The Bipsync Research Management System is now on release 100. The update includes many sought-after improvements – so sit back, relax, and take a read of what’s new:
New Feature: Task Management
We’ve previously written about collaboration as one of the cornerstones of a modern RMS. And while we’re proud of many of the Bipsync features that enable true collaboration in funds – including comments, subscriptions, user groups and granular sharing – we’ve always thought the To Do functionality had more potential. It’s lightweight and easy to use, but lacks the structure needed to enforce workflow and support real-world task management across a fund.
We’re excited to announce that release 100 includes the answer to that problem: a fully-fledged task management system that’s tightly integrated into the core Research Management System. The new feature includes:
- Support for the standard Bipsync sharing and locking models, so that you can keep tasks private, or share them with specific users, groups or the entire fund.
- Support for standard Bipsync tags, so that you can organize tasks like you do notes: by company, industry, contact, idea, label, and so on.
- View all your tasks on the Home dashboard, or only those for a particular tag on a tag dashboard, e.g. click on the Apple company to view only tasks tagged with Apple.
- Tasks can also be added to individual notes, and when you view a note task on the home or tag dashboard, a link will take you back to the original note.
- Assign a task to yourself or a team member, with priorities and due dates. Tasks are visually separated on dashboards, so that you can quickly browse “My Tasks” versus “Team Tasks”, based on task assignment.
- Exercise complete control over your personal task list with task colors, drag-n-drop ordering, and drag-n-drop sub-tasks: just like labels, drag a task on top of another task to make it an indented sub-task. To keep tasks manageable, only one level of sub-tasks is allowed.
- Like other lists in Bipsync, we’ve exposed options for you to change the order of tasks, filter task lists, and choose how some task information is displayed.
- Communication is a crucial part of efficient task management, so we’ve integrated tasks into the Bipsync notification system. Choose to receive in-app and/or email notifications when a task is assigned to you, when someone completes a task that you assigned, when new tasks are created, and more.
- Everyone loves our magical automation rules engine, so we’ve made sure that you can create rules for tasks too. Get a summary list of all your tasks at the end of the day, email overdue tasks to the PM once a week, share tasks that match certain conditions with a particular user group, and more. The world’s your oyster.
Getting started with tasks
To add a new task, simply click the “Add a new task…” placeholder on any dashboard, or the checkbox icon at the top of the screen. Tasks are automatically tagged with the currently selected tag – if you’re on the Apple dashboard and create a task, it will be tagged to Apple – including any note tags if you create a task for a note.
Tasks appear in an expanded “editing” mode when you first add them, and shrink down to a single line when you click off the task or press the Escape key. Click any existing task in a task list to expand it into editing mode.
By default, new tasks are assigned to yourself and appear at the bottom of your current task list. If you assign the task to someone else, it will move to the Team Tasks list, and will automatically share the task with the assignee if it isn’t already visible to them, e.g. if it isn’t shared with the fund or with a group they belong to.
To drag one of your tasks, hover over it and click the colored bar on the left: drag up and down to change order, or drop onto another task to create a sub-task. Please note that task colors and order are only applicable to you: you can’t specify the order or color of team tasks. Everyone has their own ordering and coloring scheme so it doesn’t make sense to have a global order or color for team tasks.
Check a task checkbox to complete it. Completed tasks appear in the list until you move away from the list to another screen; when you return, completed tasks won’t appear unless you use the Task Filter button to display them.
By default you’ll get in-app and email notifications when a task it assigned to you, and when a task you assign to someone else is completed. Go to the usual Settings > Notifications panel to adjust how you receive notifications for tasks.
More to come
We’ve been using Bipsync tasks internally while developing it, and it’s already improved how we work together. Even so, there’s still more to come in future releases, including support for task comments/discussions, attachments, recurring tasks, and more.
Please note that the new Tasks feature is currently an opt-in beta – so let us know if you’d like it enabled on your installation. If you choose to switch it on, we can optionally migrate any existing To Dos to Tasks.
Note templates have received three updates in this release:
- The New Note dropdown menu now displays up to five templates in the top-level menu, rather than in a secondary sub-menu, so that you can access your core templates faster. Templates after the first five will still appear in a secondary menu, so as to not over-complicate the initial menu.
- When you create a new note from a template, the template name is now kept for the note, rather than defaulting to Untitled. We still auto-select and focus into the title field automatically when the note is created, so it’s no extra effort to press delete and type an entirely new note title. But if you want your notes to have consistent titles based off an initial template name, this change should help.
- In addition to the previous change, you can now also use tearsheet placeholders in template titles – the same placeholders we introduced in releases 84 and 85 for note content. The most useful placeholders you might want to consider in template titles are [$TICKER] (the ticker of the currently selected company), [$NAME] (the name of the currently selected company), [$AUTHOR] and [$DATE] – hopefully the last two are self-explanatory.
Pipeline Improvements (Ideas, Portfolio, etc.)
- Support for read-only pipelines, where items in the pipeline can’t be manually moved between stages. You can of course still make each field editable to particular user groups or not. This is designed for pipelines that are primarily updated from an external source, e.g. a Portfolio that is updated via the API or a CSV upload from a PMS.
- Support for dates in dashboard formulas. In release 80 we introduced the ability to calculate scores on pipeline dashboards, for example to use an internal formula to score Ideas or Portfolio positions. You can now use dates from pipeline items in dashboard formulas, so that you can display the number weeks since an Idea was updated, or the number of days since a Position was created, etc.
New Configuration Options and Other Improvements
- Emailed notes can be configured with custom styles, so if you want all your emailed notes from Bipsync in a particular font or size, let us know and we can update the display of outgoing emails to your requirements.
- In release 99, we introduced a Curator role, to allow specified users to manage basic tagging for locked notes. In this release, you can now specify that curators can also edit particular fields, not just the main tagging for a note – for example, the call date, or a list of participants in a meeting.
- In release 90, we added the ability to share “across teams”, so that you can set up a separate team for external users like consultants, and explicitly choose what notes are shared or not with the external team. In this release, rather than just being able to share a note with the entire external team or not, you can now choose to share with individual users in the external team, like you can with internal users.
- A new configuration option will display all available tags for a custom tagging scheme in the left column, rather than the default behavior of only displaying tags that have been used. For example, if you have a custom “Commodities” tagging system that each contains hundreds of potential tags, you can now choose to display all of those available tags in the relevant panel in the left column, rather than only those that have been tagged to a note.
- Emails forwarded into Bipsync will now be scanned against known Contact email addresses, and tagged appropriately to those contacts. This provides a basic level of CRM functionality, where you can click on a Contact in Bipsync and find all emails that were sent to (or CC’ed to) that person.
- Over a dozen other fixes and minor improvements.
Phew! Thanks for reading, and as usual, please continue to get in touch with your suggestions and questions.