Saving time with Automatic Visit Reminders, Mobile Timesheets, and more! 💬📱🎁

by Bill

We’re thrilled to share another round of enhancements, all of which were developed based on customer feedback!

We’re fortunate to have such engaged customers who are vocal about their needs. Without further ado, let’s delve into what’s new since we last connected:

Automate your client communication 💬

With our new automatic visit reminders, your customers will always know when you’re scheduled to arrive. Define when to the send the message, what type of message to send and which template to use. SortScape takes care of the rest. Learn more about it here: Sending text messages and email notifications to customers

Do more in mobile 📱

To make you more productive in the field, we’re constantly adding functionality to SortScape’s iOS and Android apps. Since our last newsletter, we’ve added these key mobile features:

Mobile timesheets

Many of your employees use our timesheet’s feature to submit their hours so they can get paid. To make this process faster, we’ve now added a “timesheets” screen to the mobile app where you can submit and review hours for the week.

Archive properties and delete visits

You can now also archive old properties and delete unwanted visits from inside the app.

More control over your schedule 🗓️

Every business has unique scheduling needs. So we’ve added more visit settings, giving you more control over your schedule’s display.

Detailed or compact schedule view

Many of you asked to see more detail in the month view so we added a dropdown to the schedule allowing you to switch between detailed or compact view:

Show skipped visits on the schedule

We now show skipped visits on the schedule. If you don’t want to see them you can disable the “show skipped visits” setting.

Show contact as the visit title

By default, we show the property address as the title for each visit. However, some of you have told us you think of your customers in terms of the contact name, not property address. The new “Visit title on schedule” setting now lets you set the contact name as the visit title.

Work Saturdays but not Sundays

We previously had the “work weekends” setting which would allow you to schedule visits on Saturdays and Sundays if enabled. A number of you told us that you work on Saturdays but not Sundays. Therefore we changed the Work weekends setting to Week days worked which allows you to choose “Monday to Saturday” as an option.

Improved attachments 📎

File and image sharing is an important way you communicate so we continue to improve this area of SortScape. Some recent improvements you’ll notice are:

  • You can now select multiple files when uploading attachments to a visit or property
  • We now support the HEIC image format
  • When viewing an attachment you can see who uploaded it

Other improvements 🎁

Xero invoice settings – You can now set the default status of invoices created in Xero to be “approved” saving you time from having to approve them in Xero before sending them.

Viewing issues – From the Issues screen, you can now see completed issues as well as open issues.

Sorting properties – When viewing the list of all properties, you can now sort by the contact, last visit and next visit columns.

These are some of the major features recently added to SortScape. We’ve got a lot more planned for the rest of 2023 so stay tuned and keep the feedback coming!

Visit timers, email attachments and more

by Bill

It’s September and the seasons are changing everywhere. Here in Australia we see the magpies collecting material for their spring nests while our friends in the US, Canada and the UK will soon see the leaves fall. Just as the seasons change, SortScape constantly changes and evolves to make your life easier and your business run smoother. Below are some of the improvements you may have noticed since our last newsletter.

Visit timer

SortScape has always been a convenient way for your staff to log their time. Our new visit timer feature makes it even easier for staff to log their time by removing the need for manual entry. When employees arrive onsite, they simply open a visit from the iOS or Android app and click the “start timer” button.

Click the “start timer” button from the iOS or Android app

When the visit is done, they stop the timer and their hours are automatically added. (Marking a visit complete will also end the timer.) Once the timer has been stopped, you can even edit or delete the hours from the visit’s “Time Spent” section.

Note that a user must be logged into the SortScape iOS app or Android app to start a timer. Also, the feature must first be enabled for your site. To enable this feature, go to the “time and materials” admin setting screen and check the “Visit timers enabled?” box as shown below.

Enable the feature on the “Time and materials” settings screen

Major improvements to mobile

You’re frequently in the field with staff and customers so we want to help you do more with SortScape’s mobile app. Recently we added a few mobile features we think you’ll like.

First of all, you can now add properties directly to the SortScape mobile app without having to first schedule a visit. To do this, just go to the “properties” screen and click the “add” button in the upper right hand corner of the screen.

Add new properties directly from the mobile app

Secondly, administrators can now access the entire “Invoicing” screen from mobile. From there they can mark completed visits as invoiced or, if they are connected to Xero or QuickBooks Online, they can create invoices. And all the nifty searching and sorting features we told you about in our last newsletter are available here too so you can create a single invoice for multiple visits across a given property or contact. :thumbsup: Try it and let us know what you think!

Create invoices from from the iOS and Android apps

Add attachments to emails and invoices

One of the great things about SortScape is how easy it makes customer messaging and invoicing. In the click of a button, you can send a pre-defined email to a customer about an upcoming visit or create an invoice in Xero or QuickBooks Online. We’ve made these experiences even more useful because now you can share files and images with your customers when you email or invoice them.

