An introduction to workflow

Learn about workflow in Content Workflow - what it is and how to use it effectively

James Peacock avatar
Written by James Peacock
Updated over a week ago

In this article:

Writing great content is only one part of content production, the entire creation process is much more involved. Drafts, reviews, edits, approvals... all of these things happen in every organisation's content strategy. Workflow in Content Workflow streamlines this process so the right people are involved throughout your content's journey, and at the right time.

Let's start with the basics.

What is workflow?

In Content Workflow, workflow is a series of steps. Typically these start at Draft and finish at Published or Completed, but your workflow is fully customisable to suit your needs (Scale and Transform plans). This includes giving each step a name, a description and a colour.

Tip: Use colour wisely. Be consistent with your colour choice for different stages of your workflow as it is used to help your team quickly identify the status of content.

Managing workflow

Creating and managing your workflow might sound complicated, but we've made it a simple and intuitive process.

First, make sure you're in a project. In your top navigation, head to Workflow. All projects have one workflow by default. Scale and Transform plans can manage multiple workflows, whereas Start plans only have one basic workflow.

Each card represents a workflow. Clicking on a workflow will take you to the workflow editor. Clicking "New workflow" will also take you to the editor, where you'll be given a blank canvas to create a workflow from scratch.

Each project has a designated "default" workflow. This workflow is used automatically for newly created items and is also the workflow that you can see represented as a colourful bar on the project cards in your account dashboard.

On the bottom-left of the workflow cards, you'll see a number. This number indicates how many items are using that workflow. Clicking on this button will take you to the content hub with those items automatically filtered.

Tip: If you want to delete a workflow that is currently being used on items, you'll be asked to choose a new workflow to replace it. When this happens, those items will all be placed on the first step of the replacement workflow.

Creating and editing workflow

Before you start editing a workflow, please note that any change you make won't be saved until you hit the "Save changes" button.

At the top, you'll see the name of the workflow. Click on the name to change it.

Below the name, you'll see a description box, where you can describe to your team the purpose and use case of the workflow.

Each workflow step is represented by its own container. This is where you edit the step colour, name and description. You can also specify a workflow step to be read-only. When an item is active on a read-only step, the content cannot be edited (commenting is still possible).

To add a new step, simply click on the 'Add a step...' button at the bottom of the workflow. Alternatively, you can click the "+" button in between existing steps, or duplicate existing steps.

Below is what a single workflow step looks like:

Reordering steps is as simple as dragging and dropping. Find an empty space on the step you want to reorder, click, and drag. For quick reordering of adjacent steps, you can use the up and down arrows.

We don't limit the number of steps a workflow can have so they can be as flexible as you need them to be. However, consider your team using the workflow and try to make them as clear and concise as possible to keep your content operations running smoothly.

The difference between Basic and Advanced workflow

Basic workflow is a fixed, non-customisable workflow that's great if you're starting out in the world of content operations. It contains the steps vital to producing high-quality content efficiently. They are as follows:

  • New item: A new item ready to be populated. Move to Draft when adding content.

  • Draft: The content draft is being created.

  • Review: Content to be reviewed by stakeholders before publishing. Use comments to help ensure content is approved.

  • Completed: Content has been reviewed and is now complete, and ready to be published. Read-only.

More established content teams may find this workflow too limiting. Advanced workflow allows full customisation, including powerful automation. For a more detailed breakdown of what's included, read our guide to Advanced workflow.

If you want to learn more, check out the following guides relating to workflow:

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