writer workflow

The customer was caught in Excel Hell.  The business was a writing agency which turned out hundreds of articles and blogs every month for clients in Australia and around the world. 

The writers were all freelance contractors working from home.

Sales and content planning were done by a series of spreadsheets that were sent via email, updated, copied, lost, buried and always out of date. 

Jobs were sent out via a web application that worked “sort of”, but its workflow did not match the complex workflow that the writing studio needed.

Digital Streams did a complete needs analysis where all of the inputs from sales, production and editorial were laid out. We then sought to find commercial software that could be adapted to handle the studio’s operations as they moved from prospecting to contracting, communications planning to editorial assignments and through submissions by writers of the articles through to their ability to upload invoices against the purchase orders for the job.

The CEO of the business also needed a single screen where a minute by minute view of the sales, workflow, client communications and the financials could be had. 

The FileMaker database has a desktop application for both Macs and PCs. All staff connect to a central database so they all share the same information. Access and security are very easy to control, so managers get their view of the application, while sales and production teams can only see data that they need to perform their duties.

In short, they needed to be “a single point of truth.”  A system which could  store, update and control of all information in a single place without duplication, with the data accessible by all with duplication. All the while, the information available to any person had to be limited by their role in the organisation – manager, sales team, editorial, writers and clients. 

No available online system came close to meeting these requirements.

The organisation was still relatively small with only dozens of clients and tens of writers – they needed a quick affordable solution.

Digital Streams created a bespoke workflow management system using FileMaker Pro, an Apple software spin-off that allowed Macs and PC to use the same database – important as writers typically used Macs and managers used PCs. 

Filemaker has a desktop application for both operating systems, and as a real bonus, can also be put online. That way the writers and clients who have a need for only a small subset of the information on the system,  could securely access the system using a standard web browser where they could view their assignments, upload their articles, download their purchase orders and upload their invoices when their work had been approved.

The system sent out emails, job orders, notifications and reminders automatically.


Writers and clients do not need to purchase a desktop application – but can log into Scriptis using a standard web browser. They can download, job sheets and purchase orders and upload completed articles and their invoices. Scriptis automatically generates emails to notify writers and editors that they have jobs to complete. They are also notified when the due date is approaching – and the manager and salesperson also gets a notification if the work looks like it will be delivered late.