Getting Started with EasyContent
Thank you for joining EasyContent! We hope that it's the beginning of our long journey together and that this article will help you to learn how to use our system to its full potential. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Table of Contents
- Your account structure
- Defining roles and permissions
- Inviting users
- Your first project: assigning users
- Your first project: setting up workflow
- Your first project: configuring templates
- Adding tasks to your project
- Working with assignments
- Integrating Your Project with Wordpress
- Creating Documentation for Your Project
- Further Steps
Your account structure
There are two main navigational menus in your account. The top white menu (number 1 in the image below) is the account level menu. The bottom dark menu (#2) is the project level menu. It appears only when you are inside of a project.
In addition, there is also a dropdown menu (#3) in the top right corner of the screen. It appears when you click on your username and allows you to edit your profile or visit your account or project settings. Project settings appear only when you are inside of a project.
The exact set of menu items may vary depending on your permissions. Below we'll examine the menus as the account administrator sees them:
Account level menu
- Project selection dropdown allows you to quickly select a project to work with.
- Projects will get you to the page with all your projects. You can create, archive, or delete your projects on this page. There is no limit on the number of projects in EasyContent. Deleting a project permanently deletes all its data, so be careful.
- Users menu item will open a page where you can view and manage your users, or invite new users to your account. All users are created at the account level. There is no limitation on the number of users as well.
- Roles page is where you can manage and configure your account roles. Again, you can create as many roles as you need and configure them to meet the needs of your team. Roles in the account apply to all projects.
- Feedback. Getting feedback is paramount to successful learning. That's why we made it possible to leave feedback and grade assignments whenever you or your team members approve or reject them. Custom grading criteria are defined in the workflow settings. The feedback will be delivered directly to the writer's mailbox. Additionally, all users can see their feedback, both left and received, in the "Feedback" page.
- Integrations page allows you to generate API keys and install a plugin to connect your Wordpress website to an EasyContent project.
- Help is the page where you can find various articles on how to use our application. Additionally, we allow you to create your own documentation for your projects. If you click "Help" while you are in the project, you will see that you can create your own categories and articles. Good documentation allows for better scalability and increased productivity, and that is exactly what we want for your team!
Project level menu
When you are inside of a project, the darker project menu will become visible just below the account menu. For a user with all permissions, it consists of the following items:
- Dashboard gives you a quick glimpse of your project's activity and your team's performance inside a project. We are constantly developing it, so let us know if you need more!
- Assignments page contains the list of assignments in the project and allows you to view or manage them.
- Tasks page displays the list of tasks or ideas for the assignments. A task becomes an assignment when it's assigned to a user or claimed by a user. Users can claim tasks themselves when they are responsible for the "Writing" stage of the workflow.
- Calendar. Whenever an assignment has a due date for one or several approval statuses, it's displayed in our editorial calendar along with some other useful information. You can manage responsible people and due dates directly from the editorial calendar.
- Mailbox shows you your last messages and allows you to visit your project mailbox. In the project mailbox, you can communicate with all other users assigned to the project. All messages received into your mailbox will also be sent to your email.
- All messages page is accessible only when a user has the "View all correspondence" permission and allows to view all messages of all users within a project. This, along with our activity card and comprehensive email notifications, gives a project administrator a good overview of what is going on in the project.
- Files page displays all files used in the project. To add a file, you must attach it to an assignment.
- Workflow menu item sends you to a page where you can set up your custom project's workflow. It's highly customizable. Just list all stages the assignment will go through, and then select checkboxes next to the roles that will be responsible for those stages.
- Categories page is where you can create categories to better organize your tasks and assignments.
- Template page allows you to configure your assignment's layout by adding or removing custom fields and tabs, adding descriptions, length recommendations, or making those fields mandatory.