When you click to send an email from a visit, you will see the attachments for that visit listed in the “include attachments” section at the bottom. Simply select one or more attachments and they will get included in the email.

Include visit attachments in customer emails

Similarly, when you create an invoice you can also select one or more attachments. These attachments will get added to the invoice so that they can be shared with the customer!

Add attachments to Xero or QuickBooks Online invoices

Note to Xero customers – Xero requires additional credentials from SortScape in order to upload attachments to invoices. If you don’t see the “Include attachments” section when creating invoices from visits that have attachments, then your SortScape account might not have the proper permissions from Xero. To fix this, simply disconnect SortScape from Xero and then reconnect.

View skipped visits on the schedule

Skipped visits were previously not shown on the schedule. Skipped visits are now shown on the schedule with a line through the description so that you know a visit was skipped on that day.

Skipped visits now appear on the schedule

Improved email and SMS template editor

SortScape’s message templates let you send customers a variety of text messages and emails for different occasions. To improve the template editing experience, we introduced a new editor with an “Insert template tag” function for quickly selecting/inserting template tags. We also added tag highlighting to improve readability. To see how much better this is, just compare the “new” and “old” screenshots below!

The message template editor is vastly improved

These are some of the major features recently added to SortScape. We’ve got a lot more planned for the rest of 2022 and 2023 so stay tuned and keep the feedback coming! Until next time, here’s a little tip about a useful feature you may not know about…

Did you know?

You can add checklists to your visits so your employees have step-by-step instructions to follow?

To add a checklist to a visit, simply start any line in the “Work Required” field with a dash (“-“). Each line started with a dash will then turn into a checklist item when you save the visit. For example, typing something like this:

…will yield something like this when you save the visit:

Any checklist items that employees mark complete will turn green and get added to the “work done” section of the visit.

Fuel savings, Invoicing improvements and more

by Bill

You use SortScape everyday but maybe haven’t noticed all the new features and improvements we are constantly adding. Here’s an overview of some of the new functionality made available to you over the past few months.

We hope they will save you you time and money.

Improved route optimization

We know a lot of you already make use of SortScape’s route optimization, but it wasn’t always clear how much time and fuel this feature can save you. With the recent rise in wages and fuel prices it is more important than ever to make sure you reduce your time and distances travelled each day.

To help, we’ve added the ability to preview how much you can save on time and distance. Customers have been gobsmacked when they calculate how much money they save over the year by consistently optimizing their routes.

To give you an example: If you shave just 10 mins of travel time and 6 miles (10km) off a given job run each day, you save 43 hours and 1500 miles (2500 km) in a year! And that is just for a single job run.

Make sure you try route optimization and let us know what you think.

Preview how much you can save on time and distance

Improvements for sole traders

We have seen an influx of sole traders starting to use SortScape which is great. We have always supported young businesses by offering a dedicated sole trader license at a reduced price.

The majority of our sole traders use SortScape almost exclusively on their phones so we are going to make some changes to make sure it works well out in the field and allows you to quickly achieve your scheduling needs.

The month view for the schedule has been our first focus as it turns out that most sole traders only have a single job run and do most of their scheduling in the month view. We made the month view more condensed on small screens so you can get all the visit information at a glance. You can now also add visits to a particular job run in month view.

Even customers with more than one job run benefit as job run names are now displayed and you can even add new job runs in month view.

Condensed month view gives you all your visit information at a glance

View property attachments from visits

Many customers upload documents like checklists, safety guides, irrigation documentation or property photos as property attachments. Customers find this very useful.

The problem is that it can take many steps for an employee in the field to access property attachments… The need to leave the visit screen in the app, search for the property and then click into the property screen.

To make this easier, we made it so you can set property attachments to be visible when viewing visits. When viewing a property, just select which property attachments should appear on every visit.

Invoicing improvements for our larger customers

For customers connected to Xero or QuickBooks Online, we have always had the ability to create one invoice for multiple visits under the same property. But as a business grows you often end up with multiple properties for the same contact. To streamline invoicing even further, SortScape now allows you to create a single invoice for multiple visits and properties across the same contact. To access this functionality you need to group your outstanding invoices by contact.

Create one invoice across multiple properties

Our larger customers often have to deal with a large number of visits pending invoicing. To make handling these easier we’ve not only introduced new options for grouping but also allow for searching visits pending invoicing.

Search within visits pending invoicing

With all this we hope that you get the invoicing done even faster.

More on the way

We’re continually improving SortScape to help make your life easier and your business more efficient. There are some awesome new features we plan to add this year so stay tuned!