Setting Up Heads Up Rules

Modified on Tue, 30 Apr 2024 at 03:20 PM

'Heads Up' is an amazing option within Actionstep that lets you take important information contained within Actionstep List Views and get it emailed to you on a regular basis.

Heads Up rules can be used by everyday users to be alerted to items that need their attention, such as tasks due today, matters with due dates next month, or appointments for the coming month.

They are also a super reporting tool. Any important insight you gain from a filter applied to your list view can be turned into a heads up rule so that information is sent to you weekly or monthly. Using heads up rules you can see the average time that matter has been open in the last month. The total WIP at the end of the week or the overdue tasks assigned to your staff.

NOTE: In order to use the 'Heads Up' function, it firstly needs to be enabled for your System Role by your Administrator. To do this, go to Admin > Users & Permissions > System Roles > Edit > Enable Heads Up > Save. Heads Up rules are only available in the Practice Pro and Practice Pro + Accounting versions of Actionstep, not in Express.


Creating a Heads Up Rule

Once Heads Up has been enabled for your System Role, you will see a 'Heads Up' option under 'More' in the top-right corner of several list views.

The 'Heads Up' menu item in the 'More' button dropdown on the matters list

  1. Before you create your Heads Up, Filter and sort the list view until it is providing you with the information you want to be notified of on a regular basis. 
  2. When you are satisfied with your filters/layout, click on the 'Heads Up' icon.
  3. The 'Add Heads Up Rule' window will then appear in pop-up form, allowing you to name the rule and schedule how often the email it generates will be received.

Options While Creating a New Heads Up Rule

Heads-up Rule Name

Give the rule a name to define what is useful about the information.

Enable Toggle

The "Enable" switch allows you to disable or -re-enable a Heads Up rule at a later date.


Under the "Schedule" section, choose the frequency you would like to get the emails sent to you. 

TIP: When you use a monthly schedule, and you want to ensure that the email is sent at the end of the month you can choose 31 as the day of the month. If the month does not have 31 days, the email will be sent on the last day of the month instead. 

Message Content - List Option

Under the "Message Content" section, you can choose what information in your list view will be sent in the Heads Up email.

If you would like the Heads Up email notification to simply list the information within the List View, use the 'List' option. Untick the columns that are not needed in the email. For example, in the screenshot below, the email will not include the ID, Current Step, and Date Created columns.

The 'add heads up rule' screen

Message Content - Calculation Option

Alternatively, you can use the 'Calculation' option to set a rule based on simple mathematical calculations.

  • The Sum option will add up the numbers or monetary amounts in a column you nominate. You can use the 'Group results by... ' option to have the amounts grouped.
    EXAMPLE: You could set the 'Calculation column' to one that shows the WIP on each matter, then set the 'Group results by... ' to a column that shows the type of matter to get an email that tells you the total WIP value at that time for each type of matter in your system.
  • The Count option will count how many matters are in the list view. You can set the 'Group results by... ' option to have the count broken down into different values.
    EXAMPLE: You could set the 'Calculation column' to a column that shows the matters name and the 'Group results by... ' to a column that shows who the matter is assigned to, to get an email that tells you the total number of matters it that time assigned to each of your users.
  • The Average option will take the average of any number or monetary column in your list view. You can set the 'Group results by... ' option to have the average broken down into different values.
    EXAMPLE: You could set the 'Calculation column' to a column that shows the days a matter has been on a step for and the 'Group results by... ' to a column that shows what step the matter is on, to get an email that tells you the average number of days that matters of a certain type have been on each of the steps.

When you are happy with your settings, click 'Save' at the bottom of the window.  


Advanced Options

Open the 'Advanced Options' panel at the bottom of the 'Add Heads Up Rule' window to specify how many rows to show in the email body and whether to attach a spreadsheet containing all the list results.

Note that 'Advanced Options' only work with the List option, not the Calculation option.

Advanced options

Checking, Editing, and Managing your Heads Up Rules

To check/change the details of any rules you have set up, access the My Profile page. You can get there by clicking on your name in the top-right corner of the interface.

My profile in the top bar

Scroll down to the 'Heads up' section where you will see any existing Heads Up rules you have created.  The 'Title' displayed will be the name you gave the heads up rule when creating it, the 'Description' will detail what type of view the heads up rules were created from and the columns included in it.

Clicking on the Title or Description will open the Add Heads Up Rule window (the same you get when creating a new rule) for you to change any details.

Click on the "Manage heads-up rules" button to manage/delete rules.

Manage heads up rules button in 'My Profile'


On the Manage Heads Up rules page, you can see a list of all Heads Up rules assigned to yourself. 

Manage heads up rules page

Clicking on the 'Title' of a rule will open the Add Heads Up Rule window (as described above). 

If you are an Actionstep administrator, you will be able to use the "User Heads Up List' menu to be able to see and edit the heads up rules assigned to other users. Note that you cannot create a heads up rule for another user.

If you want to see the result of the Heads Up rules you have created, you can click the "Test All Rules" button to have all the rules generated and sent immediately to the applicable user.

TIP: If you create more than one Heads Up rule set to be sent at the same time and day, then Actionstep will combine the information into one email. Great for creating a monthly or weekly summary or report.


Deleting a Heads Up Rule

To delete a 'Heads Up Rule', navigate to the 'My heads up rules' page by following the instructions listed above. Then, check the box to the left of the rule you wish to delete, which will result in a 'Delete' button appearing at the top of the list. 

Deleting a heads up rule

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