As part of our Táve 3.0 preview series during the beta, I’m excited to show off a feature that I absolutely LOVE and can’t wait to use in my day to day business life…. Questionnaires! This long-awaited feature is, in my opinion, the best new feature of Táve 3.0. It’s just awesome! You can create as many questionnaires as you need to use in your business and there’s no limit to the number of fields you create or how many clients you send them to – yes, it’s unlimited usage!

I created a customized wedding day details questionnaire so that you can see how this works. No longer will you have to rely on your phone conversation notes to look up information — it will all be right there at your fingertips after sending a bride or groom this questionnaire to complete. You can even make a questionnaire a part of the Client Access booking process.


Something I love about Questionnaires is that you can create them for non-clients, such as your newsletter readers, vendors you’ve worked with in the past, or your Facebook fans/twitter followers. Just grab the questionnaire’s unique short-URL, send it out to whomever you desire, and you’ll have information at your fingertips!

I can’t even imagine all the ways in which I will use this, let alone all the creative uses I’m sure our members will discover!

Perhaps the most visible change in last week’s Táve 2.8.0 release, and even more so with yesterday’s release of 2.8.1, is the completely revamped Deliverables section of the job viewer.

Prior to this release, we showed all tasks for a deliverable in two places in the job viewer; collapsed under each deliverable and also in the general task list. The idea behind it was you’d want to see all of your tasks for a job in one place and yet be able to dig into the individual progress of a deliverable. In reality, it meant that the task list would often get too cluttered to be usable and downright confusing if the same task was created for different items.

Here’s an example of the Tasks and Deliverables sections prior to 2.8.0, courtesy of Karen Lisa:

Now with 2.8, your general task list for a job is limited to tasks you create manually and tasks created when non-deliverable products are ordered.

Here’s a look at at the same deliverables and tasks above in 2.8.1 (Karen has delivered some of the items since the screenshot above was taken):

You’ll notice that we now group the deliverables by order and include a handy progress meter. In this case, Karen has 3 orders with deliverables booked for this job.

To make it easier to see what tasks are coming up next for an order, we show the next task for each deliverable even when collapsed.  Click on the deliverable name and it expands to show all tasks and even the item configuration:

The “next task” is based on the task order, so you can always drag and drop the tasks into a new order by grabbing the dotted grips on the left side of the tasks (any time you see those dotted grips in Táve it means you can drag the item using it).

We’re proud to announce the immediate availability of many exciting new importers, some export tweaks, and other useful updates in Táve 2.8.0. Most of these updates can be accessed via the yellow Data Administration box in Settings.

Flosites Integration

If you’re lucky enough to have one of those sexy Flosites, then it just got even better, as we’re proud to announce that Flosites has added support for your contact form to create new leads directly inside of Táve.

Learn more on about setting up your Flosites website by clicking on the “Flosites Integration” link in your Táve settings.

RedCart Order Integration

We’re expanding our RedCart integration to now automatically queue up any orders made through your RedCart proofing website for import into Táve.

Our RedCart Order Importer will help you match up each product to your advanced Táve product configuration, add costs, and record a payment.  We’ll even record any custom cropping as part of the deliverable configuration so you have it handy from inside Táve.

Besides creating a sales order for your client, you can optionally import it as a sales receipt for a subject or other contact, which will keep it from showing up in your Client’s Client Access portal.

If you’re selling sessions from your RedCart, you can also create and book a new job based on the order.  When you go this route, we’ll create a sales order rather than just a sales receipt, letting you send them to your Client Access portal to sign a contract, make additional payments, etc.

ProSelect Order Imports

If you use the ProSelect presentation software to increase your presentation sales, it’s time to upgrade! Time Exposure has just released version 2010r1 with a new “Standard XML for Web” export format (older versions will still import but lack some of the new features).

We’ve been working with Time Exposure to enhance their existing exports to do exciting new things like add image previews to the export.  They’ve answered with a great new export just for you.  Once you have the file exported, head on over to Settings and click on the ProSelect Orders link, where you can now upload the XML file. We’ll help you quickly create a new sales receipt, complete with image previews, that will help you fullfil the sale promptly and accurately.

We’re quite excited to be the first web-based studio management system to accept ProSelect orders and it’s just the first of many improvements we’re making for portrait studios.

