Scheduling Dispatches in the Past

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5 comments

  • Hi Simon,

    I was able to come up with a kind of neat work-around using Zapier to get things into Google Calendar. This may actually give you even more flexibility and visibility over what's happening with Dispatches. I've done sort of a simplified version, but there's a lot of potential here. I could envision doing a different calendar for things that aren't part of the original dispatch so that you could track those separately from the first ones. Anyway, here's what I came up with (bear with me). 

    I created a really simple App (I imagine yours is significantly more complex), with a few critical fields: 

    1. Scheduled date - the date of the original dispatch (defaults to current date, presumably this is set when you schedule the dispatch)
    2. Scheduled time - the time of the originally scheduled dispatch (defaults to current time, presumably this is set when you schedule the dispatch)
    3. A condition to trigger that there's a something new that needs to be addressed (I did a checkbox that triggers a new screen so I can collect information about the new issue)
    4. Out date - the date the job ended, collected at the end of the App (defaults to current date)
    5. Out time - the time the job ended, collected at the end of the App (defaults to current time, but could also be set manually - just needs to be later than the scheduled time)


    Once you have all of that (and obviously they can be named whatever makes sense, that's just what I came up with), you'll want to get your Zap set up. 

    The Trigger for your Zap will be a new GoCanvas Submission pulling from the appropriate App: 

    Here is where you can get a little more complex. I have it set up to have two actions, one to pull the original Dispatch data onto the Google Calendar, and one to pull the NEW Dispatch data onto the calendar. You could always just do the second one, but I thought it would be useful to bring everything over. 

    For the first Action, I'm creating a new detailed calendar event, which allows me to be very specific about what goes into the calendar event. I created a new Google Calendar just for these, so all of the events will end up on that calendar. Then I'm mapping fields from my GoCanvas App to different fields in the calendar, for example, I'm using the submission ID and Location Name (a field in my App) as the name. You can add in whatever data you want for the most part. When it comes to the Start Date & Time and End Date & Time, you'll want to input those fields from your App (make sure there's a space between them). Here's what that looks like for me: 

    So that's going to pull the original dispatch with real in and out times onto your calendar. 

    Next, you'll need to use Zapier's native filter options to have the next Action only proceed IF there's a new problem. 

    So that's saying if that checkbox in the App is checked, proceed with the next action; but if not, skip it. This will prevent you from getting empty calendar events. Even if you don't use the first action (mapping the original dispatch to the calendar), you'll still need this filter. 

    The next action is pretty much the same as the first action. I have it using some information from the conditional screen to name the dispatch, but you can set whatever makes sense to you. You can use the same start & end time & date so that it will align with the other event. 

    This is what that end up looking like on my calendar: 

    So... this is admittedly a long set up process, but once it's running, should be pretty seamless. Again, you could take out the first step if you're already getting the original Dispatch onto the Google Calendar, but I'm a fan of automating and having these happen together. 

    Again, definitely keeping this feature request open :)

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  • Hi Simon,

    This is an interesting request. Are you by any chance using Workflow at all in your process? If you are, there's a bit of a workaround involving Zapier that I could point you towards that would sort of solve for this.

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  • Avatar
    Simon Raad

    Hi Sara,

    My request is for purely visual/organizational purposes on the calendar. My colleague who reviews/approves reports likes to be able to see how many reports they should expect to come in and chase down reports that have not been submitted yet - she looks at the calendar for the week to organize herself and check the status of the reports. We also like the dispatch calendar to line up with our google calendar where our company looks for the inspections schedule for QA purposes. I also just get a little annoyed when I an inspector asks me for an additional dispatch form an inspection they performed earlier in the day, and I can't make the dispatch appear on the calendar the at the time the inspection occurred.

    Thanks for your reply!

    Simon

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  • That makes total sense, thank you! I think, especially given that you're using google calendar, there might be an interesting way to take that information outside of GoCanvas itself, and give you this functionality. I'll play with it a little and see if I can maybe get there. I know an external solution is not always ideal, but when we can build on something that's already being used AND solve a problem, it might just do the trick. I'll keep you posted (and of course, keep this as an open request)!

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    Simon Raad

    Yup! Thanks for taking it into consideration.

    -Simon

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