Defining roles and permissions
Each new account has several default Roles:
- Writer (writers the content)
- Editor (reviews and approves content)
- Admin (has full access to the account)
There are also the roles of Content manager (oversees content creation and can publish assignments to the external websites) and Subject Matter Expert (mainly responsible for fact-checking, a must-have role in legal, medical, or other highly-complex niches). Those are for larger teams and are disabled by default, but you can activate them at any moment. After you create as many roles as you need and arrange them in the correct order, scroll down to the permissions section.
Permissions are grouped by the application area they apply to. For example, you might want to grant all account-related permissions to the Admin role, allow your Content managers manage everything on the project level and provide your Editors with access to tasks and assignments inside the project.
Your permissions define what users will see on their screens. For example, the "Calendar" link in the top menu will appear only if the user has the "View editorial calendar" permission in the "Reports" group of the "Permissions" screen.
After you've defined your roles, invite your team to your account by clicking the "Invite new people" button in the "Users" screen.
When inviting a new user, you must assign a role and, optionally, can assign this user to one or several projects.
After the invitations are sent, your team members will receive emails with links to join your account.
Your first project: assigning users
To create a new project, click "Create a new project" button on the "Projects" screen.
When creating a new project, you will be asked to assign users to this project. Although you can always do it later, it's important that people are assigned to the projects they will work on. Otherwise, even though they might be able to view and edit projects with the "Manage projects" permission, they won't be able to participate in the approval workflow inside this project.
To assign people to a project while creating it, select appropriate checkboxes and press the "Create project" button.
Your first project: setting up workflow
Once users are assigned to your new project, proceed to the workflow settings by clicking the "Workflow" in the dark project menu.
Our default workflow consists of the following stages: Writing -> Editorial review -> Approved for publishing -> Completed.
Some customers may also want to add stages like "Customer review" or "Expert review".
After adding or rearranging the stages the way you want and selecting roles responsible for these statuses, you may configure grading criteria for each of the intermediate assignment's statuses. By default, we have the following grading criteria enabled for the "Editorial review" stage:
You can delete them if you don't need them. However, we've discovered that receiving actual grades not only provides great feedback to the writer, but also ensures better quality control and adds more transparency to project administrators.
Your first project: configuring templates
The final step of setting up your project is configuring assignment templates. Click on the "Template" link in your dark project menu. This will bring you to the "Template Settings" page.
On the "Template Settings" page you can see the default template containing two tabs: Text&Files and Meta data tabs.
Each of the tabs come with multiple fields that you can enable or disable, add guidelines and recommended length, or make them required. A user won't be able to submit or approve an assignment until all required fields are filled in.
You may also add some default text editor content. If you choose to do it, a new assignment will have this content in the text editor instead of a blank field. You can use it to add some outline of an assignment or instructions for your writers. Keep in mind, however, that this setting will apply to all assignments in the project. If you want to provide instructions for a specific assignment, use "Notes" field in the task's settings.
Note that both the Text&Files and the Meta data tabs consist of default system fields, which are important fields used by our APIs and CMS integrations, so you can't rename or reorder them.
You can create custom tabs by clicking the +Add new tab link beside the Meta data tab. Name your tab then click the save button and your new tab will be created. There's no limit to the number of tabs you can create.
Your new tab will be empty, so you'll have to fill it with custom fields. The following fields are available for you to use on your tabs:
- Text field
- Text area
- Radio buttons
- Dropdown select
Fields added to your custom tab can be reordered by clicking on the hamburger icon on the left side of a field and then dragging and dropping them wherever you like.
You can create your own templates by clicking the dropdown menu beside the "Template Settings" heading text, and then clicking on +Create a new template.
Give your new template a name, click the save button, and your new template will be created.
A newly created template will automatically contain all system fields and tabs present in the default template. You can then fill it with your own custom tabs and fields.
If you want more custom fields or perhaps additional features or flexibility in the template editor, please let us know at email@example.com or click "Suggest a feature" in the application footer.
Adding tasks to your project
Congratulations! The basic configuration is over and you can now start working with EasyContent.
First, start with creating a task for your writers. Click on the "Task" link in the project menu, then click the "Add your first task" button.
