Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The biggest update of the year

The year of 2016 marks our first year of making Rethink Workflow available for everyone as a simple and yet powerful tool for bringing more business processes online. Since then, we see an enormous number of workflows and documents created and routed in our system. Our users also send in a large number of feedbacks and feature requests. We are constantly listening and working around the clock to fulfill almost every request.

Since the last 6 months, we have been revamping our system from ground up to bring more features to you. So on December 27th, 2016, we will introduce the newest and biggest update of the year, v4.0.

Version 4.0 comes with updates in 4 categories:


We have added the dashboard as the main page right after you sign in, which includes  widgets that provide an overview of your company status. Every workflow also has its own dashboard which provides you with the individual workflow statistics.

Redesigned and Improved Material UI

You have told us that you love the modern look-and-feel of Rethink Workflow. We want to bring it to another level by revamping our UI from the ground up to make it even more user-friendly. Within the last six months, the team has adopted the material design approach and incorporated it to every screen. Here are some screenshots of our new UI:


Free and Premium Subscription Plan

Rethink Workflow continues to be free with all existing features. We also offer a Premium plan at $2.99 per user per month with new and even more powerful functionalities that make it easier and more flexible to bring your business processes to the cloud. Upon registration or migration from v3.x, we provide you 90 days trial of our Premium plan at no charge. Check out the comparison between Free vs Premium plan (after December 27th) here: https://www.rethinkworkflow.com/pricing


We have given you a tool to create forms to collect data, design flows to route documents from start to finish, and now a tool to create reports and extract the data for business purposes. Our reporting module allows you to create a new report, add columns, and specify filters to organize the data in tabular format. You can also download the report to CSV (Excel readable format) or JSON for your own purposes.

We are in the process of wrapping up our work for the launch and can't wait to see what workflows you will bring online with us.

Thank you for all of your support.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Introducing Rethink Workflow Authentication

Rethink Workflow Authentication

Till today to login and use Rethink Workflow, You needed to have a Google Apps for Work account. Google Apps for Work is great with Rethink Workflow very nicely. You can import groups, units, titles automatically.

But what if you don't have or use a Google Apps for Work account. We are introducing our own authentication system that will allow you to use the app without Google Apps for Work. Rethink Workflow is now truly FREE. You can create your own groups, units, set permissions and use Rethink Workflow and all of it's great features just as you would if you had logged in using Google.

And it is very easy to register your company and get going.

Step One: Admin registration
  • Go to Rethink Workflow.
  • Click on "Register an account".
  • Provide your email address and click "Register".
We will send you a verification email to authenticate your email address.

Verification Email:

Step Two: Verify account and setup login credentials
  • Click on the verification link provided in the Email Address.
  • The register Page opens, Enter your Name and Password. 
  • You have now successfully registered to Rethink Workflow. 

Step Three: Enter company information
  • Login with your Email Address and Password
  • Enter your Company Information

Step Four: Invite employees to Rethink Workflow
Now you need to invite your employees to use Rethink Workflow
  • Login to rethink workflow.
  • Click on Settings -> Users
This page lists all the users in your Account
  • Click on "Add Users"
  • Enter all the email ids of the employees you want to invite to your account
  • Click "Add Users". All the users you added will receive an invitation email from rethink workflow.

Once your Employees accept their invites and create their logins, they'll be able to create documents from your workflows and get going.

If you do have Google Apps for Work, you can still use rethink workflow using your Google account.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Limit the list of options appear in User Dropdown control

As version v.1.1.0, we have added "Dynamic User" feature which allows the workflow designers to use a User Dropdown control as a part of the routing process. Many company administrators want an ability to limit the list of users shown in User Dropdown control to avoid user mistakes of picking a wrong person. For example, when submitting a Request for Leave, the employee can select his manager for approval, and he can only select the one in "Managers" group.

In version v.1.4.0, we have just added a new feature that allows the workflow designer to limit the options in a User Dropdown control. The administrators now can specify the list of individuals, list of groups, and/or list of unit and title combinations.

During the design step, click on the user dropdown control in the form, in the PROPERTIES panel, you will see "Available Users" section.

There are two options:

  • Everyone: all people in the company are listed
  • Limited: only people defined as shown in the below video is listed

Going back to our original requirement, we can limit the list of people who belongs to "Managers" group as options for "Supervisor" dropdown.

Save and publish our workflow so that it is available for users to create documents from.

Now, let's see how it works when an employee creates a new document.

We hope this new feature help to tweak your workflow better for your users. Let us know your feedback in the comment box below or chat with us directly from the chat panel.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Automate Request for Leave with Rethink Workflow

Request for Leave is one of the most common paper-based processes in many organizations. In this process, the employee who wants to take leave has to submit an application to the manager for approval. The manager, upon receiving the request, checks for validity of the application and either approves or rejects it. This simple workflow can be automated quickly, easily, and efficiently with Rethink Workflow at https://app.rethinkworkflow.com so let's get started.

First, to be able to create a workflow, the user must be an administrator of the company. Right after logging in using Google Apps for Work or Education admin account, Rethink Workflow will try to synchronize directory data including users, groups, and organizational units automatically so that you don't need to spend hours on migration.

Once the synchronization process completes, click on "Workflow" and click on "New Workflow". On the "Add a new workflow" dialog, enter the name as "Request for Leave" and click "Add."

1. Build a form

On the "FORM" tab on the workflow design screen, we will start dragging and dropping a date time field onto the center panel to create "From Date" field. On the "PROPERTIES." panel on the right,  set "Display Name" to "From Date"; "Help Text" as "Select the start date of your leave." and mark "Required" as "Yes" to indicate that this field is required.

