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Organizing and prioritizing your projects
Organizing and prioritizing your projects

Best practices for using your HoneyBook pipeline, filters, and stages to stay organized, so nothing slips through the cracks

Updated over a week ago

HoneyBook offers a ton of built-in tools and automations for staying organized, from automatically tracking leads to customized templates. Once you've set up your account to work best for your business, it's easy to stay on top of things. It’s simply a matter of knowing what tools are available to you and the quickest way to use them for your benefit.

Understanding the filters in your pipeline

You are likely already familiar with your pipeline: where all of your projects are tracked and categorized in HoneyBook. The pipeline stages are a great way to quickly see which clients are in which part of your process at any given time.

But, did you know that there are additional filters you can use to prioritize your jobs?

No matter what stage you're looking at in the pipeline, you'll see the below columns at the top of your rows of projects:

All of these, aside from the Moved and Recent Activity columns, are controlled by fields in the Project Details tab of each project. These fields can be assigned automatically or manually, depending on if your projects are being automatically created through your contact form or manually created by you.

PLEASE NOTE: You can always click into a project to change any of the information in these fields whenever it’s necessary.

Each of these column headers can be clicked to sort your projects and help you better organize and prioritize your work.

Project: Clicking this column header will sort projects alphabetically. If you're using the contact form to automatically funnel in your leads, this project name field pulls in your client's name. If you're creating projects manually, you will assign the project name yourself.

Project Date: Clicking this column header will sort project dates in ascending or descending order. If you’re using the contact form to automatically funnel in your leads, this field pulls in the value of the project date suggested question. If you’re using the contact form and omit the project date suggested question, this field will be marked as TBD. If you’re creating projects manually, you will assign the project date yourself. If you choose to leave the field blank, it will be marked as TBD.

  • HoneyBook Tip: Read more here on why consistently assigning project dates (instead of keeping the date field TBD) can help the rest of your HoneyBook process run smoothly—even when those end dates or due dates aren't set in stone! Not sure what a project date should be? Check out this article for more info.

Project Type: Clicking this column header will sort project types alphabetically. The list of options available in this field is controlled in your Company Settings.

  • HoneyBook Tip: Read more here to understand the benefits of including the project type suggested question in your contact form. If you'd like to add the project type suggested question to your contact form, you can click here to read instructions.

Lead Source: Clicking this column header will sort lead sources alphabetically. This column is only visible in the pre-booked stages of the pipeline.

Moved: Clicking this column header will sort moved dates in ascending or descending order. This field tracks when the project moved from the previous stage to its current stage.

Recent Activity: Clicking this column header will sort recent activity alphabetically. This field tracks any payments or signatures that have come through your sent HoneyBook files.

Using pipeline filters

Each of these column headers can be clicked to sort your projects by ascending or descending order to help you prioritize your workload in several ways.

Learn your popular project types

Getting a sense of your most popular project types allows you to focus more energy into marketing those services that are most popular, or alternatively, put more energy into those that are less popular. To gain this insight, select the Active Projects bucket in your pipeline and click the Project Type column header to see all projects in each category grouped together in alphabetical order.

Identify trends

You can use the filters and stages to identify trends in your business as well. For example, you might notice that all the projects you never hear back from have the same Lead Source in common. To identify this trend, you can click into the Inquiry and/or Follow Up stages, to see who’s gotten stuck there, and click the Lead Source column. If you notice those with longer moved times all have the same lead sources, you can get a sense that the projects coming from those sources are less likely to book with you.

Prioritize your work by date

You can also use these filters to prioritize your workload. For example, if you want to get a glimpse of projects with upcoming due dates, you’ll click the Project Date column header until they’re in descending order, so those in the nearest future are at the top. You can try this for all active projects or by any pipeline stage to get a more focused view of your work. Doing this will make sure that nothing slips through the cracks and you stay on top of your deadlines.

This is another key reason why adding a project date is recommended as opposed to leaving it as TBD.

Prioritize your follow-ups

To quickly check in on folks who have received bookable files from you, but haven’t yet moved forward with booking, you can click into the Proposal Sent Stage and sort the Moved column by ascending order. This will show you all your clients who have been sitting on a bookable file at the top.

From there you can click into projects and view the clients' progress, then follow-up as needed.

Prioritize your project kick-offs

Keep the momentum of freshly booked clients going by prioritizing your jobs to see who it’s time to begin your work with. Depending on how you operate your business, you’ll want to click into the Proposal Signed and/or Retainer Paid Stages and sort the Moved column in descending order, to see everyone who’s recently signed or submitted their first payment with you at the top. From there, you can determine if the Project Date needs to be updated to reflect the official, agreed upon, scope of work, and begin completing the job.

Clean up your account

The first step to cleaning up your pipeline is making sure that all your jobs are in the proper stage to reflect where each project sits in your process. ​​

Your pipeline is meant to only show active jobs, so if you’re no longer working with someone or someone never ended up booking, you should clear them out by archiving them. You can always bring a project back into your Active Jobs if need be.

As a best practice you want to consider cleaning up your pipeline, and the projects in it, once a quarter, depending on your workload. Consider setting a 15-30 minute meeting (depending on the last time you cleaned up your pipeline) on your calendar every three months to proactively set aside time for this.

The best tool to use during clean-up sessions is Bulk Actions, so be sure you know how to leverage this capability.

Start by clicking into the Inquiry Stage and sort the Moved column in ascending order so your oldest inquiries are at the top. Any inquiries from longer than 1 month ago are increasingly less likely to book as time goes on and therefore you might want to archive them. Archiving a project won’t delete it, so you can always move it back into your Active jobs if the client ends up coming around. If you have multiple inquiries from over a month ago, you’ll want to use bulk selection to mass move projects to Archived.

Repeat this process for the Follow Up and Proposal Sent Stages. This will clear out any jobs who made it further than inquiring, but still never ended up booking with you for whatever reason.

Then, click into your Proposal Signed and Proposal Paid Stages to see all clients who have completed booking and sort the Moved column in ascending order so your oldest bookings are at the top. Depending on the length of your jobs, you’ll know who is safe to be Archived from here. Be sure to mark the reason for archiving these folks as completed if that’s the case.

Repeat this process for as many other stages as you’d like until your pipeline is an accurate picture of your active jobs.

Now that you know about these options for viewing and prioritizing your projects, you’re more informed to make decisions around the project types you set in your Company Settings, the suggested questions you include in your contact form, and any naming conventions you might develop for your project names.

For example, you might decide the best way to get more visibility into your jobs, and better utilize the automated job tracking and lead generation in HoneyBook, is by adding a few custom stages to your pipeline, choosing a new naming convention for future projects, adding more suggested questions to your contact form, and updating your list of project types to better reflect your services.

From now on, you’ll be more organized and have better insights into where you stand with each of your clients. That means your clients are getting the best version of your business and you have more time back to do what you love!

Still 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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