When adding a task, fill in its name. It's a mandatory field and you are limited to 200 symbols. This name will be used everywhere in the project, so make it descriptive. It can be the proposed title of an assignment, its purpose, or simply a task name.
Some good examples of a task name would be:
- "About Us" page
- Best content marketing tools
- Why does my cat hate me?
More detailed instructions can be provided in the "Notes" field. If you need your writer to use specific keywords, include them in the "Keywords" field separated by commas.
When the task is created, it can be assigned to a writer or a writer can claim it by clicking the "Claim" button. We've removed some of the project administration workload by allowing writers to claim available tasks without waiting for them to be assigned.
If you cannot assign a user to a task or an assignment, make sure that:
- The user is assigned to a project
- User's role is responsible for the workflow status in the workflow settings.
Working with assignments
After it's done and the task is assigned, it becomes an assignment and is visible on the "Assignments" page. To open the "Assignments" page, click on the "Assignments" link in the project level menu.
Then number in the badge next to the assignment menu item in the menu (#1) shows the number of assignments where your input is expected.
To view assignment contents and edit it, click on the assignment name under task column (#2) or the "Edit" button under the "Action" columns. You will see our rich text editor where you can write or edit the assignment. You will also see some additional fields that a writer will be required to fill in (those are configured in the Template settings), as well as some widgets designed to provide more information about the assignment. We'll have a look at them in the next section.
Editing an Assignment
Some of the elements described below may not be visible when a user opens up an assignment to edit it. Usually, that means that there is no information to display or that the user doesn't have necessary permissions to view them.
Text & files tab includes the "Assignment title" field, rich text editor, and the "Attached files" widget. The latter allows you to attach, delete, or download any files that you may want to submit together with an assignment or insert into the assignment text.
There's also the Meta data tab which contains additional fields such as:
- Featured image
- Custom post slug
- Meta title
- Meta description
Most of these fields can be used by Wordpress if you set up our Wordpress integration. The set of fields can be configured in the "Template settings".
Actions tab on the bottom allows you to Submit or Approve an assignment, Reject it and send it back for rework, Save draft or Publish the assignment to a Wordpress website if Wordpress integration is set up.
The sidebar contains several widgets that help you work with the assignment. Their combination depends on user permissions and current activity in the assignment, but at most you will see the following:
- Messages regarding this assignment. Displays all correspondence related to the assignment you are viewing. If your role doesn't have the "View all correspondence" permission, you will see only the messages received or sent by you.
- Assignment details. Displays task, keywords, and notes. You can highlight keywords in the text if you click the "Highlight in the text" link.
- Workflow widget. This displays all workflow-related information. It allows you to approve or reject an assignment, change its status, or assign it to other people, (if you have the "Manage assignments" and "Manage people and deadlines" permissions).
- Assignment feedback. This widget displays feedback received by the writer from other approvers. In order to use grades, configure grading criteria on the "Workflow" page.
- Revision history. This displays revisions and allows to view, restore, or delete them. If you select two revisions, you will be able to compare them by clicking the "Compare selected" button.
Integrating Your Project with Wordpress
If you create content for a Wordpress website, you can link your project with the website. This allows you to publish your assignments directly to your Wordpress website with just one click of a button. Also, you can pull content from your Wordpress website into your EasyContent project. That is handy when you need to update or improve some of your existing assignments. Our Wordpress plugin works with both the classic text editor and the new Gutenberg text editor.
In order to set it up, install our Wordpress plugin, and generate your API keys on the "Integrations" page.
Creating Documentation for Your Project
If your project requires additional documentation, such as style guidelines for your writers and editors, directions for other approvers, or any other helpful information, you can create it with EasyContent.
When you are inside a project, click the "Help" item in the top menu.
Then press "Add new category," enter the category name (e.g., Style guidelines) and save it. After you have created a category, click on the "Edit" icon, and choose "Add help article."
When you have more than one category, use the drag & drop feature to reorder them on the page.
Congratulations! If you've made it this far, you should be familiar with EasyContent and ready to get started. Feel free to reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or feedback.