to customize the list.
To add additional activities or subactivities: Above the list of activities in the template, click Add Activity. You’ll see a screen just like the one you see when you add a new template; the activities that you choose will be added to those that you previously selected.
To remove an activity: Click the activity in the list and then click Delete at the top of the list. This doesn't delete the activity from Chronicle; it just removes it from this template.
To rename a group: Double-click the template name in the list. After you type the new name, press enter or click Ok. (You can also click Edit and then click Name.)
To set the initial status: Each activity is either set to pending or active and to change from one to the other simply double click on the field. You should select 1-3 activities to start active. This means that in the job file they will be placed in the active column first. All other activities will be set to pending awaiting being made active by an automatic rule or being moved into the active column of the job file by an employee overseeing the job file.
To set the security level: Chronicle defaults a level 5 for manually moving activities forwards or backwards in a job file. You can change to a lower or higher setting by double clicking on the number. This security level is a managerial security level. If you give subcontractors access to Chronicle and you want them to change the status of their own activities, then for the activities you want them to update, set the security level to 1 (one). For most other contexts, 5 is appropriate.
To set the due date: After an activity has been made active, there is a default time frame in which that activity should be completed. The "due within ___ of being activated" column allows you to set those defaults time frames. This time frame starts from the day the activity is placed in the active column in the job file. If in a job file the activity is taking longer, you can add more time to the time frame. Double click to change the time frame.
To sort the list: For activities added through templates, you can control how the activities are sorted in the Template View. Use the sort button and then drag any activity to the position you want. You can also click any activity and click the arrow buttons to move it up or down. (Show/hide screen) This doesn’t affect activities that are added to a job individually rather than through a template.