Finding your work in Workfront shouldn’t be a challenge. However, for many, clutter is accumulated through unwanted notifications, outdated pins or favorites and laundry lists of views, filters and groupings that are no longer relevant.
This week’s blog will help you navigate through what can often feel like noise when you’re in a rush by providing tips to simplify how you find and organize your most important data in Workfront.
REDUCE NOTIFICATION OVERWHELM
Workfront has over 90 system-level email notifications available through the Setup menu. While only system administrators can activate/deactivate notifications at the system level, all users can personalize their notification settings in their profile by selecting which notifications they would like to receive instantly, daily or not at all. For a list of common missed or unwanted notifications, read the blog post, Get a Handle on Your Email Notifications.
NOTE: There is also one global notification surrounding Proof that you will want to consider, found via Setup > Email > Review and Approval. Additional Proof notifications can be sent to users based on the automated workflow or individual proof settings.
When considering which notifications to enable, it is best practice to categorize them as Active, Active Impactful or Passive. The below screenshots show recommended settings to get the most out of notifications, though these may vary depending on your organization's processes.
Active/Active Impactful - Does the notification that you will be receiving require you to take any immediate action? Does that action impact anyone else’s workflow or timeline? If the answer is yes to either of these questions, we recommend leaving those notifications active. Examples would be requests for approval, direct-mentioned updates, access requests, new projects assigned, etc.
Passive - If the notifications are simply informing you and you can see the updates through other means, such as on the Home tab or seeing due dates or number of tasks assigned change on a dashboard, etc., these notifications can either be deactivated or set to be sent in a “Daily Digest” format at the personal user level.
PRO TIP: While due dates are impactful, they are also most often plentiful and easy to find throughout Workfront. Having an overfilled mailbox of changing dates and assignments does not help you keep track of your scheduled work items, as Workfront Home and custom dashboards always show the live data.
For step-by-step instructions on how to configure your personal notification settings in the new Workfront experience, click here. Be sure to open each section to see the individual notifications that fall within each category rather than making the change to the entire category!
NOTE: In Workfront Classic, to adjust your personal notification settings, click your Avatar in the top right corner and then select My Settings > Notifications.
PREVENT NAVIGATION CONFUSION & DATA OVERWHELM
Half of the battle of finding the information you need is knowing where to start. System administrators can simplify this effort from the start by applying layout templates or by empowering users to personalize their own Workfront instance with fail-safe go-to’s in pins, recents and favorites, and filters, views and groupings.
Pins - Pins are a new Workfront experience enhancement and are a great option for those very specific items that you navigate to on a daily basis, as they will appear on your global navigation bar. You can reorder these pins or remove them from your view, should the work item be completed or your focus changes.
PRO TIP: As a best practice, it is recommended that you pin 6-7 items that will be used most frequently, and then save the remaining items you’ll want to easily access as favorites for a clean navigation experience.
Recents and Favorites - Accessed via the star icon in the new Workfront experience, the Recents menu is a list of your 20 most recently opened items whereas favorites are items you’ve “bookmarked” in Workfront. To add an item as a favorite, go to the page you want and then select the star icon in the global navigation followed by +Add Current Page or by clicking on the star icon to the right of the object name.
NOTE: To download a 1-page guide comparing recents and favorites from Classic to the new Workfront experience, click here.
Filters, Views and Groupings - At the most basic level, nearly anything you’re looking at in Workfront is essentially a report — a list of projects, tasks, users, etc. is a live collection of data. Workfront provides you with pre-built options for views, filters and groupings, however, you can create or customize your own and share with other users in the organization to avoid duplicate work.
PRO TIP #1: Consider applying conditional formatting to specific columns in your list view so that important information stands out.
PRO TIP #2: When creating a new filter, utilize wildcard filter variables to make the results more dynamic. Wildcards reference a generic user or date so that the list results change depending on the context in which they are used.
To learn more about creating views, filters and groupings, watch these 3 short videos on Workfront One, found under Resources > Videos > Reporting (Report Creation).
FIND WHAT YOU NEED FAST USING SEARCH
The more time you spend in Workfront, the more your data will accumulate. Filtered lists and reports can become lengthy, so utilizing the search functionality to find exactly what you are looking for is key. There are two different search functions in Workfront:
Quick filter - Only available in the new Workfront experience, the quick filter icon (magnifying glass) is a search box to help find items in the displayed list. You can find it to the left of views, filters and groupings on projects, tasks, issues, portfolios, programs and groups (via Setup).
Basic or Advanced Search - For users in the new Workfront experience, the basic or advanced search is accessed through the search icon (magnifying glass) in the top right corner of your navigation bar. Searches are not case-sensitive and do not support wildcards, however, they do look at object names, description, custom data fields, updates and document names. To learn how to search for multiple words or how to apply filters within an Advanced Search, follow the instructions in Search Workfront on Workfront One.
NOTE: If your Search function is not returning expected results based on the keyword(s) entered in, contact Workfront Support and share an example, as it may need to be reindexed.