Repeat the same steps to create "To Date" field. This time, we select "Required" as "No" to indicate that the field is optional to allow in case the employee wants to request only one day off.

Now, we will add "Type of Leave" field to allow the employee to select the type of their request. Drag and drop the "Radios" control to the center panel. On the "PROPERTIES" panel, set "Display Name" to "Type of Leave"; "Help Text" to "Select one of the following options"; "Required" to "Yes." To add three options for this field, click on the small green plus button three times and change the name to "PTO," "Sick", and "Unpaid."
Next, we will provide a textbox for the employee to enter their comment (optional) and one text box for the manager to respond. The manager's response is required if he rejects the request.

But, as you might wonder, what if each employee has a different manager? Rethink Workflow provides a feature called "Dynamic User" which help the admin to add a User Picker to the form. The employee will pick the manager from the list while filling the request.

Drag and drop a "User Dropdown" from "CONTROLS" to the form in between "Comment" and "Manager's Response" field. Set "Display Name" to "Manager" and mark "Required" as "Yes." Please take note on "manager" displayed in the "Code" field since we are going to use it later.

That is all we need for the form. Now, let's continue to build the flow.

2. Design Workflow

In this step, we will design how a request (or document), created from the form built previously, will be routed.

A workflow comprises of states and transitions. A state, represented as an oval, is the status of the document at a particular time, and a transition, represented by an arrow, denotes an action moving the document from one state to another.

To create a new state, click on "NEW STATE" and to create a new transition, click on "NEW TRANSITION". To edit an existing state or transition, simply double-click on them to open up their respective dialog.

New workflow has a "Create" transition pointing to "Created" state automatically indicating when an employee creates a request, it will be in "Created" state.

Now, let us create three more states: "Submitted" - indicating that the request is submitted and pending approval, "Approved" - the request is approved by the manager, and "Rejected" - the request is declined by the manager. Note that we check "Exit State" for both "Approved" and "Rejected" to tell Rethink Workflow that when the request reaches these states, there are no more transitions to take place.

We will continue to connect all states with transitions. First, let us add a transition from "Created" to "Submitted" state. This transition will be executed by the employee who submits the request. On the dialog, we will set "Action Name" to "Submit", "From State" to "Created", and "To State" to "Submitted." You can also decorate the action button which will be shown to the employee eventually by using fields in "Action Button Style."

On "Submit" transition, we also want to send an email notification to let the manager know, so that he or she can approve or reject the request. To do so, switch to "TRIGGERS" tab on the "New Transition" dialog, and click on "New". A "New Task" dialog will show up. On this dialog, set "Type" to "Send Email Notification", "Execution Order" to "After", "Subject" to "{{ownerName}} has submitted a {{workflowName}} for your approval." and copy the same text to the "Body" field.

Rethink Workflow supports placeholders in the email template which are useful when you want to generate email content to make it look less robotic as in other systems. When the email is sent out, it will be looking like this:

Switch to "RECIPIENTS" tab to determine the manager as the recipient of this email notification. Select "{{manager}}" in the list of options which is the code name of the Manager field in the form.

Continue doing the same to add two more transitions: "Approve" and "Reject" as in the video below. Of course, you can send out email notifications to the employee to let him know the result too. Note that in the email notification for "Reject" transition, we also include the {{managerResponse}} which is the value of "Manager's Response" field.

Remember to click on "Save" button at the bottom to save our work so far and move on to "Set Permissions" step.

3. Set Permission

In this step, we will set permissions for the employee and manager to define what they can see and do at each workflow state.

Let us first set the permission for the document owner, which is the employee who submits the request.

On "Created" state, in "Fields" section, the document owner can only view and edit "From Date", "To Date", "Type of Leave", "Comment", and "Manager" field. "Manager's response" field is kept hidden since the employee should not see this field when filling the form. In "Actions" section, the document owner will be able to take "Submit" action, so we set it to "Allowed".

On "Submitted" state, in "Fields" section, the document owner can only view all the fields except for "Manager's response". In "Actions" section, the document owner should not be able to take any action. "Approve" and "Reject" can only be taken by the manager.

On both "Approved" or "Reject" state, the owner can only view all fields including "Manager's response" but there are no actions he or she can take because they are marked as "Exit State" in step 2.

Now, let us set permission's for the manager. In all the following steps, we will select "An individual in the document" for "Viewer" field and "{{manager}}" for Document Field to tell Rethink Workflow who the manager is.

On "Created" state, the request has not yet been submitted for approval; therefore, we will set all fields to hidden. In "Actions", the manager should not be allowed to take "Submit" action.

On "Submitted" state, this is when the request is in the manager's inbox. He or she should be able to view all fields, view and edit "Manager's response", and should be able to take "Approve" or "Reject" action.

On both "Approved" and "Rejected" state, the manager can view all fields, but he or she won't be able to take any action.

4. Go live!

This step is the most rewarding step for our effort so far. We will save the workflow and publish it for everyone in our company.

Now take a cup of coffee, relax and see how your workflow operates in action knowing that you have used technology to replace a costly, and inefficient paper-based process.

In this demo, Jerry Anderson is going to submit a Request for Leave to Elizabet Dixon, and it gets approved.

The second demo, the request get rejected by Elizabet with a reason included in the email.

We have gone through four steps to create the first workflow: Build a form, Design Workflow, Set Permission, and Go Live. If you are stuck on any step along the way, please don't hesitate to contact us direct via support@rethinkworkflow.com or chat with us directly from within the application. We are looking forward to hearing feedback/comment from you.