Adding the Ideas Tool

How to add the ideas tool to your project and/or use the tool to only collect votes.

Vishwas Prasad avatar
Written by Vishwas Prasad
Updated over a week ago

The Ideas tool lets your community quickly provide their views and suggestions for your project. Participants can add and vote on ideas, allowing you to unpack priorities for your community and understand what's important to engaged community members.

Add Ideas to your project

To use the Ideas tool, you'll need to add it to a project:

  1. In the admin of your project, select Add a tool.

  2. From the Tools list, select Ideas; you'll find it under the All or Open environment tabs.

  3. You can Add a title, automatically creating a Permalink, and then select Create.

  4. Use the WYSIWYG text field in the Details tab to enter a description and add tags.
    The Title and Description you add here display on your tool, so participants know how they can engage. The Tags you add will also display, but please note that they are a purely visual element.

  5. Switch to the Settings tab to adjust your Participation settings, Permalink, or Email Notifications and Acknowledgements.

  6. Save your changes when you're ready.

  7. Select Publish from the status dropdown menu to go live with your tool. You can also select Schedule to specify the date and time you want the tool to go live; remember to Save your schedule.

You can change the tool's name at any time by selecting the pencil Edit icon next to the Ideas tool in the toolbar; enter the Name and Save your changes. You can also select the Idea from the list or use the Edit button to change its Details or Settings.

Once your Ideas tool is published, you can Unpublish or Archive it. An archived Ideas tool is still visible, but participants cannot add more ideas or comments. Unpublishing the tool will remove it from the live site.

The Settings tab

Configure your Ideas tool using these settings:

  • Allow unverified participation: Enable this setting to allow unregistered participants to engage with an email and screen name.

  • Allow comments: Enable this to allow participants to comment on their own and others' Ideas.

  • Allow Image Upload: Allow participants to upload an image with their contributions.

  • Voting: Select Indefinite voting to allow participants to vote at any time, or select Scheduled voting to specify when participants can vote on Ideas. Using the Scheduled voting option will lock idea posting on the start date you select.

  • Permalink: Select Edit to change the URL to this tool. By default, this will be the Title you chose for the tool.

  • Email Notifications and Acknowledgements: Choose which notifications you want to send when Ideas are added. By default, all participants and admins are notified if someone comments on their Idea. Check the relevant box to choose to:
    a. Send email acknowledgement to participant when a new idea is added
    b. Send email notifications to admins when new ideas are added.
    You can specify which admins are notified in the available text field.

Scheduled voting on Ideas

Scheduled voting splits your Ideas tool into an idea-collection period and a voting period. In the idea posting period, participants can see what date voting starts. Once voting starts, they can see how many days they have left to vote.

When you select Scheduled voting, you specify dates for:

  • Start voting on: The date your collection period ends and voting starts. Idea posting will lock on this date.

  • Conclude voting on: The date your voting period ends. On this date, posting and voting are locked, and the tool remains published, but participants will see a conclusion message.

An admin can create a voting-only Ideas tool by adding ideas as an admin, then setting the same Start voting on and publish date. As the Scheduled voting period has started, participants cannot add ideas but only vote on the ideas added by the admin.

Highlight an Ideas tool

Multiple Idea tools on the same project are listed in the same order that you have them in the back-end tool tab. To highlight one Ideas tool, you can reorder them by dragging and dropping them in your Ideas list.

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