Custom Imports

We’ve always provided a free manual import to studios who purchase an annual or lifetime subscription, but now all studios can import their data on their own with our new vCard & CSV import tool.  So get started with your contacts in Táve from the moment you sign up to really experience Táve.
*Available soon.

New Lead API

Some of you have noticed the new “Webservices Integration” box in your studio settings and wondered what that was for.  There are several uses for this, the newest one being our “New Lead API”, which you can learn more about in Settings by clicking the “New Lead API” link in the yellow box under Integrations.

We’ll be expanding this even more as we go, so if you have some suggestions let us know!

2.8.0 Release Notes

In addition to the above features, this release includes:

  • We’re now automatically creating expenses for PayPal merchant fees for Client Access payments.
  • Deliverables are now grouped by the sale it was created for.
  • Deliverables can now be clicked to instantly view the configuration of the ordered item.
  • Tasks for deliverables are no longer included in the Job’s general task list.
  • You can now mark an entire order as delivered with one click.
  • Tax rates and names are now being saved with each order so that they remain unaffected by changes to your tax setup.
  • Added {{Date.today}} to the contract editor to automatically enter the current date (until signed).
  • Making it clear when a job needs a date in order to create the list of available payments for Client Access.
  • No longer waiting for all items on a page to load before fetching the content in Client Access.
  • You can now print receipts for your subscription payments from the subscription manager.
  • The navigation now stays on-screen as you scroll down long pages.
  • Fixed issue where “Unavailable” time was always listed as an all-day event.
  • The sunrise / sunset link in the event editor now changes based on your locale, with new pages for studios from Australia, Canada, and Great Britain as well as a new world-times link for other locales.
  • The sunrise / sunset link in the event editor now changes based on the event start date for US, CA, and GB locales and the studio city and state are sent for US studios.
  • The “Public.app” web service has been merged into the main “WebService.app” web service endpoint, the old URLs (for calendar feeds, exports, etc) will continue to work but you should update your links when possible.
  • General bug fixes and improvements.

Email BCC Feature Released

If you’ve pulled up a job profile in the past couple days you may have noticed something new in the conversation module…

Tave Email BCC feature

Each job now has a dedicated email address that lets you send emails directly to the profile from any email client by adding the email address as a BCC to an email to your client or simply forwarding an email that your client sent you.

Once you send an email to the BCC address, you should be able to pull it up again directly inside your email application based on the job name.

You can also go to settings and click on the “vCard Job BCC Addresses” link (or the combined export) in the yellow box on the right.  As with all vCard imports, we suggest importing the contacts into their own folder/group to make it easier to manage them later. Once imported, you’ll be able to pull up the BCC address directly from your email client without visiting Táve first.

Other Email Features

The email bcc feature is meant as a convenience and is not what we’ve been referring to as “Email Integration”.  Full email integration (with templates, themes, reply and bounce handling, auto replies, parsing, etc) is still coming in a future release.

This feature was created outside of our normal development process so we could get it out there quickly (since we’ve had many requests for it) without having to wait for the next big release…

Our Next Releases are Game Changers

We’ve mentioned that Questionnaires (our top requested feature) is very close to rolling out, but we’re going to hold back for a bit and merge it into the next release.

Why?

Two main reasons.  First, we don’t want to change Client Access that much in the middle of what is a busy holiday season for many of our studios, and second, our Questionnaires go so far beyond anything available today that we expect a huge surge in new users, and that’s not something we want just yet.

Wait, what?!?!

We’re doing some amazing things right now.  Some of the upgrades are so impressive and so massive, that many won’t even recognize the application when they stop by our booth at WPPI in March, that’s how huge the next few months are going to be for us.  We’re improving the way you work, the way things are organized, and the speed at which you can work.  More emphasis is being put on jobs; from the way client access is set up and managed to the way you create and propose quotes.  We’re making the whole application more intuitive, the workflow faster and far more flexible, and a whole lot easier to start using from the get go.  Not to mention, we’re adding the most requested features from our users like Questionnaires, Email Integration, and more.

So even though it’ll remain fairly quiet on the Táve front for a bit longer, know that it’s because of some truly revolutionary improvements coming up.

We’re proud to announce our largest software update ever today! With over 50 new features and improvements, this update streamlines many common tasks and adds extensive new customization capabilities throughout the application, contact forms, and client access booking engine.

