How do I design my work templates for maximum efficiency?
Written by Advisory Solutions
Updated yesterday

Learning Objectives:

After completing this course you should be able to _____

  • design, build, and test a simple work template aligned to your operating preferences.

  • configure client request messaging that effectively communicates your requirements to the client.

  • setup an automator to eliminate a manual administrative step. Specifically, by recognizing when the owner, due date, or status of a piece of work will change during the normal course of performing the work.

Product Feature Keywords:


Work Templates allow you to standardize and automate processes. You can also create new pieces of client work in seconds. This course will walk you through creating one from scratch if you don't see a pre-built template option that fits your needs in our Template Library.


Assemble Process Details

note: The activities in this course are designed for someone actively building a template and can be time consuming depending on the complexity of that workflow. If your objective is just to gain an understanding of the process, consider giving yourself a short time limit for each activity and then moving on even if the activity is not fully completed. You can always return to finish the work later.

Step-by-step directions:

  • Identify a workflow you want to build a template for and brainstorm your task list in the document format of your choice.

  • From the work page in Karbon navigate to Templates and click to create a new template.

  • Paste your list of tasks into the first section. If you already know how you want the tasks divided into sections, you can create those sections and paste groups of tasks into each.

  • If you already created a one-off work item capturing your workflow, you can save that work item as a template.

  • Edits to your template are auto-saved as you go. Clicking Publish in the blue banner at the bottom of the page will make them permanent, or you can click to discard changes made since you last published.


The way you divide tasks into sections directly affects the amount of automation and efficiency you achieve.


Organizing Template Sections

Step-by-step directions:

Further customize your work template by adding a default work type.

  • Divide your list of tasks into sections. Start a new section anywhere the workflow requires a change in status, assignee, or due date.

  • Add in client request sections anywhere you need to request documents or information from clients.


The most effective templates are highly customized to your firm's preferences. They capture how you like to work, manage your team, and manage client interactions.


Refine Process Details

note: We recommend you start by doing these steps in this order, but as you become more familiar with template building you will likely develop your own approach to the order. You may even work on multiple steps simultaneously. Provided you address each of these steps, the order that feels most comfortable to you is the one you should use!

Step-by-step directions:

  • Add or consolidate tasks depending on the level of granularity you desire. Where do you need to specifically see completion versus where might you be creating additional unneeded clicks for your team?

  • Incorporate any additional process documentation notes into the details on each task. Consider step by step instructions, links to other resources, screenshots, etc. Consider what details a new member on your team would need in order to learn the task.

  • Verify that sections are listed in the order they are to be completed. Within any section, it's okay if the order of task completion varies from time to time.

  • Add job role assignments and due dates to each task.

  • Set the default work type on the Details tab to allow better Kanban filtering. You will need to first create a new work type in your settings if this template represents a process you weren't previously reporting on.


The way you manage communications with clients will determine the speed and accuracy of their response, and ultimately their satisfaction with your service.


Configure Client Request settings

Step-by-step directions:


Automating updates to status, assignee, and due dates within your processes maintains consistency across your team. Eliminating manual administration work also frees up more time to spend on client work.


Automate Processes

Step-by-step directions:


Forecasting your expected profitability allows you to evaluate and refine your assumptions once work is complete.


Incorporate Budget Estimates

note: you may not be able to complete this activity if your practice has not implemented Time & Budgets. Skipping this activity will not affect your ability to complete Certification.

Step-by-step directions:

  • On the template's budget tab, select your Fee Settings

  • Consider which job roles will be engaged in the work and what types of tasks they will be working on. Add a Budget Estimate for each unique combination of role and task type.

  • Customize the billing rate for each estimate if your account's default rates are not appropriate.

  • Set the task type for each task on the Tasks tab.


Testing your template is a critical step before deploying it live to customers. If working through the Certification course and not yet ready to build your own template, follow these steps for another template already setup in your account.

Step-by-step directions:

  • Create a fictitious contact in your account if one is not already setup. Adding your non-work email to the contact will allow you to test your client requests (note that client requests cannot be sent to emails on your work domain).

  • Make sure your template has been published, then use it to create a piece of work. Assign it to yourself and set the client to the Test Client.

  • Mark tasks in the work complete as if you were actually going through the work. Describing the process out loud as you go, whether alone or with a colleague, is a very effective way to pick up on errors and omissions.

  • Send client requests to your non-work email to confirm appearance and formatting.

  • Watch for each automator to activate. Verify that it activated at the intended point in the work flow and performed the desired function.

  • Update and publish changes to your template and repeat these steps until you're satisfied with your template's operation.


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