HoneyBook 101, Lesson 1: Getting Oriented
Section 2:
HoneyBook terminology & file types

Getting started with a new system can be overwhelming—learning brand new terminology, platform navigation, icons—and then you still have to run your business! Use this section as a reference point moving forward, as we run through the definitions and purposes of some commonly-used HoneyBook terms and features.

In this lesson, we’ll review:

Key Terminology

Project: A foundational element of HoneyBook, Projects are the containers that hold everything related to a particular job/event/project with a particular client. When you receive a new lead, you will always begin by creating a Project, as all emails and files will need to be sent from within Projects. Any lead submissions via your Contact Form will automatically create new Projects in the “Inquiry” stage as well.

Project Pipeline: Your Project Pipeline represents the lifecycle of your Projects, and gives you a bird's eye view of where all your Projects stand. It's made up of various stages—the milestones in the lifecycle—that your Projects will move their way through. They can either move automatically, based on actions that you take or your client takes, or you can move Projects manually with the stage drop-down menu.

Inquiry: The first stage a Project can be in. When a Project is in this stage, it has been created—either manually by you, or automatically via a Contact Form you've installed—but no other action has been taken. As soon as you send your first email or file, your Project will move to a subsequent stage. 

Participant: These are the contacts that you add to your Project Workspaces—likely your client(s), but they might also be vendors with whom you're working on the Project, or teammates of yours. All participants within a Workspace will receive all communication—emails and files—that are created and sent within that Workspace. 

File: A document that you've created directly in HoneyBook to send to your client. HoneyBook file types include Invoices, Contracts, Proposals, Brochures, Questionnaires, and Timelines—and you can create Templates for various file types to save you time in the future. We’ll learn more about what each file type does in the next segment!

: Templates allow you to create the framework for files, email messaging, or pricing packages that you may use frequently. When you create Templates, you can quickly drop them into communications with your clients (instead of needing to redo / copy and paste the same stuff over and over!). From there, you can make any edits you need without affecting the original Template.

Package (or Package Template)
: The foundation of your pricing structure—usually a group of items commonly sold or priced together—which you can then use to build out file Templates (like Invoices, Proposals, and Brochures). 

Proposal: This is your all-in-one booking file! It combines an Invoice and Contract into one, so your client can make their first payment and provide an electronic signature in one fell swoop. When you send a Proposal, you do NOT need to send an individual Invoice or Contract.

For more term and icon definitions, click here!

These terms should give you a solid foundation for understanding the HoneyBook platform as a whole! Remember, you can always return to this lesson in the future to review definitions as you need them!

File Types

Files are an integral part of the HoneyBook platform. They are created and sent through HoneyBook, but can be adjusted to match your business needs and your company aesthetic (hello, beautiful branding!). You can even create Templates for each type of file to save you even more time! We’ll learn more about creating Templates in Lesson 3. 

Before sending files to your clients, teammates, and fellow vendors, though, it's important to understand which files are best to use in which situations. HoneyBook offers 6 file types at the moment: Invoices, Contracts, Proposals, Brochures, Questionnaires, and Timelines. 



When to use: When you want to collect payment(s) from your client without requiring them to sign a contract.

An Invoice is a list of services and prices, as well as a payment schedule. When your client receives an Invoice, they'll be able to review the line items and seamlessly make their payment online via credit card or bank transfer.

An Invoice does not include a Contract to sign. 



When to use: When you require a signature from your client, without needing to send a list of proposed services or collect payment.

Contracts through HoneyBook are legally binding documents. They allow you to specify the nitty gritty service information of your project and spell out your terms and conditions, and require your client to review and sign the file—which they can do electronically, right through our platform—before the project can proceed.

A Contract does not include line items, and does not offer clients the ability to pay directly through the file.



When to use: When you know your client is ready to both sign a contract and make their first payment, this file allows for a seamless booking process.

A Proposal is your all-in-one booking document—an Invoice and a Contract combined into one file—so it includes the list of proposed services and payment schedule, as well as a Contract that your customer will be required to sign through our platform in order to proceed. When your client receives a Proposal, they'll be able to review the proposed services, sign the document, and make their payment online. 

Once you send a Proposal, you do not need to send an individual Invoice or an individual Contract!




When to use: When you want to send a client or potential client an overview of the packages/services that you offer, a mood board, a proofing document, a welcome kit, or whatever else you can imagine—it’s an incredibly flexible file!—without requiring them to fully commit with a payment or a signature.

The Brochure file can be crafted to take many forms, as its core elements allow you to include the packages/services you offer, questions for your clients or potential clients to answer, and, of course, beautiful imagery and text. 

If you include your services, when your potential client receives a Brochure, they'll be able to select the package(s) or service(s) that they're interested in. Once they submit their selections, HoneyBook will automatically draft (but not send!) a Proposal for you based on the selections. If you do not include any services, you can still have your client answer questions, or simply select I’m Interested To indicate that they’re interested in working with you.

A Brochure does not include an Invoice (line item pricing and a payment schedule) or a Contract to sign.



When to use: When you'd like to quickly learn more about your client and the details of their Project.

A Questionnaire is a list of questions you can send your client to gather more information about their Project. When your client receives a Questionnaire, they can review and answer your questions online, and their responses will automatically save to the appropriate Project in HoneyBook. 



When to use: When you're managing or involved in a Project or event that requires elements to happen at specific dates and times.

A Timeline is an agenda for a Project that can be shared with clients and vendors. This file helps manage the time and date-specific logistics of the Project, keeping all of your clients and vendors informed and prepared.


It’s not required to use all of HoneyBook's file types, or use them in any particular order. Or, you may want to send a few of one file type—that works too! Whatever makes sense for your business. An example sequence of events, though, might go as follows: 

  • Receive a new lead (either via Contact Form or elsewhere!)

  • Send your lead a Brochure to showcase the services you offer that might be up their alley, and ask them questions to gather specific details on their project. They’ll answer your question and pick what services they’re interested in right from the file.

  • Now that you know what they want to book you for, finish by sending a Proposal, through which your new client can sign a contract AND make a payment.

  • That’s it—you’re booked! Now, you can proceed with the fun part: the project itself!

In the next section, Account Navigation, we’ll take you on a quick tour of your HoneyBook account, so you know how to get where you want to go!

Have questions? Feel free to send us a message by clicking the Question Mark icon on any HoneyBook page. Our team is always happy to help!

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