Tave logo
Our new name.  We’re now simply Táve and no longer Táve Studio Manager.  Sure, the old name was descriptive, but there’s no other Táve and with such a unique name, who needs to be descriptive?
Job editor changes

New Client And Job profiles and editors. We completely reworked the way you view and edit clients and jobs.  Instead of going right into big bulky editors, you view a concise profile with just the relevant facts.  This also let us add useful links, for instance you can click on an address to view it in Google Maps, or click on the directions link to get directions from your studio’s address (configurable in Settings), telephone numbers will open Skype or any other voice chat software you have installed and set to use the links, and you can just click the “export vCard” link in the title bar to quickly add the contact to Address Book or Outlook and later sync to your phone if desired.

You might notice we also added a filter control to the Clients home page.  The new Job editor also includes some miniature subject editors and a new control for attaching vendors and venues without leaving the page, even creating new ones!  You’ll be seeing more of this cool new control in the future.   If you’ve attached a vendor or venue to a job, they’ll show up in the event editor’s list of possible attendees.  Speaking of vendors, you can now upload attachments to vendors.

Custom Fields indexCustom Fields. You’ve long asked to be able to create your own fields for the various profiles, and now you can.   This is extremely flexible and you can add all sorts of fields to the client, subject, job, vendor, and vendor rep profiles.  Even better, you can include these fields on your contact forms, which now also supports drag-and-drop reordering, and include the client editable fields inside Client Access, as we’ve added client profile editing in Client Access.  If your client access settings previously had the option enabled to allow clients to edit their contact information (an option that was marked as coming soon previously), the new profile editor will show up automatically.  Speaking of Client Access…

Client Access PreviewClient Access Preview. Users frequently wanted to see what their clients were seeing on their client access pages, doing so required setting a password for them and remembering to reset everything afterwards.  That was particularly ineffective if you wanted to see something like the payment page.  No more!  Head on over to the client profile page and you’ll see that the orange Client Access box now has a preview link.   Click the link and you’ll get a new window with their session.  The bar at the top includes a menu of the key pages inside their Client Access portal, so you can use it to jump directly from page to page without affecting the client at all.

Job Printouts. The new job profile viewer includes a Print button.  Click it and you can fine-tune the information you want included depending on if you’re printing it for your physical record keeping or to keep with you on the day of the job.  This printout is meant to contain all the critical aspects of the job, including attendee contact info, event locations, call notes, internal notes, financial transactions, and custom fields.    That’s just the start, as we plan to offer other types of printouts in the future, as requested in Idea Bank.

Calendar HUDsCalendar improvements include an improved Heads Up Display system which allow the HUDs to stay open when your mouse is over them, so you can now click on events or jobs and even create new events or unavailable time directly from the HUDs. You’ll notice that you can also click on a day in the availability calendar to go directly to creating a new event. We also add tentative events to the availability calendar, which you can hide or show by clicking the link in above the calendar.

Helpful but smaller improvements include your browser’s history now showing the page title, instead of the application name for every page so you can easily go back without having to guess which page was where. We’ve added a passive anti-spam system to the contact forms to help limit lead spam, if you host your own contact form please see the release notes.

Release Notes

We updated much more than the major changes above, so here’s the full list:

