Welcome to smart files. If you’re familiar with legacy files, smart files have all of the capabilities you know and love, plus tons of added functionality!

Smart files can be a single page or an entire experience that allows you to combine multiple parts of your process—such as services, company info, an invoice, a contract—to share with your clients all at once. Plus, smart files come with a whole new world of ways to customize your designs. The end result? Booking with less friction and files that are, well, smarter.

Your process doesn’t have to change, but you now have many more customization options. There are a few key steps to take to get acquainted with your upgraded files, which we’ll cover below.

Prefer a video walkthrough? Check out our weekly orientation webinars here!


Your account look a little different? You might have a different version of files! Smart files are still in beta, but they’re coming soon and offering more power and customization than ever. Join the waitlist to get access ASAP!


By the end of this article, you’ll know how to:


Step 1: Locate your upgraded smart file templates

Good news: there’s no heavy lifting here. We’ve upgraded all of your legacy file templates to smart file templates for you, which means you can get started making additions or just sending them out right away.

To access your upgraded templates, navigate to Tools > My Templates. You’ll be brought directly to your converted files.

From here, you can also:


Step 2: Set your company theme

With smart files, you can set an overall company theme–which means that any time you create a new smart file, your branding will shine through from the get-go.

PLEASE NOTE: Whenever you edit your company theme, the changes will apply only to smart files you create moving forward–they won’t affect older ones. If you need to apply your theme to an existing smart file, though, you absolutely can! And, you can always make changes to the theme of an individual smart file if needed.

To set your company theme, first click your profile photo in the top right corner of your screen, then select Company Settings from the menu.

From here, scroll down to find the Company smart file theme section and click Customize Company Theme.

Next, customize your company smart file theme as necessary. You can adjust default colors and fonts for the main text content, questions, buttons, and more.

When you’re done, be sure to click Save.


Step 3: Build out your smart files with pages and blocks

You can send any file as-is, but we recommend taking a look at the new capabilities that smart files have to offer. While legacy files were limited to 1-2 actions, smart files allow you to include any combination of content and actions.

How exactly do you add these pieces of content and actions to your smart files, you might ask? Smart files are made of smaller pieces–pages, which are made of blocks. You can easily add, delete, move, and copy and paste pages and blocks within and between smart files, which makes building out your smart files a breeze. Here’s how to add blocks of:


Step 4: Configure your smart file settings

The settings section of a smart file allows you to make key adjustments to your clients' experiences with that specific file. These settings can be configured on a smart file template level, ensuring they will be the default settings whenever you use that template. They can also be set (or overridden) before you send an individual smart file in a project!

To access a smart file’s settings, click the gear icon.

From here, you can make a number of adjustments, such as:

If you make any changes to the settings, be sure to click Save & Exit to save the updates!


Step 5: Share a smart file with a client

The steps to sharing a smart file are nearly identical to those for a legacy file, but with one exciting addition. In addition to the traditional email route, you also have the option to share a smart file via direct link.

Regardless of how you’re sharing a smart file with a client, remember that you’ll always need a project first!

If you already have a project and wish to share a smart file with the participants, you can get started by accessing the project, then clicking Create New.

If you’re working in the templates builder and wish to share the smart file with a client, select Use Template at the top of your screen. You’ll be prompted to create a new project or add your smart file to an existing one.

Once you’ve made any edits and your file looks good to go, click Share.

From here, you can:

After you’ve shared your smart file, you can rest easy knowing your client will be able to easily complete any next steps within it.

  • HoneyBook Tip: Want to make sure you know what your clients will experience? You can send yourself a test file! You'll receive the smart file in your email inbox, so you can review before sending to a client.


Step 6: Explore your client’s progress and responses

After sending a smart file, it’s easy to track and manage your client’s actions and progress in real time. As always, you’ll see any major actions your client has taken in the activity feed of a project, but you can also dive a little deeper by clicking to open the smart file.

To view a client’s progress and responses, first locate the smart file using the search bar or from within the project’s Activity or Files tabs, and click to open.

From here, you’ll be able to review:

  • Progress made by individual recipients, as well as the last time they viewed the smart file

  • Service selections

  • Contract signatures

  • Payment progress

  • Responses to questions

You can also:

  • View and countersign a contract

  • Send payment reminders

  • Mark or unmark payments as paid

  • View payment details and receipts

  • Refund payments

  • Print responses to questions


Step 7: Edit, resend, and expire a smart file

If you need to edit a sent smart file, your client needs to adjust their responses, or it’s time to expire or unexpire a file, you can do so in just a few simple steps.

To edit and resend a smart file, first locate the smart file using the search bar or from within the project’s Activity or Files tabs, and click to open. Next, click Edit File.

Make any updates you need, then click Publish Changes. Depending on the content of the smart file, you may be required to email the project participants to alert them to the updates, or not—but we do recommend letting them know with an email. If you’d like (or if required), compose your email, then click Send.

To manually expire or unexpire a smart file, first locate the smart file using the search bar or from within the project’s Activity or Files tabs, and click to open. Next, click the gear icon.

Under the Smart File Expiration section:

  • Toggle Turn on file expiration on, then click Expire Now to expire the file; OR

  • Select Reactivate file to unexpire the file

Be sure to click Save & Exit when you’re done so that the changes take effect!


Step 8: Use a smart file in an automation

Automations allow you to automate different steps of your workflow using certain criteria (such as: sending a questionnaire three days after a contact form has been submitted, or sending an email two hours after the previous automation step is complete).

Smart files work just like your legacy files in automations. But, because you can combine as many pieces of content and actions as you’d like into a single smart file, you can now automate everything with even less back-and-forth.

Plus, you can now automate invoices and contracts–resulting in a totally hands-off booking experience!

To use a smart file in an automation, first create an automation. Then, just select Send Smart File via Email for one or more automation steps, and choose your smart file template.

As always, you’ll also choose the email template that you’d like to send with the file, as well as what triggers the step to occur!

Checked these steps off your to-do list? Here are some ideas to explore next:

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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