Econsensus Manual

Help us write this manual!

This user manual is very much a work in progress at the moment so please do let us know if you do have any questions or think anything could be more clear. To contact us, email econsensus-info [at] aptivate.org .

Inviting new users

Once you have been set up with an instance of Econsensus for your organisation, one of your first jobs will be to invite other users. This can be done from the Admin screen, linked to in your list of organisations when you log in, and also linked to in the top right of the screen while you are using the system. While the interface is a bit rough and ready at the moment, we hope it makes sense! All you have to do is enter an email address, and select whether you want that user to also be an admin (able to invite more users) or not. The person will then receive an email notifying them of the invitation, and inviting them to sign up, as you did.

Econsensus email integration

Email notifications

Whenever someone makes a new proposal, or changes the state of a proposal, or adds new feedback, everyone except the person making the change will be sent an email about it. People can manually opt-out of these email notifications by editing a proposal and un-checking the “watch” tick-box found next to the “save” button. The default is that everyone receives everything, as they would if you were simply using email to discuss decisions.

Email threading

We are working on making sure that the emails sent out can be threaded if you use e.g. gmail or an email client that allows threading, so that people can group their emails together more easily and are less likely to drown in chat from the system. Sending feedback by email

It’s also possible to leave feedback in Econsensus by replying to the emails that are sent out rather than using the web interface. Instructions for doing this are contained within the emails that are sent. Basically, if you just hit reply and type whatever you feel like, you will leave a Comment by default. If you start your email with a type of feedback e.g. “Question:” or “Concern:” then it will be recorded as that kind of feedback.

It’s probably helpful to delete any quoted text from emails before sending them.

Sending proposals by email

It is possible to create proposals by email. Simply send an email to [your-organisation-name]@econsensus.org * with the word: “proposal” in the subject line, and the content of the proposal in the email body. Econsensus will use the first line of the email as the title of the proposal. If you want to add other bits of specific information to the proposal such as budgets or deadlines, that appear in their own field in the web interface, these cannot be specified by email and must be added through the web interface.

* this is the same email address that you will receive Econsensus emails from.

Exporting your data

It is possible to export all your data stored in Econsensus to .csv file format, which is compatible with most spreadsheet programs. The data is output in a format that is intended to be most useful when looked at on a spreadsheet page by a human, not to be read into some other system by a computer. However, all the data is there, so you can do with it what you want. We are keen to make sure that if you store your data on Econsensus, you can get it out again! If you have specific data exporting requirements, let us know.

Using this Econsensus prototype version

We want to make it clear that this system is currently a prototype, and we can’t guarantee anything functionality-wise or security-wise. We are however using Econsensus ourselves, and as far as we know, it works just fine. We’re offering it as-is to groups at this stage so that people can help us work out how to meet their needs better, and spot the missing bits or rough patches that we need to iron out. We would really really welcome any feedback. We take regular backups of the data stored in the system, and we believe it is safe to keep your data on it! We keep ours there.

Security and confidentiality

We're committed to keeping your information confidential. We’d be very happy to hear and talk through any concerns you have about your data security if you start using this system.

Because we are responsible for fixing problems in the system, we may occasionally look over details of the live system, including information relating to your organisation.