  • New name and website addresses.
  • New public website.  Note that the login link is the right-most item in the navigation and takes you to a dedicated login page now.  We’re going to be adding testimonials to the homepage soon, so if you’d like to rave about Táve, send us a testimonial, logo, and photo.
  • Changed the appearance of the main search field to make it more apparent and improving compatibility with Safari.
  • Added additional details about the items needing attention on the home page.
  • Added tentative events to the availability calendar with a hide/show toggle in the legend.
  • Made days in the availability calendar clickable to create new events.
  • Added links to the events and jobs as well as to quickly create a new event or unavailable time to the availability calendar HUDs.
  • Added a filter menu to the Clients home.
  • Added an icon to show the user has CA (Client Access) enabled.
  • Added a client profile viewer.
  • Added a vCard export link.
  • Added a “Mark as lost” button to match the existing one for jobs, but applying to the client, cascading to all jobs.
  • Previewing the amount a client can pay in CA and explaining why it may not be the full balance.
  • Linking addresses to Google Maps and adding a directions link too.
  • Linking telephone numbers to phone applications like Skype with the tel:// scheme.
  • Added link to the previous and next events for the client.
  • Showing the first and most recent job source for a client.
  • Showing the last time the client accessed their CA profile, if ever, and how many pages they loaded.
  • Added a “Allow profile editing?” per-client override.
  • Added a preview link which opens a new window with the CA preview for the client.
  • CA preview let’s you jump between pages inside the client’s portal.
  • Notes are created inline more intuitively.
  • Cleaned up the client editor.
  • Allowing client profile editing in Client Access if enabled in the page’s settings.
  • Added job profile viewer.
  • All changes on both profile viewers happen live.
  • Emails and phone numbers in the client/subject HUDs are now clickable.
  • Added a Print button, which allows you to configure a new all-in-one job printout, optionally showing financial details, internal notes, conversation logs, and call/event descriptions.
  • Created a new “Token editor”, which lets you search, add, and create new items live.
  • Created a new “live editor”, used by the token editor to quickly edit items without leaving the current page.  Expect much more use of this in the future.
  • Using the token editor to create and/or attach vendors and venues to the job.
  • Added quick entry forms for subjects so you no longer have to leave the editor to add subjects.
  • Including any vendors attached to the job as possible attendees in the event editor.
  • Updated the Product Option editor to behave similar to other editors in the application.
  • Corrected currency symbol use in the Products section.
  • Improved the logic used to hide/show tasks based on the status of the deliverable or job.
  • Added attachments to the vendor editor.
  • Added vCard export links to vendors and vendor reps.
  • Fixed issue with the Helpdesk link reloading the application if your last login was a while ago.
  • Added an address book vCard export to Settings (not all third-party applications support multi-contact vCards).  Use this link to export all your contacts to Address Book on Mac and sync to your phone to have your client’s info appear when they call you.
  • Added a credit card authorization form in case you’d rather not use PayPal to pay for Táve.
  • Added Custom Profile Fields, which can be configured as various different types of fields (date, dropdown, text field, text box), apply to different items inside Táve (clients, subjects, jobs, vendors, vendor reps), and customize the appearance and permissions for Client Access.
  • Added drag and drop reordering to the Custom Profile Fields list so you can change tho order they appear throughout the application.
  • Added the new Custom Profile Fields to the contact form editor when they apply to clients, defaulting them to hidden.
  • Added drag and drop reordering of all contact form fields.
  • Removing Táve branding and links from the new lead email and adding a reply-to so you can more easily reply directly to new leads.
  • Added a passive anti-spam system to contact forms (if you host your contact form on your own site and post to us, let us know so we can disable this for your studio, as your users will receive a session error and will be told to try again).
  • Added a few dynamic fields to contracts in case you wish to have items like the client’s name or job date in your contract text.
  • Improved the birthday field behavior and international date handling.
  • Preventing double form submit.
  • Improved the display of errors in a form on submit.
  • Increased overall database performance.
  • Added support for Safari 4 and Internet Explorer 8 native-mode support (if you use IE7, we strongly encourage you to apply the IE8 windows update).

Authorize.net logoAnother feature straight out of our industry’s only Idea Bank—you can now use your Authorize.net merchant account to accept payments from your clients inside Táve Studio Manager’s Client Access system without having to send your clients to PayPal, Google Checkout, or your PickPic.

To set it up, just head on over to Settings and look for the payments link.  Once you enable Authorize.net, it’ll ask for a few pieces of information from your Authorize.net account.  As always with new Client Access features, we suggest creating a test client and booking it online (perhaps with a $1 payment) to get a feel for what your clients will see.  You’ll be able to preview client access behavior in our next release.

Recently Released

While most of our work is going into our big mid-April release, with some huge new features and great usability improvements, we’ve managed to release a few other little bits since last week’s post:

  • Email Reminders. Just set a date and time and we’ll send you a reminder by email.
  • Get rid of your sample data. There’s always the “Delete Sample Data” link on the left, but if you’re ready to get started and you want a clean slate, including all the stuff you created during the trial, you can use the “purge account” tool in Settings, with the new “Re-create sample data” option unchecked. This tool is like formatting your hard drive; once you do it the data will never come back even if you’re browsing deleted data.
  • Extend your trial. If you have less than a week left on your trial, or it’s already expired, and you’re not quite sold yet, just head on over to the “purge account” tool. Whenever it runs, we now make sure you have at least a week left on your trial, extending it if needed. And then why don’t you give us a call at 800-560-TAVE or Skype-to-Skype user TaveStudio and we’ll walk you through the system and answer any questions you have.
  • An updated look! Okay, it’s not that big of deal, but we think that it makes the application a lot less drab and easier to follow.

Welcome to our new blog!

The blog’s design is inspired by our upcoming website refresh and merges our old blog with the “New Features” blog that was previously only available inside Táve Studio Manager.  Users will notice that the old “New Features” tab inside the application has been replaced with a “News & Updates” tab that will highlight any time this blog is updated.   If you still want to be the first to know about new features, visit the Idea Bank and edit your email preferences.

We’re so excited about the new website’s testimonials page that we just couldn’t wait for it to be released, so we made it part of the blog! Check out what our users are saying about us!

Recent Updates

We’re keeping busy with some pretty substantial improvements to the application but haven’t let that stop us from publishing a number of useful updates in the past week or so:

  • Drag & Drop in Quotes.  You’ve been asking for it for a while now and we delivered.   You can now rearrange the items in a quote  by simply dragging and dropping the items.  Just look for the grips on the left of the quote, click when your cursor changes, and move it around.
  • Availability Calendar.  We’ve improved the usefulness of the availability calendar by having separate colors for meetings and sessions.
  • Getting more from Idea Bank.  You can now change your email preferences inside the Idea Bank to hear about any new idea that get suggested or to hear when any idea is commented on or released.  By default you’ll hear about ideas you’ve voted in favor of.   We also added “Coming Soon” and “Started” tags so you can get even more insight into what we’re doing.  Just visit Idea Bank and click on the “Coming Soon” list to see them all.  Note that we only tag ideas submitted by users (so what are you waiting for?  If there’s something you want, let us know!), our actual project plan may contain other features not listed in Idea Bank.
  • Google Analytics integration.  We’ve always supported Google Analytics but you had to add the tracking code to your themes manually before we’d take advantage of it.   The theme editor now has a field to enter in the website ID to use and does the rest for you without requiring you to use the advanced HTML editor.
  • Fixes and little things.  The time dropdown now defaults to the middle of the list at noon, so you don’t have to scroll through the wee early hours to set a time in the evening.  IE users can now use Client Access systems that have been embedded with an IFRAME.  The client’s email address was added to the quick search results.  Transaction ID and Check Number have been added to the payment editor.

All that and we’re still making steady progress on a complete rework of the client editor, implementing custom fields, adding Authorize.net integration, and working on the other items tagged as “Started” in the Idea Bank.   It’s hard to stop when you love what you’re doing!

IMPROVED: PayPal Website Payments Basic.  When using the PayPal payment gateway, your clients’ payments will automatically appear inside Táve Studio Manager so you’ll no longer have to manually enter the payments.

NEW: PickPic payments.  You can now process payments through your PickPic system.  When enabled here, users will be sent to your PickPic cart with the amount already added to their cart.   You’ll then be able to process the payment as you normally would inside PickPic.  These payments will not automatically appear inside Táve Studio Manager, so you will have to log the payments manually.

NEW: Google Checkout.  Basic Google Checkout support has been added and can be enabled here.  Once the “integrated cart” feature is completed, payments will automatically appear inside Táve Studio Manager.  Until that time, you’ll need to manually add the payments. 

While several users have voted for Google Checkout support in Idea Bank, there has been some debate in our users-only forum about using Google Checkout because of potential issues with their seller policies.  Also, if you wish to only accept the retainer through Client Access, you’ll find a new setting for that in the page editor.

We just released a small but extremely useful update to default work and tasks, the feature located in the Product Editor that lets you automatically create work, events, or tasks for a job when a client books a quote with the product in it.

You can have Táve Studio Manager automatically set the due date (or for events, the start date) based on the Job’s event date or when a Job’s phase begins.

This feature alone can have a significant impact on your business!   Examples include scheduling a pre-wedding phone consult with the bride a week before the wedding or creating a task to upload their photos to your blog shortly after the session.

Visit the Settings section and you’ll see we’ve added a link to the blue Client Access module, called “Track agreements.” Click on the link to create contracts and amendments.

Once you publish a contract for use, you can attach it to a job, mark it as signed, and print it from the job editor’s Financials module.

When the full Client Access system is released in the coming days, your clients will be able to electronically sign their contract online!